A Little Bit of Good Goes a Long Way


Do you ever have those days that get off to a slow start, then somewhere in the course of the day, time suddenly seems to accelerate and the next thing you know, the day is over, yet you still have much to do?   That pretty much sums up my day, which, since it is after midnight here, was yesterday.   In order for me to get some much-needed beauty sleep and rest to tackle the upcoming day, allow me to recap the one thing I did for myself and for someone else.

As I began to recall my day, at first, I thought I had not done one thing for anyone else, but leave it to one of the men at the day shelter for men who are homeless to remind me that kindness at every level can be meaningful.  There is one older gentleman whom I have gotten to know this fall, and he holds the distinction for being one of two men at the day shelter who have brought me to tears when I heard his story and was not able to help him with housing.  He has good days and bad days, but no matter what kind of day he is having, he always talks with me and ends every conversation with, “Thank you for helping me, Miss Kristi” or something to that effect.  So, after we chatted for a bit today, I was not surprised when he ended our conversation by thanking me, but what followed was not what I expected to hear.

After he thanked me, I made an apologetic comment about wishing that I could do more in terms of assisting him in finding housing and a job, the two things he wants most in this world at the moment.  He listened and then went on to say, “I know you all are trying to help me and aren’t giving up on me, and I’m not giving up, either.  You always smile and make me feel better when we talk.  I know you care.”  Too often, I focus on the outcome or on unresolved issues, and I am impatient when they are not immediately resolved and berate myself when I feel as if I have failed or let someone else down.  I overlook what I can do, and I miss the joys and achievements along the way.  Obviously, I would like nothing more than to house and employ every person in need of both, and I will continue to do my part to do so.  We may not have the tangible resources he needs yet, but we do have plenty of smiles, kind words, genuine care and concern, and a warm, welcoming, safe haven for him each time he walks through our front doors.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, it is an honor and a privilege to be a small part of each man’s journey, and I am grateful that we can do some good for some very special people indeed.  I am so thankful that this man reminded me that kind gestures really do matter in this world.

The one thing I did for myself was to allow myself to be the “fun mom” with my daughters this evening, on a school night nonetheless!  A few years ago, we discovered “Lights Under Louisville”, which is a Christmas display in an underground “mega cavern”, and it really is rather cool to see.  It takes less than 30 minutes to drive through the cavern to look at the light displays and listen to the Christmas music being played overhead, but it is one of our new traditions that we enjoy.  Last year, we just never got around to going, so, when the opportunity arose tonight to go, in spite of homework (don’t worry, as it was all completed before bedtime), household chores, a broken dish washer, and a litany of other things to do, we went.

Christmas lights are one of my favorite parts of the holidays, so, I enjoyed this as much as the girls did.  Their Dad and I took them, so, it was an enjoyable evening as a family, even though we are divorced, and for that brief time, I was present for them and with them and forgot about everything else on my mind.  I simply took in the dazzling, colorful, festive lights and decorations, and I listened to the Christmas carols and sang along with the girls.  It was simply fun, and I needed some fun today. 

In addition to the things I did today, I also realized that there is more good to be done for myself and for others and that I need to refocus and become more intentional in doing so.  So, keep reading to see what comes next, as I definitely am a work in progress, and the best is yet to come.

Just one thing each day . . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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