With days dripping into each other and home and work life merging into one, it has become a daily struggle for most of us to do our day-to-day tasks. It’s in times like this I have to stop and remember what the first lockdown has taught me.
Lockdown 1.0 came at just the right time for me. It helped me escape from the never ending cycle of self-employed work. It allowed me to stop and notice things I’ve never noticed before, such as all the beautiful blossom trees that appear in April or how many times I get to solute the magpies while singing “one for sorry, two for joy” on my daily walks. allowing me to appreciate all the things that were staring me in the face, but I just never made time to see.
Lockdown 1.0 gave me a chance to see beautiful things, but it also gave me the chance to miss people dearly. People you never thought you wouldn’t go longer than a week without seeing. The words ‘miss you’ had a whole other meaning when you’re 7 weeks into a global pandemic.
As the weeks went on, the words missing you, thinking of you, carried on, except they no longer had the same comforting effect as they once did. I had to do something to show my sister Rachel they weren’t just words I would put on the end of a text or say at the end of a phone call. I was truly missing her, and I wanted to brighten up her day in any way I could.
I sat and thought and just like that it came to me, I knew what would cheer her up! Thinking back to when we were younger, we used to love sitting on my Grandmas’ wall waiting for Pete, the ice cream man, to come up the street. We used to always order the same, a vanilla cone with strawberry sauce. Pete was the best ice cream man, from the kindness of his heart he would make a clown face from sweets he’d cut up and put it on our ice cream. Sometimes, he would even let us have (free) blue philatelic mice and ride in his van while he turned it around in the street.
Summer evenings, enjoying our ice creams, and seeing the ice cream man Pete were some of the most simplistic yet best memories my sister and I could both agree on. So that was it, I just had to send Rachel a slice of that memory in some way… but there was no chance I could send ice cream in the post, or Pete, for that matter. But it was possible to send a box filled with sweets and a big helping of kindness, just like Pete gave us. So in went the philatelic mice, and in when the strawberry tiger tongues, and the green turtles, and the blueberry laces, and the bubble gum balls that give you a minute of flavour. They all went in!!
I was so excited to send this sweet box. I just knew the kind gesture in itself would fill her heart with love, but the memories from the sweets would do so much more. From being young I have always been empathetic to other people’s feelings. I think there is something so rewarding when your kind to someone. Now, looking back, I can see why Pete carried on putting clown faces on our ice-creams, because he could see how much it meant to us and that clearly meant a lot to him. Kindness can be shown in many ways and the feeling of giving can be just as nice as the feeling of receiving.
So, today I invite you to join me in spreading kindness. Like me, reflect on: ‘What can I do to brighten the day of someone I love?’. You will be surprised by how many unique ideas will pop up in your mind. A gesture of kindness will spark your day, but most importantly, it will make someone else’s day giving them spring in their step and a smile that won’t leave their face. The pandemic won’t last forever but a special moment or memory will.
If you also want to follow my example, send your box of kindness today. Keep it as a secret or send a personalised message with your letterbox sweets. As I always say: ‘Kindness is like sugar it makes life taste that little sweeter’.