#AtoZChallenge2019 Reflection

 

reflection

When I reflect on my experiences during the 2016 and the 2019 A to Z Challenge I’m struck by the difference the second time around.  In 2016 I was a newbie to blogging and very unnerved by the intensity of the build-up to A to Z Challenge 2016.  There was so much to learn and others seemed to know so much more about the whole experience.  I scheduled ahead some of my posts but, for the most part, prescheduling was random.  I was very ambitious in what I wanted to do.  I wanted my theme Lessons Learned’ to reflect my life journey and what I’d learned looking back. When the Challenge ended I put it in book form through Blogger to share with my family.

In the 2019 A to Z Challenge, my approach was much less intense and stressful.  I planned ahead and I prescheduled my posts.  This time I chose a theme less ambitious yet very interesting for myself and others.  There wasn’t as much anxiety and worry about making a mistake. My theme was April World Holidays and I learned a lot:

day 27 lettering

Sketch by Mary Lou

I realized that this is LIFE also.  Having a vision. Preparing ahead.  Not worrying about mistakes.  Do what you can. Be open to learning and, most of all, have fun!

Here are a few of my A to Z Blogger Friends that I met along the Challenge 2019 road:

1)Arhtistic License 

2) Best Bookish Blog

    3) Charles Health ~ Author

4) Hopes and Dreams

5) Hot Dogs and Marmalade

6) Katy Trail Creations

7) Martha Reynold Writes

8) Sue’s Trifles

9) The Sound of One Hand Typing

10) Trisha Faye

11) Word Wacker

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Here are my STATS for April 2019. Much less than the 2016 Stats. And that’s okay! I tried to focus on those blogs that fit best into my own website theme which is supporting a positive healthy aging in midlife and beyond. 🙂

Stats for april 2019

Me in the Middle ~ Kindness Role Model

 

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

(Albert Schweitzer, 1875 – 1965)

Row_of_candles

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So many down through the years have been kindness role models for me.  It’s hard to single out just one person.  It’s difficult to be the one and only kindness role model for others because, inevitably, we won’t always measure up to that role because we are human.  Sometimes we need to be unkind in order to be kind and sometimes others need to be unkind to us in order to be kind.  (Do I really mean that? 😉 )  

My earliest and forever kindness role model would be my mother.  I am blessed to have had her example.  My father was also a man of kindness and gentleness.  I don’t recall either of them treating anyone in a overtly nasty or unkind way.  They had strong principles and beliefs, and definitely drew the line on others who might think and believe differently yet I never heard them express their disapproval in hurtful and ugly ways.  It was mostly done in thoughtful ways.

One memory of kindness that stands out was when I messed up at my piano recital and couldn’t remember the rest of the song.  I must have been about nine or ten.  When we returned home my father sat down with me and encouraged me to play the song all the way through so I’d know that I could do it.  I felt supported by his kindness.

Down through the years there were many who displayed kindness along the way. There was one time when I was walking home from Brownies when it was beginning to get dark outside.  A dog ran up to me and blocked my way, growling and barking.  I was paralyzed by fear.  A teenage boy rode up to me on his bicycle and chased the dog away.  I didn’t know who he was, and just rushed on home, relieved he was there to help.  A kind act I still remember!

My family ~ my siblings ~ my children ~ my grandchildren …….. so many acts of kindness I couldn’t even begin to list them.  Many, many friends and acquaintances down through the years who offered a kind and supportive hand during good times and bad, offering words of inspiration just at the right time to give me hope.

I’m going to risk treading into an area that’s a hot-button issue right now only because I strive to look for the goodness and kindness during times when these issues rise up.

For the last ten years I’ve had neighbors across the way who have offered me kindness and support.  They are a Muslim family who have reached out to me and I was privileged to get to know.  I was invited to their home when each child was welcomed into the world.  We would share customary foods with each other during our traditional holidays.  When I had surgery the children would bring over offerings of food to cheer me up.  I was truly blessed with knowing them and learning from them.  Recently they’ve returned to Indonesia to live near relatives.  They have dual-citizenship.  They never said an unkind word about what was happening politically here in our country yet the father shared with me their fear of what was developing.  I think of them often now and hope they are happy in their new home.

 

 

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“We could actually soothe our fearful, angry culture if each of us were more mindful of being kind.  Kindness is not easy.  It takes thought and a commitment to watching how we treat each other.”

Always Model Kindness, Especially to Children

 

Kindness ~ Pass It On

 

Me in the Middle of Lessons Learned ~ By the Alphabet

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My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme ~ Lessons Learned.  I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.  

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

***  This Alphabet Series is a recycle of the posts I created while participating in the A to Z Challenge in 2016 ***

Me in the Middle of Kindness Challenge Finale

 

Kindness is a Muscle

Over the past seven weeks of the Kindness Challenge 2017, my thoughts have turned to the power of kindness as the foundation for bringing change to our lives, our country and our world.  I’ve found that it’s true that Kindness is Contagious and that kindness grows stronger the more we focus on the goodness of people.  Kindness is a Muscle!

