Written by Alexandra Ryan
If you gave up something like pizza, fried food, or sweets for Lent you may have already fallen off the wagon. If you’re still on track, congratulations. If you’re not, my guess is that it happened sometime during week two or week three. A co-worker brought cupcakes to work or maybe you were over served and indulged in some late night pizza. Maybe one day you just felt like you deserved a chicken finger and thought that the Big Guy upstairs would understand. Don’t feel bad about yourself. Had I given up a food item, I wouldn’t have lasted more than two days. This year, I decided that going on a Lenten diet made absolutely no sense, nor would it help make the world a better place for you or for me. Instead, I decided to do 40 good deeds during the 40 days of Lent (LGD’s). Trust me. This hasn’t been a walk in the park either.
In my first week, I vowed to be a kinder driver (this counted as 2 LGD’s). I’ll admit that I have had a few minor setbacks and I’ll explain why. My theory is that people blackout during an episode of road rage and they do and say things that they would never do in real life. It’s like the devil takes over your body and things just fly out of your mouth. Last week, I called some guy a <insert horrific expletive> just because he wouldn’t let me cross lanes to avoid an illegally parked car. I realized what I said about thirty seconds after I said it. I was horrified. There have also been a few times when I’m about to go to sleep and I realize that I haven’t even done an LGD. . When that happens, I usually double up the following day. I have to keep telling myself that an LGD doesn’t have to always be a grand gesture or a big production. It really can be as simple as smiling when you feel like screaming, saying hello to another person when you feel like putting your head down, and making a complete stranger’s day a little easier. .
Below are LGD’s #18 – #33. Some are grand gestures, a few highlight my efforts to rid myself of road rage, and some are just small things that I might do on any normal day, but they still made someone smile.
LGD#18 Offered my seat on a packed subway to a nice lady who was standing and looked like she had a long trying day
LGD #19 Helped an older woman carry her bag up the crowded steps of the subway
LGD #20 Picked up my mom at the airport
LGD # 21 Sent a ‘Thinking of you’ card to a friend.
LGD # 22 While driving, I let a pedestrian cross the crosswalk when I had a green light and people honking at me from behind.
LGD #23 Refrained from flipping off the cars who were honking at me.
LGD #24 Offered my neighbors a glass of wine during the Back Bay Blackout
LGD # 25 Helped one of my friends in FL pull off a surprise visit to her family in MA on St Patrick’s Day by giving her a place to stay and a ride out to Harvard, MA.
LGD # 26 I am organizing a day for a local high school to visit my office and take a tour of the photo studio as a part of their school project
LGD # 27 I went to my friend’s son’s first birthday party on St Patrick’s Day (they had a keg) and I even brought an appetizer.
LGD# 28 I took a break from work and I gave my friend a little advice on how to solve a problem.
LGD # 29 I remained calm, friendly, and happy while driving through a jam packed Sully’s parking lot at noon on the warmest day in March to order a much anticipated hot dog (my first time at Sully’s). I did not swear to myself or grit my teeth. In fact, I let a few people go ahead of me and even pointed out another spot to a fellow driver.
LGD #30 Gave a homeless man a couple of dollars and asked him how his day was going.
LGD# 31 Still holding doors and elevators for people on a regular basis.
LGD # 32 Made a nice tray of chicken rollatini for someone.
LGD #33 Treated my sister to a bikram yoga class, gave her full range of my closet and apartment while she was in town, and I let her borrow one of my favorite sweaters for an extended period of time.