Sunday, 16 March 2008

5 kind things

The lovely Verbivore has very kindly tagged for this meme. And since it's the perfect way to round off the weekend, I thought I'd respond to it quickly!

The rules are simple:
- list 5 kind things you do for yourself
- list five kind things you do for your closest friend, partner or child
- list five kind things you have done for a stranger
- have fun!
- tag five people

5 kind things I do for myself

1. Read. As reading is my chief means of making sense of the world, and my place within it, I become anxious and irritable if I don't read enough. So reading - books, newspapers, blogs, journals - is definitely the kindest thing I do for myself!

2. Walk. I love to walk. Solitary walking is when I do a lot of my thinking. The rhythm of my feet, the very physicality of it, seems to help me think. But I also love to walk with others, as talking complements the rhythm of walking so beautifully. Walking gives a conversation space. London is tremendously walkable - a series of villages strung together with plenty of green spaces and history oozing out of the seams. Since I don't drive, I'm the quintessential pedestrian!

3. Keep this blog. Embarking on this blogging adventure has enriched my reading, by helping me to read more thoughtfully and opening me up to the vibrant world of litbloggers. I love reading other people's thoughts on books, as it provides a layer to my understanding and enjoyment of books. By blogging I've reminded myself that I love talking about books almost as much as I love reading!

4. Watch the birds in the back garden. We moved into a house with a garden last summer, and we hung a bird feeder on the washing line. I get such pleasure from watching the birds. The blue tits with their lovely colours. The pair of robins who I sometimes think would come right into the house, so inquisitive are they. The jays, the blackbirds, the wood pigeons, the sparrows, the starlings. I especially like when there are a few types of bird feeding at the same time. I even like watching the lengths the squirrels go to to get at the seed.

5. Eat in restaurants as often as my wallet allows me. I love restaurants, and the satisfaction I get from an excellent restaurant experience is akin to the pleasure a good play gives me. I waitressed all through university, so I appreciate the team work and performance behind good service.

5 kind things I do for my partner

1. Encourage him. I do my utmost to be supportive and encouraging of my husband, as I know he's brilliant and I know that my support and encouragement helps him to think he's brilliant too!

2. Iron his shirts. This is a new one for me, as I've only just started doing it. I've always been quite anti ironing - why can't society accept wrinkles and release people from the drudgery of ironing?? - but have recently started ironing my husband's shirts. And the funny thing is I'm quite enjoying it! I even looked up how to iron a shirt on youtube this evening, and it really helped me get through the pile faster. And I enjoy knowing that I'm saving my husband a chore.

3. Make him laugh. My husband has the best laugh, and I can listen him laugh all day, so making him laugh is perhaps also an act of kindness for me!

4. Keep track of his stuff. I have a good memory, so this is pretty easy for me, but I try to keep an eye on his stuff - the shoes, keys, wallet, oyster card and other paraphernalia of daily life - so that he doesn't lose things.

5. Pick him flowers. We planted spring bulbs together last autumn so I've been picking him daffodils from the garden. I can't wait for the tulips to bloom so I can pick them for him too!

5 kind things for strangers

1. Give directions. I love to help people with directions, and sometimes numerous people ask me for directions on the same day (I must have a sort of "ask me for directions" face!). Last week, I actually overheard a tourist mum say to her tourist daughter to keep an eye out for Holborn tube and I pointed them in the right direction (they were heading towards Russell Square instead of Holborn).

2. Respond to people making friendly conversation in bank queues, bus queues, etc. I like to respond if someone makes friendly chit chat of the weather variety in lines. It seems to happen mostly at the bank or post office. I think it helps break up the monotony of queuing!

3. Greet the bus driver. I get the bus from Kings Cross to work and it never ceases to amaze me how people just file on and don't even make eye contact with the driver as they swipe their oyster card. I like to greet him or her, as I figure that's the least I can do for the person who ferries me through rush hour London traffic!

4. Pick up litter in parks etc. I hate wind-blown litter, so I like to pick it up when I can so that it doesn't annoy anyone else.

5. Offer my seat on public transport to people who need it more than me. This is such a simple thing, but it happens less that it should.

So I enjoyed this! But it's late, and my husband is thinking the kindest thing I could do for him is to go to bed, so I'm tagging anyone who reads this and fancies answering the questions!


monix said...

You obviously make time for the important things in life. I'd really like to stand next to you in a bus queue!

Anonymous said...

Now for me it's tea-rooms rather than restaurants. I spend hours there over a pot of tea just people watching - a great hobby.

Logophile said...

Monix, my favourite bus queues are when the book I'm reading is so good I don't even notice how long the bus takes to arrive!!

TT, tea rooms are a new discovery for me - I recently had afternoon tea in the gorgeous Peacock tea room in Ely and have been wanting to sample more tea room delights ever since!

verbivore said...

Oh, these were lovely. I'm also quite a birdwatcher. We planted sunflowers last year and had birds right at window-level for most of the summer, so nice to watch them with breakfast.

I should really be better about ironing my shirts, for myself as well as the Swiss fellow. I will try the youtube trick because I'm absolutely hopeless.