Monday, September 26, 2011

MoA - Day 26

Today was a crazy day.

So it wasn't until twenty minutes ago that I knew what my awesome for the day would be. Until I saw another vlogbrothers video.

The long and short of it is, that at in increments as low as $25, you can help support a small business loan in a third world country.

The site is extremely simple to use, you get to pick the type of business you wish to support and, as soon as you are repaid your portion of the loan, you can turn right back around and loan it out again. So one gift can help many people trying to make a living.

I think this is awesome squared, but am only sad that the laws in the states prevent it from happening locally.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

MoA - Day 25

today's awesome is in the form of gratuity. No, not tipping this time.

As many of you may have read, I have been pretty ill as of late. In this time I've had some amazing friends send cards, letters and really sweet well-wishes.

So i took my own advice and made some postcards with the tutorial I posted a few days back.

And so I'm sending out a little bit of sunshine to thank them for the consideration that showed me.

Really, their kindness, even in a small gesture of sending a card when I was down really meant the world to me and so I wanted to return the favor. In the spirit of awesome!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

MoA - Day 24

So unlike I had hoped, I didn't come up with a good "free" awesome. I'm still feeling mostly crummy and my creative brain seems to be sleeping until I get better.

So, today's lesson in awesome...overtipping.

We went to a very busy pizza joint, and since I'm not a sports fan, I had not anticipated it being a "game day". So the place was pretty packed. I often try to tip 20%, because I've waited tables...and it's especially icky when there are tons of beer-filled sports fans around.

So I threw in an extra bit and wrote her a note telling her I hope she had a great night.

Sometimes, I think it's just nice to know someone else seems to care that you're having a rough night.

So tip your waiters, they'll be here all week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

MoA - Day 23

I have been feeling pretty ill lately. But I really needed to get out of the house and do something in the world. So Joe and I decided to go to the movies. And that gave me an idea.

Buy a gift certificate for a little more than two movie tickets (it was still kinda early so matinee prices were in effect) and ask the cashier to give it to the next two person customers that came in after I walked away.

I'm learning that part of the fun of this kind of thing is involving other people. The cashiers at the movie theater and the half priced books seemed to be just as excited about joining in. They get to be part of the awesome and so it multiplies the good feelings.

I will try the next few days to try more cheap or free I can prove it's not just about spending money.

Be awesome!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

MoA - Day 22

Today's awesome was simple. it started out with me seeing a HUGE fire truck at a stoplight. It had a flag flying on the side and had four firefighters in it. I had a sudden childlike urge to wave at them or give them the peace sign.

I wanted them to know that I had an appreciation for what they did.

So, when it was time for me to go through the intersection, I waved like a giddy child at a parade.

And four adult firefighters waved back.

I must admit, while the exchange was brief...I felt elated the rest of the morning, knowing that i had waved and in some small way shown them my appreciation and they waved back.

It doesn't take much to do something little to improve someone's day...and your own.

Get out there and do it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

MoA - Day 21

Awesomeness for today...

First of all, I am really getting into sending written cards or letters lately and I want to encourage that. So, for the artistic folk, I am going to give instructions on making your own mailable post card.

I recommend using a card stock type of paper or some type of craft paper that will have some weight to it and will withstand the rigors of the postal system.

Feel free to decorate one side with art, stickers ribbons or anything that won't hang loose, or add too much thickness to the postcard. This will help it run smoothly through most mail machines. In the past, I have sent quilted postcards, and i LOVED them! You can do a collage, or painting, or just about anything that is mostly flat.

Here is a template for the backside, just make sure to print it somewhere around the 3.5 x 5 inch range.

The mail requirements for postcards are as follows:
  • Rectangular
  • At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick
  • No more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick

I hope this inspires you to get creating your own postcards to send out to folks you think are AWESOME!

And for my second awesome thing...I hope this makes you smile!

Baby Beaver!

MoA - Lost Week

So, as some of my readers might have learned, I have been a bit under the weather for the last week. the hubby and I had a great trip to New Orleans planned and it didn't quite pan out.

We had left Columbus at 11pm Wednesday night and hit the trails, expecting to be in New Orleans somewhere around 4pm the next evening. We got as fat as Decatur AL before I started having really unpleasant stomach pains. So at the advice of my doctor's office, we pulled into the ER down there. After three and a half hours there, we were advised to head home and I was ordered to bedrest.

So, we turned around drove back to Nashville, where my sister in law and her husband live. We got a hotel room and I crashed out until we left the next morning. Another ten or so hours drive and we were back home. I spent the next three days in bed, exhausted and feeling sick.

