Goodness, Actually

‘There is no such thing as a self-less good deed,’ said Joey on Friends. All good deeds are selfish because they make us feel good he believes- but so what? We need more of people feeling good. If you do a good deed and you make someone happy, it does in fact, make you happy in return – you can then spread this joy when you tell others about it. Which is what this blog post is all about.

Since starting my blog, I have done ‘A good, the bad, the ugly’ themed post at Christmas time to highlight how Christmas kind of exaggerates feelings. (links below) There are so many acts of kindness that seem even more generous during the festive period, yet people doing stupid things and selfish things becomes even worse at Christmas too.

This year – I want to forget negative stories. Not in a ‘head in the sand’ kind of way. There is no avoiding it really, especially with all the awful stories in the news. But for this post, it is going to be simple full of goodness. I’ve had a year of extreme high and lows and now, as the year draws to a close, I want to focus on the positive. And there is a lot of it in the world, even if we forget sometimes.

I was inspired when I watched Love Actually recently. Yes, its a bit cheesy (and no it wasn’t the first time I’d seen it 😉 ) but it does highlight all kinds of  ‘love’ in the world – in a variety of contexts. It ignores hate and all the bad in the world. And we need more of this… people need to focus on love and happiness. And goodness. There is always Goodness, actually 😉

As far as good deeds go, I think I have done my fair share so far this season. I was driving home from work one day and saw an elderly woman go flying – as in fallen over, not zooming in the sky!  She had another elderly woman with her, who couldn’t seem to help her up. I pulled over and attempted to help her up. When I couldn’t physically manage it, I ran for help and a man and myself helped her to her feet. She was very grateful, but insisted she was OK to walk home, after I’d offered to drive her home.

I also try to what I can for the elderly people I know. I’ve visited quite a few neighbours and friends at care homes or their houses – sometimes just a quick chat and some company is the best Christmas present they can have. I didn’t buy my friend Donald anything this year – I tend to find my gifts still wrapped in his room afterwards! So this year, I have just promised to take him out to Morrisons for lunch in the new year. He loves the place and will love that much more than a fancy box of biscuits.

Additionally, instead of giving out Christmas cards to colleagues this year, I have donated a bag of food to Hope charity food bank, which a colleague kindly organises, and also a donation of money to the charity Crisis to help the homeless this Christmas. Here are the links if you fancy doing the same:

http://www.hopecentrederby.co.uk/

http://community.crisis.org.uk/press?utm_source=insert&utm_medium=print&utm_campaign=menu

But lots of people do lovely things all the time, often unrecognised. I’m just going to blurt them all out into one big bubble of happiness – enjoy!

My friend lost her purse in town whilst shopping. Busy, festive time – she never expected to get it back. Luckily, she had no money in it and promptly cancelled her cards. She posted on Facebook and people shared it. A couple of days later, the purse had been posted through her letter box 🙂 Either the wonder or Facebook had helped this or good old-fashioned reading of the drivers licence  – but still, either way, highlighting that their are some decent people out there.

A similar story  – my Mother-in-law-to-be’s friend lost her handbag and it got handed in – fab ending once again Plus, my Mother-in-law-to-be went to a cash point recently and forgot to take her money. A lady behind her shouted after her to collect the money!

An ex-colleague of mine told me this next story via Facebook. She said that she noticed one day that her gate hinge had gone rusty and broke. The next day, she went out to the shops in order to buy a new hinge and noticed that her gate now boasted a brand-new, shiny hinge. It turns out her neighbour had done it for her – without being asked, or without want of any recognition.

Another story I read on Facebook was a lovely one (you see Facebook can be used for positivity spreading!) and made me feel very warm inside – and no, that wasn’t the wine 😉 A youth club went round to local elderly people giving them Christmas hampers. This is pure goodness in itself – but it gets better. They became very upset and disturbed by the condition one old man was living in: poor décor, messy, cold and a lack of carpets. They are now planning to do lots of activities to fund-raise money to carpet the man’s house 🙂 Wonderful.

