This morning, I took a few bags of muffins to the soup kitchen. I'm glad I have that routine, because otherwise, it would've been even more difficult to get out of bed. It was pouring and dark grey - summer is definitely over. I keep reminding myself that I live in temperate rainforest, and this rain is strongly needed, after our beautiful and dry late summer.
I picked up a few cans of cat food, and I noticed a donation can for the local SPCA. I put a coin in - I'm think it was a loonie, but it might have been a toonie. I knew I had to do it, despite a little inner resistance, and I smiled as I thought of "Animal Week" on 29gifts :)
The vet is near a grocery store, the one that has the coin-carts. So I went over and placed a quarter in one of the carts, to save someone from having to rummage through their change.
My main gift was to email my landlord and apologize for not being in better communication about my rent. It's not really a "gift" so much as "the right thing to do," but last night's episode made me realize I felt like I was hiding from them, and that felt terrible to me - and was probably equally uncomfortable for them. I told her what was going on, and that I'd be able to make some payments next week, but that I didn't yet have a definitive time frame for catching up. I thanked her for her and her husband's patience. I went through a similar time a few years ago, and I fell behind a couple of months on rent. I really hate being behind, but back then, I didn't communicate well with them at all.
What blew my mind was the response I received: She thanked me for letting her know, then proceeded to encourage me, tell me how talented I am, that she understands how difficult it is being self-employed (her husband is a builder) - it brought tears to my eyes. I am incredibly lucky to have them as landlords.
I realized I've received a bunch of kindnesses, both on and off this site. On this site... more than I can mention. Off-site: This morning, I really wanted a coffee, and I paid with a roll of nickels and some quarters; the barista, who knows me, only charged me for a medium. Yesterday (garbage day), the garbage guy left my recycling bag (big honkin' bag that holds all recyclables) under the lid of the garbage can, so it wouldn't blow away. This afternoon, I went to check on the day-olds at the coffee shop - this morning, it hadn't looked like there would be any to pick up, and I wasn't keen on hanging out in the rain for two hours. It turned out there were four pieces, and rather than having me wait till closing, the girls who were working told me to go ahead and take them.
One thing I didn't do today: I was at my regular grocery store, to pick up a piece of chicken for dinner, and I noticed a homeless man standing next to the oven where they have barbeque chickens, chicken pieces and pot pie. It happens to be next to the express checkout. I've seen this man many times before and given him grocery gift cards. I think he may be the one who sneered at the five dollar gift card, though he looked in much rougher shape today. He was standing there, lurking, holding a tin of cooked chicken breasts and looking kind of like an enormous wet puppy. If there were ever a definition of passive-aggressive body language, he embodied it. I really couldn't tell if he was hoping someone would offer to pay for him, or if he was just confused. It occurred to me to offer to pay, but two things: 1) money anxiety immediately came up, and 2) much as I wish this weren't an issue, I've felt bullied by him before, and I didn't think this particular Give would be in my best interest. Lo and behold, there was a woman three people ahead of me in line who offered to pay for his chicken. He wandered off without so much as a thank you. But I could see the ripple effect her generosity had on the cashier and on the others in line, and it made me feel like, "I do live in a town of nice people!" (I still felt guilty, but I know I have to draw boundaries with certain people.)
Hope you all had a good Friday. Cheers!