Receiver

Today started out as a day of giving and turned into a day of receiving.
I dropped my son at work, got a snack and headed to Evanston hospital to donate blood. There was an urgent need for the victims of the Highland Park tragedy so I signed up. Giving blood is how I help when I feel helpless.
I chose to take the advice of my friend Julie and wear my Free Mom Hugs shirt. Entering the hospital, I got a few looks from people.
Soon I was seated in the donation chair and one of the phlebotomists said, “I like your shirt!”
“Thanks!  Need a hug?”
“Really?” I nod.
“Sure…” She says.
So before I get hooked up to all the machines, I give her a big hug. She smiles and says thanks. 
As she is removing needle, one of the other women says, “11:11!  Make a wish!  That was your official finish time!” I laugh and she then pulls out the pink bandage…it was like they knew me! 
We 3 chatted while I recovered and then I left.
I walked toward the exit and an elderly man said, “Really? Hugs?”
“Yup!  Want one?”
“Well I guess so….” And we did sort of side hug as that was what he could manage with his cane.
“That was really nice. Thank you.” And he shuffled away.
Once I left the hospital I was feeling all sorts of things. So, I decided to take a drive. I found myself driving around the Northwestern Campus. As an homage to my old man, I clicked on my old school Spotify playlist and the soothing sounds of Billie Holiday filled the air.
I gazed you the window at the old and new buildings. So much has changed over the years. I wound up in the older part of Evanston and grabbed a coffee. I treated myself to a fancy lavender latte (at the suggestion of the barista).
“Do you really give hugs?”
“Yes!  I love it!”
She took my payment and directed me to coffee pick up. While I was waiting, she walked around the counter and, “Can I have a hug?”
“SURE!” and we hugged in a café full of people.
She said thanks and went back to work, handing me my coffee. I got back in my car and headed home….the long way….along Sheridan Road, past the Baha’i Temple, Lake Michigan and beautiful homes all the while listening to old jazz and my girl Billie filling up my heart.
Today was a reminder of my many gifts. A reminder of my blessings. A reminder of times gone by. I keep hoping that my daily excursions…. giving some hugs, spreading a little kindness and putting some love back into the universe…. create a little more peace for others. It certainly soothes my soul and replenishes my spirit.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

2-2

Today is my favorite day of the year! 
2/2/22
Yup Two Two …. and this year another 22!!
It is always my favorite day of the year (second to my birthday) but this year it is even more special. So many 2’s on one day!
Let’s all celebrate peace, love and kindness in honor of World Tutu Day!!
Today  ….
Dance like no one is watching!
Toss some glitter in the air!
Leave a little sparkle where ever you go!
Choose peace over conflict.
Choose love over hate.
Choose kindness over cruelty.
Make a conscious choice to do a random act of kindness (or more) today! 
No matter how small, kindness matters. 
Think kind thoughts
Speak kind words
Do kind deeds
Namaste
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Hints

Holiday hints from Krissy Claus.
First the easy stuff….Do not count calories. Do not wear a watch. Try doing what other people feel like doing rather than being compelled to always make the plan. Stay in pj’s as long as possible each day. Getting coffee, bagels, donuts or tacos in pajamas is not only socially acceptable, it’s encouraged. Get down and look at your children when they talk to you. Or if they are getting taller than you these days, look up. Make eye contact. Cook someone’s favorite meal. Or cook your favorite and deliver to some friends. Sit by the fire and leave your cell phone in another room. Let the kids frost the cookies, trash the kitchen and get high on icing. Watch Christmas Vacation. Make pancakes with holiday M&M’s in them. If it’s not a hassle to make a fire in the fireplace, it’s an invitation. Pet your dog, especially right behind the ears the way they like it. When you grab your last minute stocking stuffers from the drugstore (admit it, I’ll see you there), pick up a couple scarves, socks, or fleece blankets to hand out to homeless people when you drive by – you can even let your kids do the honors and feel warm inside.
Now these are a bit more challenging but Krissy has faith in you! Put away your politics for a while and just love on people. Be kind …..especially to those “sandpaper people” in your life. The people who bug you are in your life for a reason, you may as well love them because they have something to teach you (as my friend says on the subject of judgment, “You spot it, you got it.” THAT makes you think twice). Don’t assume people know you love them, be clear. Ask questions and LISTEN to the responses. Active listening is a form of love. Accept people where THEY are right now…not where you want them to be or where you are in your comfort zone….you don’t have to step all the way out of your box but perhaps take down part of a wall. Think of someone you know (maybe not even very well) who has had a tough year this year and pick up the phone or put pen to paper and wish them a happier new year. Go for an evening walk and take in all the lights. Turn off all the lights in the house except the tree and sit there, at least once, late at night and recall what you are grateful for. Try to make peace with (instead of sense of) the things you don’t feel as grateful for. You are not too old or jaded to believe in magic. Everything you need is right here – every day, and especially at the holidays.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Wins

Today I am grateful that:
Science is real
Black Lives Matter
Women’s rights are human rights
No humans are illegal
Diversity makes us stronger
Love is Love
Today I am grateful love, kindness, inclusion and fairness won.
Today I am grateful for the first woman of color to be elected vice president.
Today I am grateful for the team of Biden/Harris.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace