Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Kindness Hurts

For the past couple of weeks I've had three young adults in the house, two of my own and one visitor from Belgium. Mine include a son and a daughter, the third feels like she is my daughter. They range in age from 18 to 21. (Don't forget I have a four year old as well). Last week there were two break-ups in 24 hours. My two were the dumpees. A coincidence that left me exhausted because of course these estrangements occurred at 3:00 am., and I don't think my snoring would have been interpreted as very comforting while I tried to be as consoling as one can be at that hour of the morning.

Many cups of coffee later, as I pondered the pain and heartache of young love, it struck me that despite two very different manners of dumping, the outcome was the same - sorrow. The first dump arrived by email and was followed up by a bankrupting long-distance phone call. The second was personal, gentle, respectful and even kind.

Then 24 hours later, both dumpees were reunited with their respective boyfriend/girlfriend. Before I had even caught up on any sleep, the tears and the sobs had been replaced by the incessant and familiar clicking of texting keys.

It made me pause though and think about how sometimes even kindness hurts.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Soccer kindness

Some of you might consider this post an insignificant blip on the kindness radar, but it's the World Cup and I'm a huge fan. It has taken me a few days to figure out how to share our spectating experience of last weekend and weave in a kindness theme. Finally today it came to me: it was very, very kind of the School Bakery and Café to open at 7:00 am last Saturday so 300 (or so) Holland supporters could gather together to cheer on their team. (This is the place to watch the match if you are a Dutch fan - I learned this from another blog, which apparently every other Dutchman in Toronto reads as well)

Unfortunately, despite getting up at 5:30, leaving Burlington by 6:00 am, and arriving at the Café by 7:00, we were at the very back of this line. Apparently there are fans far more committed than us. We stood in line, enjoying the comaraderie, listening to the dutch, and admiring the shamelessness required to wear some of the costumes. We were not even close to getting inside and we seriously considered standing outside, but my need for caffeine and food was stronger than my need to commune with 200 dutchmen, dressed in orange and wearing wooden shoes. So we ran, literally, down the street to the Liberty Street Bistro. Where one very kind waitress, with the help of the manager, managed to serve everyone, including those on the patio, in the doorways, and on the street, with a smile. (We had first row seats inside!) I'm pretty sure this was the first time ever they'd opened at 7:00 am.

Holland won 1:0.

The next match is 3:30 pm on Thursday. I may still have to get up at 5:30 am to get a table at the School Bakery and Café, but I'm determined to experience at least one game there - who knows maybe it will be the final!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kind food!

Remember how I mentioned having a blog post I just couldn't find the time to write. Well, this is it. Despite being a crazy busy day (that included the best chocolate croissants this side of Paris, at Patisserie D'Or), I put my camera in the car and headed for downtown Burlington, in between lunch and a major Costco excursion.

A few weeks ago we were downtown looking for breakfast treats and we happened to park the car across from a new cafe. My husband noticed it as I shrieked in delight. It is called, 'kindfood'. Now how cool is that! So today I stopped by to take some pictures, introduce myself to the owner and drop off some dakbands, because anybody with that kind of consciousness deserves to be recognized. I just missed Kelly (the owner), but I met their awesome staff and took these pictures: (that's my reflection on the door)

Look at their terrace. If this doesn't make you want to rush on over to taste their yummy offerings, nothing will. I felt happy just standing outside looking at the place!

Here are some helpful links:


Stop by and support the kindness!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mish Mash

It has been so long since I've posted that now I have a little collection of post ideas to offer. A potpourri if you will. However, I will confess that this scrapping together of completely random stories is a guise, designed to alleviate my guilt, and buy me more time to cover the real story I had planned (but just haven't had time to follow up with).

Story #1

Last week John Wooden died, at 99. For those of you who do not follow sports, John Wooden is considered one of the best coaches who ever lived. Not because he holds an unbeatable record of 10 NCAA championships, but because he was an exceptional human being. Please follow these links to learn more:

Nine Insightful Reminders After the Passing of John Wooden

John Wooden: Untouchable record, incomparable man

Story #2

Also last week Savannah left a comment on my Birthday Kindness post (the one that has been up for two weeks). She invited me to leave a kindness story on her organization's Acts of Sweetness facebook page for an opportunity to win some great prizes. So now I'm inviting you........

Story #3

I ran my first half marathon last october. It almost killed me - literally. I felt fine until the last three kilometers, when I suddenly felt like I couldn't catch my breath, my heart rate was all over place and I desperately wanted to quit. (As it turns out, a few short months later I was diagnosed with apical ventricular hypertrophic cardio myopathy. The not-being-able-to-catch-my-breath, and erratic heart rate were symptoms). So, unfortunately that was my running career, short. Now I experience my runners high vicariously. Today I learned about a 61 year old nun who is running an ultra marathon (50 miles)in all 50 states, beginning April 19, ending June 19. The project is called, Running Hope Through America. The cause is Aids Orphans Rising. Oh yeah, she runs in her full habit!