When I was 16 I thought I knew it all. I convinced myself I was mature beyond my years. I thought I had my entire life figured out, where I would live, what I would do, the whole 9 yards. It should be called naive 16.
Last night we were discussing our teenager selves. Our biggest stress in life was what we were going to wear to a party, an exam, or maybe whether or not our crush liked us too. We wanted nothing but to be cool and accepted. All that mattered were our social lives. We slept in every weekend, didn’t study enough, and were appalled when asked to help around the house.
I wasn’t the teenager from hell, but I was sassy, moody, and my parents telling me I needed an “attitude adjustment” sounded like a broken record. I was very confident and ambitious. I was figuring out who I was, what I wanted to do with my life, and how to get there. Don’t get me wrong, I was a happy teenager, just by no means perfect.
At the time 16 was sweet, I was blissfully unaware of what lied ahead, had no real stress, and no idea where life would take me. I’m so grateful that the path I chose led me to where I am today.
It’s better to give than to receive. Although we should give all year round, here are a few ways you can give back to your local community during the holiday season.
Credit: Kay E Thomas
1. Help grant William Thomas’s Christmas Wish by sending him a letter or card. William is autistic and communicates mostly through writing and sign language. Due to William’s condition he is often left out and not invited to birthday parties or have guests come to his own. When his mother asked what he wanted for Christmas he said mail! If you visit the link below you can see how happy he is to be reading cards, letters, and post cards from all over the world.
To read about William’s story visit : http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/williams-got-mail or send him a letter to the following address:
816 Peace Portal Dr.
2. Donate old clothes
3. Volunteer for a local non-profit in your community
4. Partake in a food/toy drive
5. Do a random act of kindness (pay for the person behind you in the drive thru)
6. Shovel/snow blow your neighbour’s driveway
“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
Be kind to people, it’s those who aren’t used to kindness that need it the most. We all need to show more kindness to one another. Hold the door when someone is behind you, let someone in when they’re struggling to get onto the road, let a pedestrian cross, bake cookies for your neighbour, kindness is the best legacy to leave behind.
People can change if they want to. No one can do it for them, and you cannot force someone to become something they are not. However, if they have the drive and dedication to change, they are able to. These changes can span from changing bad habits, altering perspectives, or becoming a better person in general. You may want to change a person, but we only have control over our own thoughts and actions.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
I’m full of ideas, goals, aspirations, and generally I’m a person that has a to do list on the go. This particular to do list is always growing and never ending. I don’t write it down, it’s kept in memory where there is plenty of room to add on a thing or two.
I’m constantly running on high gear, and sometimes need to remind myself to slow it down. I want to accomplish too many things at once and can find myself overwhelmed. We all do this. We pile too much on our plate, in a literal sense. Think of it as a thanksgiving dinner, there’s so much you want to eat and enjoy, but you cannot possibly finish it all in one sitting. You pile too much food on your plate anyhow and stare defeat in the eyes as the remaining food on your dish taunts you. Voila, the joy of leftovers. If we take one thing at a time, little by little, we will accomplish everything that needs to done. When we’re kicked into high speed, we don’t take time to enjoy the little things in life.
Don’t lie awake at night and run through all the things that must be done when you awake. It will keep you up, I know from experience. Rather, slow down, live in the now.
Stay present, stay positive.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the endless love and support I’ve received from my Mom. She is the most selfless, caring, and compassionate person I know. She always puts others before herself, and is always there when I need her. Thank you for always supporting me no matter what the endeavour.
Thank you for letting me eat the cookie batter as a child, for teaching me hop scotch, and not laughing during my serious performances I put on for the household. Thank you for letting me sleep in or beside your bed when I had nightmares, and letting me stay up late to watch The Brady Bunch with you. Thank you for being a shoulder to cry on, for dealing with my sass through my teenaged years, and for always expressing how proud you are of me. Thank you for showing me it’s the little things that count, and that love conquers all. Thank you for being my best friend, I don’t know what I would do without you.
Happy Mother’s Day! I am so honoured to be your daughter.