Monthly Archives: March 2024

You Make the World a Better Place

Recently, as I went into one of our local thrift shops in Evergreen, a woman and her young daughter were also entering. There are two shops in the same parking lot and this was the smaller of the two, so unless one party is only looking into one section, you are likely to cross paths as you peruse the departments. As I was exiting the housewares section, the girl was showing her mom something in hopes of purchasing it. I did not hear the conversation of what the child’s sales pitch was to her mother nor did I hear the mom’s initial response, but as I passed them in closer proximity and earshot, I did hear the mother say no to the purchase and then she added: “You make the world a better place”. She was obviously saying this in praise of what the girl thought they could do with the item if they did make the purchase. As I passed and let her words catch up to me, I smiled and thought to myself what a wonderful end of a discussion to be privy to. It took me a few more steps to have someone else’s words ring through my brain that good things should be pointed out and acknowledged. Upon this realization, I turned and caught the duo as they were nearing. I then relayed how wonderful it was to hear those words that Mom had said to the daughter. I commented that if people could feel and say that sentiment more often, then this whole world would indeed be a better place. The mom smiled and agreed and once more I turned and left them. It took me just three more steps to realize that the Mom deserved to hear those same words and so once again I made an about-face and went back to the duo and said that I wanted to say to her, that she too was making the world a better place. She took the compliment with a smile and a look of acceptance that she then understood how good that can feel.

I finished with the store we were in and made my way to the second, larger store at the other end of the small parking lot. I was lost in thoughts of items and prices and had not noticed that the mother/daughter had also come into this establishment for more shopping. My lack of awareness to familiar faces was interrupted as the mom, nudged me as she traversed the area and said – as I was passing – that I too, made a difference in this world. I chuckled to myself as this had now become a ‘pass it along as you go’ activity.

Since that day, I have strived to remember to say those words in cases where kindness was shown, an award-winning smile was given, or services rendered that were above standard expectation, or really, instead of a thank-you. It has been a beautiful thing to witness how these words are accepted and responded to. So far, without fail, I have noticed a pause in the person’s reaction. Whereas a standard “Thank-You” is polite and expected, I have observed what I perceive as something similar to a ping on the phone or a pin on the map. Something happens that drops a marker onto their psyche – if only for a minute – and allows them to see the ripples they leave by their goodness. A few times, someone else in the circle of conversation has seconded the comment and agreed verbally and with a smile stating that they too knew this to be true of the person the comment was directed to. It’s fun to see positivity swirl up into a treat for all who are near.

Try it for yourself. One – looking for goodness is a really wonderful thing in and of itself, but two – watching how you change the gratitude from a single moment’s act to one that has farther reaching effects is pretty fun and amazing.

Love you and I do know that, “You make the world a better place”


Leap Day

I looked it up this morning. I have lived through 16 leap days in my life thus far. It has become a tradition in the last few February 29th’s for me to go skiing. In my mind, I could swear that Ted and I skied at MaryJane on 02/29/2016, but beyond a faint memory (or maybe even a conjured memory), I have no proof. On 02/29/2000, I skied a beautiful day with the Hamill’s – others might have been there too, but since memory isn’t always my strong suit, I can at least verify through pictures that I was indeed with Lucia and EJ.

This year, 02/29/2024, I skied with my friend Judy. Side story: We call her Mary sometimes when we ski and she is being absurd. She got that name some 20 or so years ago when she was skiing on a pair of rentals that had a sticker on them with the name Mary on it. She did some wacky things that day, so we said that she must be incorporating the previous skier’s presence – Mary – into her skiing. Since then, when she does something like ski down to where I am stopped and she also stops, but for some unexplainable reason, becomes unbalanced and falls over while not even moving – more common that you would think for it to happen to any skier – we just say it is Mary. While EJ and Lucia were not in attendance for this leap day, one of their offspring and her hubby was. We didn’t get coordinated so as to ski with them – it is hard as cell phone reception is spotty on the mountain, but we did meet up for a beer and to catch up on their lives. It was another beautiful leap day with peeps I love.

I cannot say that I had put words to what 2/29 had become to me, I just knew that it was becoming a day that I wanted to commemorate with people and activity that I love. I came home and was happily exhausted. It wasn’t until the early morning hours this morning that I heard an explanation on Instagram that made complete sense to me. I love those Aha moments where you read or hear something that feels so true and right, that you feel that you must have felt that all along and was overjoyed to have someone rearrange what had been jumbled in your own mind into something that is now so very clear.

The instagram story was from Lara and in it she said:

“Today is the 29th of Feb.
This day comes once in four years and it makes me feel like it’s gathered time, because it is!
For some reason we’ve structured time in this way, where we need to collect the overflow every four years.
It’s silly, but it’s special.
It makes me think of the little moments I might’ve missed in the past four years.
The special ones that deserved more of me; more of my attention.
Those little moments that escaped.
This year my dad isn’t around for this though.
He doesn’t get to make his collection.
Who knew four years ago would be the last time he got that ‘bonus’ day.
The best kind of bonus.
A bonus paid in time.
I’d give anything for a bonus day… hour… or even minute with dad again.
But death is the one thing that won’t pass.
And instead I’m thinking of how to use this day in a way I will remember, or at least be satisfied with.
I guess that’s what it means to lose someone you love so much.
Extra time is a burden as much as a blessing.
We’ll never be able to share any more of it… of time.
This might be a leap day, but I’ll be strolling slowly through it.” Larika Mallier

Here is the link to the post if you would like to hear it in her own voice with the beautiful array of snapshots accompanying it.

I love the thought of 2/29 being an overflow day. A life lived so full that every four years, you get an extra day for special moment to bubble over into. Her words had me also reflecting on if my attention had faltered to grasp or notice the magic, miracles and synchronicities sometimes and therefore I needed the extra day to catch up on those missed moments. It was like waking up to a banquet of morning thoughts and emotions that I got to feast on. Oh, how I love when something or someone gives you something to chew on that satisfies all the emotional tastes. Thank you Lara for that.

I pay for my hosting, site name and all other fees for this blog every three years (the least expensive option), and once again I have been pondering if this is something I should continue with. The conversations in my head weigh in all kinds of talk from both sides of my brain, but it is days like La’s post that makes me want to continue. If, like her, I can make people laugh, think or even cry every now and again, then besides being a spot for me to lock in stories that I may likely forget as I age, then it is worth it. Hey, I think I just recognized one of the little moments of clear vision that will bubble into the next leap day. And so the 02/29 cup begins to fill for 2028.