Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Paying it Forward

Today I completed paying it forward 5 times.  Guess I should have picked a higher number, but here's the's pretty easy for me to do.  Paying it forward can be done in soo many ways.  Sometimes it's enough to just make someone smile, other times you can pay it forward and literally change someone's life.  Paying it forward doesn't even have to have anything to do with paying.  I try to do whatever feels right at the time.

I had to go to the mall today to have a watch sized.  While I was there a woman in an electric wheelchair was in the line in front of me.  After she paid she just hung out at the register area for a while and no one seemed to say a word to her.  I finally asked if she needed something.  She asked if I could put her shopping bag in the bag attached to the back of her wheel chair.  Simple enough.

On my way out I went into Nordstrom to check out the sale shoe rack.  I ran into the lady again.  She jokingly asked if I was following her and then we started to chat about shoes in general.  Wearing flats, how much heels hurt and especially for her how expensive shoes are now compared to when she was my age.  We were chatting so much the lady that worked there thought we were together.  I happened upon some Halogen shoes that were marked down to $24 and I knew she liked them.  All the other Halogens were over $50 and she mentioned how much I scored on finding the one really marked down pair.

At that point we parted ways and I sat waiting for the sales attendant to bring the match to the shoe.  Once I had both shoes I tried them on, they were perfect.  I kept thinking though about this lady as I watched her not find another pair she liked.  So, I walked over to her and handed the box to her and told her I thought she should have them.  You know what?  It made her day.  I didn't have to buy her anything, but in some small way I gave her a gift.  It felt so good and see, that's the thing about paying it forward.  It makes the day of everyone involved.

Try it sometime, you just might find that it becomes a regular occurrence for you too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Time for an update!

Getting back into blogging has been hard.  The one problem is, part of my 40 list was to write/journal during the year.  So I have come up with an alternative option.  The blog I will write on when I have something to say or some update to give.  I don't want to do it if it feels forced.  Each week though I am keeping a little journal for Leyton.  I found this book at a store a little over a month ago.

I have been writing in it every Saturday.  My goal is to do this until he moves out of the house.  The nice part is they are just short little paragraphs to sum up the day and so far it is fun and feels easy enough.

That said I thought it was time for a list update!  You can see my updates in blue.  When I finish I will highlight in red.

1. Fire a gun. Handgun style in a shooting range.
2. Take a hip hop dance class.
3.  Reread Hamlet. - Purchased on Kindle. 4.  Visit Yosemite.
5. Skinny dip. - Planned for Palm Springs!6. Take a guitar lesson. - Have guitar, lesson book and online course.  Now just need to schedule time to practice.7.  Write a letter to five people that have influenced me.
8.  Go wine tasting in Napa.
9.  Cook a 5 course meal for friends.
10.  Take an improv class. - Eight week course starts on March 24th.11.  Knit 10 items.
12.  Go to New York with Bill. - Scheduled in July13.  Take a solo overnight trip.
14.  Keep a blog for the year. - working on it.15.  Take Leyton to Modoc County. - planned for August during fair time.16.  Put $100 on one hand of blackjack.  - planned for Vegas birthday.17.  Bake Christmas goodies.
18.  Organize Leyton's crafts.
19.  Get a tattoo for my Dad. - first session complete, next session March 3rd.20.  Have a Halloween costume party.
21.  Participate in a fun run.
22.  Take Leyton to Disneyland. - scheduled in June.23.  Swim the Donner Lake open water event.
24.  Visit Humboldt.
25.  Go dancing with girlfriends.
26.  Join a book club. - First meeting is tomorrow night!27.  Go whitewater rafting.
28.  Get SUP certified.
29.  Write Bill a love letter.
30.  Pay it forward at least 5 times. - I have completed 4.  I know I will hit more than 4 on this one.  I will write more on this when 5 complete.31.  Put my Grandpa's recipes in a cookbook.
32.  Take Leyton to a live concert.
33.  Go ice skating.
34.  Organize a Christmas program at elder community.
35.  Volunteer for Alzheimer's Association. - Application filled out, will submit this week.36.  Sit by campfire on the beach.
37.  Read at a stand up poetry event.
38. One no buy month. - Tried in February and failed, will try again another month.39.  Ride in a helicopter. - Passes purchased while in New York in July!40. Celebrate my 40th in Vegas with friends!!!

I figure 15 out of 40 are at least started which isn't bad at all!  My plan is by April to have 5 more started and at least 5 finished!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I know it has been over a week since the last post. We've had some illness run through the Ball house and at various times we were all down for the count. At the start of February I'm so happy to say I've made some GREAT progress on my list. Organizing helped me out a TON. It has made it very easy to keep track of what is happening when and steps needed to get to the finish line. 

When I created the list there were a couple items I already knew were happening and are already booked and scheduled. Those items are: go to New York with Bill (July), Take Leyton to Disneyland (June). Then there are just other things that happen around a certain time, ie: Christmas, Birthday, etc. 

The past few weeks I was able to start or schedule a couple more!!!  Skinny Dipping will happen in Palm Springs. Get ready Stagecoach ladies!!  The tattoo for my Dad is beginning on Feb 12th. I will share more info on that later. Take an Improv class was one I thought would be tough, but I found a Groupon and a friend and I are signed up starting in March. It's an 8 week course and I'm soo excited! I took joining a book club up a notch and started one myself! There are 10 of us and I have already started reading the first book and we are set to meet at the end of the month. Last week I had the opportunity to pay it forward twice, but I will also talk more about that later. Through a friend I also found out about a local open mic event that happens each month in Sac and I hope to finish that by the end of this month. Another that I thought might be tough was a guitar lesson, seeing how I had no guitar....until now!

Introducing "Randy." He's a magical glittery hand me down a friend was getting rid of. Next step, find a lesson!

Finally, February starts no buy month. This means no buying anything for myself or family for the entire month. No clothes, toys, makeup, accessories, magazines, books, etc etc. I can only purchase things we need. I'm also taking this opportunity to try and clean out our fridge and cabinets so I'm not frivolously buying groceries either. I have a friend participating with me so we can check in daily and see how we are doing. 

Overall I feel like I'm off to a great start and enjoying it all along the way!