A friend at work told me about a 26-year-old man (I think she said he was on TV about it) who chose to do a good deed every day for a year. He has managed all of the year so far and still keeping to it every single day. He does things like helping strangers when they are struggling with something, paying for someone’s lunch, doing chores for the elderly and unable. What an inspiration!  – Here’s the link if you want to read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2874858/Luke-Cameron-does-good-deed-day-12-months-people-hate-it.html

Another young lad, who is a true inspiration, is Matthew Humphreys. he completed to Rickshaw challenge this year for Children in Need. I worked with him a few years ago, which is a complete honour. It was my mate, plus then, another fantastic ex-colleague who had the daily delights of working with him one-to-one – and what an amazing job they have done to help to shape the person he has become (along with all other friends and family of course!)  With a physical disability, he found it harder than anyone else – and god knows it is a challenge anyway! I went to see him at my old school for  an awards’ ceremony last week. he also had speech difficulties, but had prepared a speech and was an absolute star of the show. It really does make you humble. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2PkXCX63SZ1YMJ37j3xX9jS/matthew – for more info.

Please continue these stories in the comments below. There are many more to be told – in fact there are probably many more that I know, but have forgotten (especially if told to me after having wine! haha) Spread the joy. After watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time this Christmas, it made me realise what a profound effect each and every individual can have on another’s life. We all have a role to play and there is reason we are here.

Do what you can to help others – it will make them happy and yourself in return 🙂 To end on a quote:

‘Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.’ – but remember goodness is for life, not just for Christmas 🙂

Merry Christmas everyone – have one full of goodness!

XSXS

https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/christmas-the-generous-the-silly-and-the-damn-right-disgusting/

https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/christmas-the-good-the-bad-the-funny-and-the-damn-right-inhumane/

Walking before I can run…

On Sunday, I completed a 17 and a half mile walk (18 and a half if you include the walk from the car park to the start!) and I survived! In fact my feet had no blisters at the end and my legs didn’t ache (as much as I thought)….so as well as bowing down to my walking boots, I also began to think that I had dreamt the whole thing! But no. I, along with six other poor sods, battled through the windy, wet and cold country side and left our mark in aid of Border Collie Trust. And I have pictures as evidence 😉

peak 4

We did the High Peak Trail….

Yeh, we did the High Peak Trail and boy did it start ‘high’ – or at least we had to get ‘high’ (I’m talking in terms of height, not drugs here lol) The first 2 and 1/2 miles were uphill and VERY steep! They were they worst 2 and 1/2 miles and I’m so glad they were at the beginning! Phew…. we had cupcake treats at the top as a reward. Burn some calories and then use them up is my motto 😀

The best reward for an uphill slog!

The best reward for an uphill slog!

 

After that, we had the comforting thought of ‘only’ 15 miles to go!!! Haha. I joked that at least it wasn’t 30- always looking on the bright side me …. and I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel…..

......Literally!

……Literally!

It was so wet for most of the walk and our motto ‘it will brighten up soon!’ soon gave way to our new motto of constantly calling out ‘cyclist!’ every few minutes as crazy cyclists rallied past in the muddy, saturated conditions. As for splashing us, we didn’t mind about that because we honestly couldn’t get any wetter, dirtier or  colder – but we did feel that getting run over by the two-wheeled beasts would somehow make the walk a negative experience 😉 so we moved aside!

CYCLIST!!!!

CYCLIST!!!!

Luckily, the weather bearing all elements, our drenched clothes also managed to dry themselves in the raging winds. We also enjoyed a whole minute of sunshine too at one point 😉 It was great, though, to know you were doing something for a good cause and out in the fresh air getting exercise. We got to  see some fantastic scenery (masked by mist a little I’ll admit)….

 

peaks

The perfect peaks

So all in all, it was a fun experience and I guess I would do it again (don’t ask me for a good while though!) The last mile was the hardest (after those first 2 and a half) and it felt like there was an eternity of walking to the end of the world! I saw our helpers and got all excited and then realised they were walking the last mile with us!! But we finally made it….. wine, a nice warm car and toilets all awaiting us 🙂

Wahoooo

Wahoooo

 

If you would still like to donate to the Border Collie Trust (now you know I have actually completed it!) then go the Just Giving Page: http://www.justgiving.com/highpeakwalk – every penny helps to rehome dogs every year, so it would be very much appreciated! 🙂

To see a previous post about my volunteering for the Border Collie Trust, go to: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/barking-mad/

If you have the chance to do a sponsored walk, go for it! As I say, I’d do it again, but not a run. No, I’ll stick with walking 🙂

XSXS