37 Random Acts: A birthday challenge for you and me (and a gift for you too!)

So. Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 37. I really hate the way that sounds. I have never liked the number “7”. I think because I had so much trouble with the “7” multiplication table (still do).  So let’s do what my kids do and combine the number and say that I’ll be 10.  I love 10. Very easy multiplication table.
I have developed a deeply complicated relationship with the anniversary of my birth over the years.  Let’s simplify it and say that like many adults, I’m not a fan of it.  Yes, yes, the alternative is worse and it’s a privilege to grow older and all that.  But beyond the fact that I haven’t particularly embraced the idea of aging with grace, (or of aging! I’m not aging! I’m not an ager! Aging is for other people!), having a whole day focused on myself is never, ever a good idea.
I’m self absorbed enough without having a day sanctioned for and dedicated to it.  Self absorption has never made me happy.  For the most part I find this to be my most “homesick for South Africa and being with my family” day of the year. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because on my first birthday in the U.S my family called to wish me happy birthday and it WASN’T EVEN MY BIRTHDAY YET (time difference!) It totally brought home to me how far I was away from them.  Then there is the fact that in South Africa, February is absolutely lovely.  It’s warm and sunny and I almost always got to enjoy a huge electrical storm on the afternoon of my birthday, after a few hours spent in the pool.   Ahhhh.  My favourite. And we all know the sad story of February in Ohio. 
Then there is is misery of unmet expectations. I have all these plans of having a fun and special day, maybe going to lunch with a friend, pampering myself a little bit. And then of course, my kids make it their business to be sure that one of them is violently ill. Last year none of my kids were sick,and my husband and I were healthy too! It was a birthday miracle! I was so excited. But the friend I was supposed to have a lovely lunch with? Her kid had the pukes. For gosh sakes. 
I took it as a personal insult from the Universe.
If by some miracle we escape the “Curse-Day” plague, the weather does something dramatic, complicating plans to go somewhere nice for dinner.  So basically, we can count on the germs or the weather to mess with the most carefully laid plans for hedonism. It is February after all! 
A couple of years ago, my friends made the grievous mistake of scheduling my baby shower for my birthday weekend. I warned them that it was a curs-ed time, but they did not heed.  An unscheduled and unexpected blizzard suddenly whipped up an hour before my shower and some of my favourite people could not attend.  One of them ended up in a ditch in the effort. Do you see why I have started to kinda sort of majorly dread this day?  My mom says I have made it a self-fulfilling prophecy and it’s probably true.
I was thinking about this and I realized that the one year in adult memory that I felt really happy and totally satisfied on my birthday, was when I brazenly asked my blog peeps for a birthday present. I asked them to plan to do something to make the world a better place on my b-day and tell me about it.  It was so awesome. I loved it!  Check this out too. So I’m going to do that again.  Hooray!
My goal is that 37 random acts of kindness will go out into the world tomorrow (February 6th). This year, I will try to take care of as many of them as I can, but I do have a really sick kid (surprise!!) so I might not get out much and I’m counting on y’all to help.
And because I really like giving presents, I would love it if you’d post about your Random Act of Kindness tomorrow and I will (randomly Smile ) pick one of them and do something kind for you.  (By sending you one- or a few Smile  of my favourite things- not sure yet what as I will cater it toward the person that wins). 
You can post them here, on facebook, on instagram, twitter or vine (are you on there yet?! I am! Find me! momedykirsty)  email them to me if you prefer-although it would be more fun if everyone could see and be inspired!  If you go on instagram, twitter or vine, use the hashtag #momedy37roak so I can find you and include you in the drawing.
I will put everyone who participates’ name in a hat and I will pick one to send a surprise to.
Yay! Now I’m excited!
P.S: I’m giving away something else awesome for my birthday. The gift of sunshine and happiness!! Click here to enter to win it-just one more day!! (Not many have, the odds are ever in your favour!)
linking to we are that family.com because kindness works for me :)

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nyn said...

I love this!! I am going to do something special for your birthday. Such a fabulous idea!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Darling Daughter!!! I hope that you have 37 lovely surprises on this day. I will call you later, because if I called you now, you would have a bad birthday for sure. I think it is still a bit early.
Love your idea, and hope that all the prayers sent heavenward on Ella's behalf by people in a bunch of temples round USA and UK will have made the difference.
Much love from Marmie and the Gang in SA

nyn said...

Happy Birthday my beautiful friend. For your birthday I put away a wheelchair for an older couple at the cancer center. The wife had wheeled her husband to the car after his treatment and then needed to put the chair back. I saw her and offered to put it away. She was so grateful and happy. Have a wonderful day!! Love you

The Sayer Family said...

Happy Birthday beautiful lady! It's a good thing I got out of the house right after I dropped my boys off at school, or else I think I might have failed doing a random act of kindness for the day. As I type, I am sitting in front of my happy light and think I need to stay for a while. This morning I had to go grocery shopping, which I don't like to do. My little Kayleigh asked me if she could walk instead of sitting in the cart. I would much rather have her in the cart so I can "run" through the store, get what I need and get out. But, I thought of your challenge and said yes. She made my day, along with many others who stopped to talk to us, as she danced and twirled and sang down the aisles at the store. The cutest thing was when she asked if we could get chicken nuggets and I said yes. She gasped with delight and said, "Oh my goodness, we get nuggets at the store today!" A store employee and I couldn't hold our laughter in. Thanks to your challenge, my little princess brought sunshine into my day and others.

Janelle said...

Happy Birthday, Kirsty!! In your honor Madi, Caroline, and I bought a meal for the car behind us at the drive thru and sweetened the front door of 14 people... Some not chosen so randomly. ;) What a great thing to ask people to do for your birthday. You are just spreading the love!!!