So September has passed, and I’m very happy to report that I completed 22 of the 30 Days of GOOD challenges. (Yay!)
Overall, I enjoyed the challenges and experienced several small benefits. I got to email a lot more with more of my awesome friends, especially Corey, Adele and Taryn, who were also working on the challenges. I tried harder to be positive and not to let the small (mostly insignificant) annoyances of urban life affect my mood. I introduced myself to new neighbors and said hi to others. And I got more ideas for small no-cost and low-cost deeds from Altrooist.
I also discovered that I’m much more prone to random acts of friendliness and kindness when the weather is nice and sunny. My #30DaysofGOOD productivity took a big hit when our wonderful late-summer weather was overtaken by the start of Seattle’s nine-month fall — 60, gray and raining. So that was an interesting thing to realize and something to keep in mind. I’ve now prepared a lot of indoor activities and projects to get me over that initial autumn gloom.
I’m also now a little hooked on mini-challenges, so I’m planning to keep going and do GOOD’s October "Get Healthy" challenges.
Here’s a look at the September challenges:
Day 1: Send a postcard to someone. I noticed that a guy in Columbia, MO commented on the GOOD article and said someone could send him a postcard. I went to college in CoMo, so I decided to send him a Seattle card.
Day 2: Have a conversation with a service employee. I routinely talk with the baristas at the coffee shop near my office, which has led me to learn a lot about banked track roller derby.
Day 3: Share an old photo with a friend. I sent a photo from my preschool graduation to a couple of my friends.
Day 4: Ask a relative what they did today. I had a great talk with my grandmother and blogged about how awesome she is.
Day 5: Coordinate a group event. Coincidentally, on Day 2, I organized and hosted a BBQ for my team at work. I decided that counts.
Day 6: Get coffee with a coworker. I got lunch with a friend who recently started working at my company. We’ve been meaning to get lunch for weeks.
Day 7: Buy a friend a gift for under $5. I went to Pike Place Market and got a beautiful bouquet for my friends Neil and Carley for exactly $5. Bam!
Day 8: Email a Twitter pal. I had a great email chat with @haikugirl, a Twitter friend. She recently started Altrooist.com, which is a very cool online community about doing small good deeds. (Let me know if you want a beta invite.)
Day 9: Video chat with a faraway friend.Had a great video chat with my friend Sara in Chicago today.
Day 10: Feed a homeless person. I’ve tried to give leftovers and other food to homeless people in the past and it has almost never worked out. So I decided instead to make a small donation to Food Lifeline, a Seattle food bank where I’ve volunteered in the past.
Day 11: Do something nice for a neighbor. The outdoor steps in our apartment building are getting really dirty and cobwebby. I think I’m going to clean those up, which should make for a pleasant cobweb-less climb up the stairs for our neighbors.
Day 12: Give five high-fives. Hmm. I received a lot of high-fives during a Mizzou game, so I’m going to let that count.
Day 13: Call someone you haven’t talked to in years. One of my sister’s friends from junior high reached out to me on Facebook because she was moving to Seattle. I helped give her neighborhood recommendations and after she got to town, I met up with her for a beer. I decided getting a beer with someone I hadn’t seen in 12+ years counted for this challenge.
Day 14: Say hi to three strangers. I’ve been making more of an effort to say “hi” and talk to people I don’t know who work in my building.
Day 15: Make something for someone. I made a guide of things to do in Seattle for my friend’s parents who were coming here to visit.
Day 19: Send a friend three links they’ll love. Sent three friends one link they’d love.
Day 21: Leave a positive comment on a stranger’s blog. Wrote a supportive comment on a stranger’s update on Offbeat Bride.
Day 22: Ask for someone’s advice and take it. After a very long day at work that started at 5 am, I asked my best friend if I should go to the gym or rest. She said rest. I listened.
Day 24: Go to a neighborhood business you’ve never been to. Adam and I recently checked out Cool Whirled, a pretty tasty self-serve froyo place that just opened in Fremont.
Day 26: Lend someone a book. Lent a coworker an editing book and lent a newly engaged friend the “Offbeat Bride” book.
Day 27: Introduce two friends who don’t know each other. I e-introduced my friends Whitney and Sara, who both live in Chicago and have many similarities. They’re planning to meet up for vegan (one of their similarities) food now.
Day 30: Have a conversation with someone 20 years older or younger. OK, so I haven’t explicitly done this yet, but I routinely have interesting conversations with my 6-year-old nephew.
Not so much
Day 16: Leave someone a thank you note.
Day 17: Teach someone something.
Day 18: Cook dinner for someone. I have been helping with dinner more. That’s a good start. :)
Day 20: Give three compliments.
Day 23: Thank an old teacher.
Day 25: Call someone instead of texting or posting on Facebook.
Day 28: Email someone you admire but have never met.
Day 29: Settle an outstanding argument.