It’s the little things that count. Taking the time for a smile, an offer to share possessions, and a trading of life stories.
This week I’ve been at the beach for a family trip; tomorrow we return home, and I am a mixture of being ready for new adventures in other parts of the world, and wanting to remain under my trusty beach umbrella forever. But, for this last day, I actually set my alarm so I’d be sure to arrive at the beach before sunrise, just for the pleasure of being able to watch the entire day unfold.
I felt the warm breeze blow, watched the waves going in and out to the shore, and saw just a very few other early risers on the beach with me. But, then, I was approached by a stranger who offered to let our group use their beach chairs and umbrellas if we needed any extras; such a kind and thoughtful offer. And, then, the conversation continued as we shared with each other snippets from our personal experiences.
For this woman, she was on a birthday trip with girlfriends after experiencing a difficult year that included getting divorced. She shared the reason for the divorce, and how she had worked over the last year to regain her peace, happiness, and confidence. She also explained that she had finally taken the time to give herself the level of care and attention that she now knew was essential for personal well-being.
I shared that I, too, had divorced and am now in a happy marriage of almost 16 years. I explained that I had also needed to learn about the importance of establishing a habit of self-care. I now practice mindfulness and am not only able to see, but am willing to see, the positives in my life. I currently receive such joy and personal satisfaction from helping others, and in the exact same ways that I had needed assistance myself in the not too distant past.
And, then, I offered my new friend the gift of a very inexpensive bracelet. Such a little thing really, but one that can make a world of difference. I explained the story for how the inexpensive silicone bracelets came to be:
Once during my fourteen years as an elementary and middle school principal, I had reached a time when it seemed that everyone was complaining: students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Digging though my mind for what could change the tide of emotions, I realized that, as I opened carpool doors for students each day, I was constantly telling everyone to have their “best day ever.” So, I ordered some of those silicon bracelets in a bright orange that would be hard to ignore and, had written on each bracelet B.D.E. Club….the Best Day Ever Club, because I wanted everyone to always have their best day ever.
Once those bracelets arrived at the school, we simply started giving them away. First to anybody and everybody, and, soon, as explained to all:
If you see someone who looks down or sad, or you know they’re going through a difficult time, take your bracelet off and give it to that person. And if they find someone in need, they should do the same. And, if you run out of the bracelets, no matter where or when, if you let me know you need more, I will send them to you. And, together, we will change the world one person at a time.
And this is exact type of bracelet that I shared with my new friend on the beach today. Because, as I assured her, there were fabulous adventures and people just waiting around every corner for her. Her spirit and optimism will go forth from her, and will return with more positives for, and from, others. And she was grateful…because someone noticed, and someone, even a stranger, was able to show they they noticed, and they cared.
Might I just say…a most wonderful day at the beach. In fact, possibly my best day ever.
May you have your best day ever, too.