Thankfully I am starting to feel better, but I will admit, I lost a full week of awesome. And I am still feeling mostly cruddy, so I could really use some encouragement. But...I need to make up for the lost week and try and cram twice as much in each day of awesome as I can.

I wouldn't mind taking suggestions!! And sorry I haven't posted much!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MoA - Day 13

Today I am not feeling very well. So, my little bit of reaching out to a few friends I hadn't in a while over the internet will have to be awesome enough. 

It's funny, once I started this tradition how easily I felt the need to start topping the day before. My whole purpose for this was not to go broke buying stuff every day, but to show you everyone can do a small thing that is both awesome and easy. 

I guess I need to remind myself that it doesn't take much. 

You know what...? I'm going to leave a letter for my postal carrier thanking them for their hard work!

Just get out there and be awesome!!!


Monday, September 12, 2011

MoA - Day 12

For some reason, the picture I took isn't saving, so I will post later.

(edit: got it!)

But I bought a $5 Chipotle gift card while I was checking out and handed it to the person at the end of the line on our way out. I normally don't give things to people directly, but it was hard to set it somewhere subtle in a busy restaurant.

I was so goofy though. I just stuck out the envelope and was like "Here" and scurried off like a frightened mouse while she said "Thanks!"

I'm still sort of goofy at this!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

MoA - Day 11

I don't have any pictures of my awesome today. But I assure you, it was awesome. 

My husband has lost around ninety pounds and while that is worth celebrating alone, he really needed some new clothes. So, I took him shopping to get some fancy duds. 

The look on his face alone when he was in clothes that fit him well and showed off his awesome new physique was so worth it!

Tomorrow, more non-immediate family awesome!

(maybe I will ask him to model for me!)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

MoA - Day 10

So today, I got up early and went with my hubby to his very first outdoor workout training class.

(Look at how chipper I am!)

I wasn't feeling well and was a bit crabby, but I wanted to support him and get back into working out. So, I decided to give it a shot and really try to get into it. Which, wasn't too hard because this type of workout, it a lot like playing!

(Newly certified personal trainer there doing weighted bear crawls)

(And me with my terrible form trying to do plank walks across the too close benches)

(Just going crazy crawling for speed!)

Not only did I enjoy myself, but it was crazy tough and harder on the body than it looks! We got to be outside together on a gorgeous day, playing around in nature and getting a kick-a workout while doing it. And I supported my hubby in the process.

It felt AWESOME!

Friday, September 9, 2011

MoA - Day 9

Today's something awesome comes in the form of me, admitting my limitations.

See, I can't say no. I have, habitually overbooked myself and I have perpetually felt like I'm always running behind, rushing to finish things and never have enough time to finish the things I want to work on. But, I can't seem to kick this volunteerism bug. Until today.

I finally realized that much of the important things in my life are always on the back burner and I can't seem to get things in perspective. So, today, I made the decision not to run for my grove's scribe position for a second term. It was really upsetting for me, because I love working for the grove. But I have to understand that my focus to my faith will be better served by letting go of some things and letting others handle some items.

So, with that done, with several of our weekly games coming to an end, I think I will be able to focus on becoming a better friends, wife and person.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

MoA - Day 8

So, I am learning that awesome can come in small doses. Today's awesome comes in two waves.

1) Calling my mom, just to say hi and let her know I was thinking about her. I saw some cupcake plates that she was looking for a few months ago and I bought them for her. She seemed pleased and said: "Thanks for thinking of me." While it wasn't too much, it felt good to hear my mom say those words. I hope I made a difference.

2) Finishing a project that I started several months ago. This was for myself, and sometimes, you need to be awesome to yourself. By tomorrow morning tonight, I will have a new sweater!!!
(Too tired to smile)

While it may not be as major as correspondence from yesterday, or getting a soldier some mail...the little things really can make a difference!

So, do something awesome for yourself!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

MoA - Day 7

Today's small dose of awesome comes in the form of showing support. I read on the internet about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro and the death threats they received leading up to the 9/11 anniversary weekend.

It hurt to read that such a tragedy for America spurs more hate and fear. And I didn't want to let it go. So, I wrote a very short message on their website to try and explain that their community is respected and well...I'll just post what I sent.

"I just heard about the threat you received by telephone. And my heart wanted to reach out. I am a practicing Pagan, not a Muslim, but I wanted to let the members of your community know that there are people in the world who support your right to religious freedom and celebrate the diversity of the world.

