Tonight, while performing my weekly trash ritual, I was given the opportunity to be kind and almost blew it!  Some people were working on a car across the street, in front of my neighbor’s house.  I didn’t pay much attention except to observe that their efforts to get the engine to turn over didn’t sound very promising.  One of the women walked over and asked if I had a set of jumper cables they could borrow.  My first reaction was that I didn’t want to lend them the ones in my trunk as I have had cause to use them too many times and didn’t want to lose them, so I lied and told her I didn’t have any.  But it ate at me until I remembered that I had a set shoved into a basket full of stuff I needed to go through so I dug them out and took them over to her, saying that I’d remembered I had a set after all.  OK, so I didn’t really get rid of the first lie, but I did finally remember to act kindly and help her. 

Afterwards, I found myself thinking, “I hope she’ll help someone else out somewhere along the way.”  Acts of kindness do have a way of flowing out and around to other people, places and things, so I’m very glad my conscience got the best of me.  They got their car running and went on their way.  I’m so grateful for having been given and opportunity to be kind, and in the end, to keep from letting the chance get away from me.  So I am eternally grateful to these people for reminding me to be kind and help a stranger.

The 2013 Joy Jar party is gaining momentum.  People are inviting their friends and we’re rushing towards our first 20 participants.  I’m very excited and love the responses we’re getting as people join.  One woman said she’s going to let her grandbabies decorate her jar.  I can’t wait to see the pictures!  That is one jar which will resonate buckets full of love!!!  I added another friend as a host because she is doing so much to promote this little project.  She even got a couple of people from Kentucky to join, so we are officially spreading out past California!  I would love to see people from other states join, but what would really tickle me is if we could get at least one person from “across the pond”.  Would that be a hoot or what??  Everyone who is joining has something wonderful to contribute and I know that I am going to learn a great deal from the people who have taken the challenge, as it were.

On another subject, I’ve been trying to convince my daughter that packing for a cruise does not follow the minimalist rules she learned when camping with my brother-in-law.  I’m so proud of her!  Today she admitted that she’d need her suitcase as she was planning multiple outfits to allow for sweaty clothes from dancing and probably 2 showers a day!  She’s even bringing several pairs of shoes!  I simply must kvell!  My baby is becoming a woman!  (of course, I haven’t even started my list yet, much less, put anything in the suitcase, but I did bring it in from the garage tonight, after having to move it to dig Heather’s out).  Meanwhile, my friend is trying to tempt me with stories of Belgian waffles and chocolate lava cake.  I hope I don’t disappoint her too badly when I opt for eggs and fruit instead of waffles!  I’ve gotten out of the habit of eating a heavy breakfast.  In fact, for me, a bowl of oatmeal is heavy these days!  But I am looking forward to morning walks around the deck to get the old heart rate going, and coffee al fresco.  (although, I may be particularly decadent and have a pot delivered to my cabin!)

This is shaping up to be an amazing week!  Tomorrow night will be the last non-dancing night until next Monday!  But I have yet to download any books or start my packing list.  It’s as if I know it will all come together, and I refuse to stress over it.  I did laundry over the weekend, so I can start my packing tomorrow night.  A little at a time and it will all get done!  Even so, it still doesn’t quite seem real to me.  I know that I’m leaving on Friday, but it got her faster than I expected, and my mind isn’t completely convinced.  I guess it will be when I’m standing on board and the ship is leaving Long Beach Harbor.    So far, it seems to be mostly women who are going, but as it’s line dancing, that will be ok.  I keep meaning to ask a couple of people if they’re going, but get distracted by dancing and forget.  I think, though, that if they were going, they’d have already joined some of the conversations we’ve been having, but you never know!  And of course, there will be one or two other people on this cruise so maybe I’ll make a new friend or two in between line dancing, working out, walking on the deck and eating!

My gratitudes tonight are:

1. I am grateful that the Universe hasn’t given up on my ability to learn kindness.
2. I am grateful for friends who keep encouraging me to step outside of my comfort zone.
3. I am grateful for cold nights and warm, snuggly kitties.
4. I am grateful for advanced preparations so oversleeping isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be.
5. I am grateful for an abundance of energy.

Love and light.