My Grand Finale Reflection on Kindness Challenge 2017 brought to mind each of the weekly prompts for the seven weeks.  The first three weeks were as important as the last four prompts.  Maybe even more important in that it helped us to realize that kindness towards ourselves through self-love, self-compassion and self-acceptance help us to reach out to others with love, compassion and acceptance.

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365195-Buddha-Quote-As-rain-falls-equally-on-the-just-and-the-unjust-do

These are a few of the Kindness bloggers I met over the last seven weeks.  I chose the posts randomly based on the first one I came across that inspired me about each week’s prompt.  I decided to stick with Word Press Bloggers to narrow it down more.  Reading all of the participants reflections on kindness has inspired me even more to look for the many ways kindness moves through our lives:

Dramastically Imperfect ~ Self-Love Week One

Julia ~ Self-Compassion Week Two

This Mommy is Real ~ Self-Acceptance Week Three

Positively Appealing ~ Kindness Role Models Week Four

Lulu ~ Choosing Kindness Week Five

Me Revealed ~ Kindness Without Expectation Week Six

Wanda ~ Grateful for Kindness Week Seven

Kindness Challenge Participant

Click here for all of my Kindness Challenge Reflections

 

Me in the Middle of Week 4 Reflection ~ Kindness Role Model

 

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

(Albert Schweitzer, 1875 – 1965)

Row_of_candles

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 Week Four ~ Kindness Role Model

The fourth prompt for the Kindness Challenge 2017 is Kindness Role Model.

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So many down through the years have been kindness role models for me.  It’s hard to single out just one person.  It’s difficult to be the one and only kindness role model for others because, inevitably, we won’t always measure up to that role because we are human.  Sometimes we need to be unkind in order to be kind and sometimes others need to be unkind to us in order to be kind.  (Do I really mean that? 😉 )  

My earliest and forever kindness role model would be my mother.  I am blessed to have had her example.  My father was also a man of kindness and gentleness.  I don’t recall either of them treating anyone in a overtly nasty or unkind way.  They had strong principles and beliefs, and definitely drew the line on others who might think and believe differently yet I never heard them express their disapproval in hurtful and ugly ways.  It was mostly done in thoughtful ways.

One memory of kindness that stands out was when I messed up at my piano recital and couldn’t remember the rest of the song.  I must have been about nine or ten.  When we returned home my father sat down with me and encouraged me to play the song all the way through so I’d know that I could do it.  I felt supported by his kindness.

Down through the years there were many who displayed kindness along the way. There was one time when I was walking home from Brownies when it was beginning to get dark outside.  A dog ran up to me and blocked my way, growling and barking.  I was paralyzed by fear.  A teenage boy rode up to me on his bicycle and chased the dog away.  I didn’t know who he was, and just rushed on home, relieved he was there to help.  A kind act I still remember!

My family ~ my siblings ~ my children ~ my grandchildren …….. so many acts of kindness I couldn’t even begin to list them.  Many, many friends and acquaintances down through the years who offered a kind and supportive hand during good times and bad, offering words of inspiration just at the right time to give me hope.

I’m going to risk treading into an area that’s a hot-button issue right now only because I strive to look for the goodness and kindness during times when these issues rise up.

For the last ten years I’ve had neighbors across the way who have offered me kindness and support.  They are a Muslim family who have reached out to me and I was privileged to get to know.  I was invited to their home when each child was welcomed into the world.  We would share customary foods with each other during our traditional holidays.  When I had surgery the children would bring over offerings of food to cheer me up.  I was truly blessed with knowing them and learning from them.  Recently they’ve returned to Indonesia to live near relatives.  They have dual-citizenship.  They never said an unkind word about what was happening politically here in our country yet the father shared with me their fear of what was developing.  I think of them often now and hope they are happy in their new home.

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Over the recent months things have developed in unsettling ways.  None of us know where it’s all leading to.  Many of us were deeply touched by three kind and courageous souls who intervened on the behalf of two young girls who were being harassed and bullied.  The account was heart-breaking.  The two who died because of this encounter were bright lights at a time when we most need the light.  One man survived the attack and will be a witness to the power of kindness in his living.  I’m including a link to a well-written account of what happened.  It’s difficult to read:

Portland MAX hero’s last words: ‘Tell everyone on this train I love them’

“I just kept telling him, ‘You’re not alone. We’re here,” Macy said. “What you did was total kindness. You’re such a beautiful man. I’m sorry the world is so cruel.”

“When I said ‘pray with me,’ he just closed his eyes and tried to keep breathing,” she recalled.

Medics put Namkai-Meche on a stretcher. Macy stayed by his side. Before he was carried away, he had a last message, she said: “Tell everyone on this train I love them. ”

“Angels walks among us …..

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“We could actually soothe our fearful, angry culture if each of us were more mindful of being kind.  Kindness is not easy.  It takes thought and a commitment to watching how we treat each other.”

Always Model Kindness, Especially to Children