I am writing to let you know that not all non-muslims share the same fear and intolerance. I joyfully share this world with so many people of varied faiths, cultures, races and beliefs. And I wanted to share some of that joy with you and your community, despite the threats of some people living in fear.

I hope that your weekend is blessed and peaceful."

And they responded at almost nine p.m.
Dear Traci,

We would like to express to you our sincere gratitude for your thoughtful and encouraging words. It is truly heartwarming to hear such words of encouragement from our neighbors and friends both near and far.
We are very thankful for everyone who has supported us along the way.

We look forward to the day we will open the doors of our new center for all of our friends and neighbors like yourself so that we may thank you in person for your kindness.

Please, Traci, if you are ever in our area feel free to come by our center so that we may express our gratitude to you in person.


The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro

Hearing back from them made me feel really good.I wanted them to know that not all non-Muslims share the same fear and violence. And if there is ANYTHING that the anniversary of this awful day should be about, it is peace and understanding, not hate and fear.

<3 you folks, and DFTBA!

Positivity Vortex

I often find myself thinking about how I could help affect the world. Some of the most amazing people in history had equally amazing talent in a certain area or field.

Leonardo da Vinci was a genius, whose love for invention and his multitude of talents led to inventions that wouldn't be truly understood until centuries after his death. Albert Einstein was also a genius physicist, who's ideas about the current theories of physics led him to create a new way of how we understand the universe, the atom and nearly everything in between. People like Emmeline Pankhurst, Ghandi, Desmond Tutu and so many others have seen injustice and dedicated their lives to repairing said injustice.

I could go on, but these are just a handful of examples of people who have used talent, ingenuity, passion and intelligence to literally change the world.

When I think about the intelligence, the creativity and passion these people had and how many in the world and future generations benefited from them, I am simply in awe.

So on days like this, I wonder how I can possibly do the same. I am certainly not a genius by any stretch of the imagination. I am not horrendously talented in any one area, though I do pride myself in that I have a LOT of experience with learning and trying new things. But am I a physicist, a world renowned painter or sculptor or idea maker? Yeah, definitely not.

So, how does one make a difference, even on a small scale?

I often feel like I am held back, because I'm "not smart enough", "not talented enough" or "not politically informed enough". I have spent so much of my life, trying to learn keep up with politics or try to watch and read everything that Carl Sagan had a hand in. But it was never enough. I would never know as much about trying to help a cause or write an inspiring novel that would change the world. But I couldn't find one thing that I was good at, or exclusively passionate about.

But I realized that while I loved so many causes and so many subjects, it wasn't being poorly educated or uninformed that was holding me back. It was me. I was creating a place where I was not good enough, not smart enough,. I was creating an absence of faith in what I, as one person could do. I was making myself not good enough. I had created what I will call a positivity vortex. Where, because of my self-consciousness and fear of failure or fear that others would think poorly of me I told myself that I was not good enough. It drew away any positive or forward motion into a pit of inspiration-wrecking doubt.

So how does someone fix that?

Just needed to fracking DO something!

I don't have one particular passion or cause. I don't have one craft or art that I love better than another. But I decided to do this Month of Awesome challenge for myself. I didn't expect to change the world, but maybe make a small difference in someone's day. In just deciding to try something, I really opened my heart, not just to others, though I think most people want to try and help other people. But it opened my heart to my ability to do something that puts a little joy in the world.

And in doing so, I feel like I am alive with ideas, potential...not doubt. And I want to tell everyone who might feel like they don't have a certain something that might make a difference. To destroy that positivity vortex and let your own joy, faith and happiness get back to you!


I can't say this enough. Write a story just for fun, sing out loud, paint, blog about science, campaign for a cause. But DO IT!!

I know I am so thankful that I did! And please tell me how you are making the world an awesome place because it feels wonderful to have support and I would LOVE to support you!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

MoA - Day 6

Today, I followed the advice of one of my hero bloggers, C.L. Tice who led me to the Letter Writer's Alliance's (L. W. A.) blog where they ask for pen pals for Crane & Co.

I wrote the first letter and forgot how much I loved it! So I wrote two more!!

And I loved the L. W. A.'s mission so I became a member! It's funny how exciting doing something simple as writing a letter can bring me back to waiting anxiously in the summer for the mail carrier to come and deliver letters from friends.

I have refreshed my love for written correspondence! And here I am, having FUN trying to be awesome!!


Monday, September 5, 2011

MoA - Day 5

Today's awesome was mostly close to home. I decided to focus on a little awesome around the house. I did three loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen and did a lot of reading on a couple of health and art related subjects. 

I also helped out the hubby in the kitchen and spent some quality time with my hyper pooch. 

I also, want to admit when I fail to be awesome. After trying to be super awesome, I lost my patience with my hubby and we had an argument. It was stupid, it flared really hot for like ten minutes and then we were able to come back and talk about it (and ended up laughing at ourselves in the process)

So to make up for it, we went to see The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Before we left, I had another small awesome idea.
A couple of quarters on a claw machine.

Hopefully they will win something awesome too!!

Have a great night and DFTBA!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

MoA - Day 4

So we were at Half Priced Books on Lane Avenue. I decided when I checked out that i would buy a gift card for $5 and ask the cashier to just give it to the next person that checked out.I asked her not to tell them who bought it if I was still in the store when someone else came to check out.

She seemed nonplussed by the idea and slid the card back to her side of the counter.

The hubby hadn't finished yet, so I was anxiously awaiting someone to step up. I heard a small commotion and a couple were at her register and they were all smiles. It seems as Joe and I were leaving, they were going back to get one more book.

While I had often thought about staying and snooping on the strangers I left a tiny bit of awesomeness for, until today, I hadn't been in a position to. While it was mildly gratifying to see the fruits of random kindness...I think in the future, I will shuffle off. It seems sort of...selfish to stay and watch. But it did feel nice.

DFTBA folks!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

MoA - Day 3

So today...I decided to try something maybe a bit longterm.

So I found a website, called Adopt a US Soldier. While it might take a few days for me to get assigned a soldier, I am excited to reach out to someone deployed around the world. I hope that I will be able to send a little support to someone doing something that I just don't have within me to do.

I have always wanted a pen pal and in today's internet and immediate gratification world, I didn't know if anyone still did the pen pal thing. I'm looking forward to getting my soldier and sending them some care packages!!!

Also, I went to the Random Acts of Kindness site and found a list of ideas, many of which I found to be really interesting! If there are folks wanting to to this, I highly recommend checking it out and getting some ideas.

(I also did a couple of minor awesome things, like make sure I reached out to my parents, started on a project for something awesome next week and went shopping at the local farmer's market which helps support local responsible farming. So I feel good about it!)

And the hubby decided to give some new heirloom tomatoes to our neighbor, who is awesome herself and loves tomatoes. He's getting this random kindness thing!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

MoA - Day 2

With more pictures!!!

Today I decided to give a little love to crafters! I took a blank watercolor greeting card, made a simple pattern and wrote a note to today's stranger.

I also had a $5 JoAnn's gift card I bought for a similar project I never got around to starting last fall and added it in there as well.

And then, I decided to stash it in with the polymer clay, one of my favorite and under visited sections of the store. I snapped a quick picture then scurried off!

It is a little sad that I don't get to see who finds these...but that is also part of the fun. Plus, it makes it that much more magical, to know I just put a little love out into the world and don't know where it will end up!

If you are contemplating doing a day (or week, or whatever) of awesome...let me know!! I'd love to read about it!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

MoA - Day 1

So, day one was brief. I was at the public library downtown and so I thought I could leave a few random notes stashed away in a few books. 

So, I scribbled a few notes of encouragement into tiny blank cards and stuffed them into three books around the library, two of which were self-help books. I told the library strangers that a stranger loved them and wished good things for them. That they were wonderful and the only person that needed to give them validation was themselves.

I think that knowing that someone where in the world, a complete stranger wanted to reach out to you was a good start to my month of awesome, even if it is subtle and I won't get to see the people face to face. 

I hope they know I wasn't joking. 

And I love all you wacky folk out there too...and I mean it too. Life is fantastic and even the worst parts of it can be made bearable when you have love around you!!

Have an amazing month of awesome!!!

<3 - Me

Month of Awesome!

I have a couple of friends. Okay, so I've never met them, but their weekly vlogs make me happy both in my nerd parts but also in my making-the-world-a-better-place parts.

Also, this nice lady some people may be familiar with. She tweets, works for charity and even has a donation to UNICEF instead of asking for gifts when she announced she was expecting.

These are big shoes to fill, but i am going to give it a try.

So as this is the first day of September, I declare it my Month of Awesome! I will do one awesome thing each day and write a brief blog entry about it. It can be anything from something nice for my friends/family, or somet art, or something that helps make me a better person.

I'm going to go get started on my first awesome day!!!