55 Things # 45 – Make It A Great Day

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

Thank you to everyone who left comments on my last post about what they did to make it a great day. Though I wasn’t surprised, I found it interesting that all of the comments involved what I think of as life’s simple pleasures. Things like going for a walk, getting some extra sleep, going to church and spending time with family were all choices that made it a “great day”. The thing that struck me about all of these activities is that they didn’t cost anything. It was simply a matter of making the time and do it.

As Promised in my last post I am going to share with you something I have discovered that makes for a great day and just like all the other this can be done with no price tag attached. My secret is to make someone else’s day or in other words make it a great day for someone else. This can be more simple and effortless than we realize.

Let me share a few examples.

Share A Smile

One day, several years ago, I was doing some grocery shopping. Being a Saturday the store was pretty busy; people were pushing shopping carts up and down the isles stopping to examine items on the shelve, in bins or on racks, then placing their selection in their cart before moving on. It seemed like everyone was in their own little world. Perhaps just in a hurry to get the shopping done and get out of there.

As I walked down an isle I was stopped by a lady who I had passed at least once already. She said “I just wanted to thank you.” As I looked at her inquisitively she continued, ” You made my day. You smiled at me,” she said. “Of all the people here you are the only one who has even made eye contact and smiled. Thank you.” I don’t remember what I said to her but I’m sure we wished each other a good day as we went our separate way. Read on to find out what I learned from this.

** NOTE Wearing a mask can not hide a true smile – they can see it in your eyes so keep smiling. 🙂

Let Them Know They Are Appreciated

I will share a couple examples of this and how it has made my day:

The first example is the way I felt when the lady in the grocery store thanked me for smiling at her. It felt really good to think that something as simple as a smile could have that kind of impact on someone, and her words of thanks to me were a life changer for me. Since that day I always make an effort to at least smile at strangers who cross my path.

Another example of this came earlier this year. You may remember in the spring, when everything in our state was shut down, I told my husband that I really wanted some pansies to brighten up our yard and the neighborhood. My husband called the greenhouse where he worked last year and was able to arrange to “safely” buy two flats of pansies. We potted them up and put them alongside the deck.

One day when my husband was out in the yard a car pulled up by the curb. He didn’t know the lady who was driving but she was someone who lives in our community. She told my husband that she loved the flowers and they made her smile each time she drove by. Knowing that our efforts were appreciated and brightened someone else’s day made my day.

Surprise Someone

The last idea I’m going to share is to surprise someone. It could be as simple as a card or letter in the mail or a phone call to check in with someone you haven’t talked to in a while. The options are endless but I wanted to share one cool idea that I’ve heard of.

My youngest daughter used to work at a fast food restaurant. On some mornings she would end up working in the drive through. Once in a while when a customer would pull up to the window to pay for their order they would also tell her they wanted to pay for the order of the car behind them. She said this was very cool because when the next car pulled up to pay for their order she could make their day by telling them that their order was already paid for. At this time the person would often pay for the order of the car behind them and it would start a chain reaction. She said that it was always made her day to be able to tell someone that their meal had been paid for.

Now that I’ve shared some of my thoughts and stories about making someone’s day I’d love to hear from you. Have you had an experience when someone said “You made my day” or have you had someone do something for you that made your day? Please tell me about it.

Let me leave you with this poem.

"Slow me down, Lord, I am going too fast. 
I can't see my brother as he goes past; 
I miss a lot of good things day by day.  
I don't know blessings when they come my way.  
Slow me down, Lord, so I can see
More of the things that are good for me;
A little less of me, a mite more of you,
Let Heavenly atmosphere trickle thru,
Let me help a brother when the going's rough
When folks work together, things aren't so tough;
Slow me down, Lord, so that I can talk
with more of your angels...slow me down to a walk."

17 thoughts on “55 Things # 45 – Make It A Great Day

  1. This is a wonderful post Ruth – I really enjoyed reading it. A smile is such a small thing, but we humans need to have that positive vibe sometimes and now we can’t see smiles like before since we’re masked up … only the crinkles in the lines in the corner of our eyes give it away. I had a 15-20-minute conversation in the aisles at Meijer one day as I had on a mask with pineapples on it and a woman in a scooter was trying to reach something on a high shelf … I reached it for her and turned around and she saw my face and got tears in her eyes. I thought maybe it was my getting the can so she didn’t have to get out of the scooter or I reminded her of someone … it turned out she had lost her mom recently and her mom loved anything with pineapples on it. She said “how my mom would have loved to have a pineapple mask” … I wanted to give her a hug, but did not, given the circumstances of COVID. Little touches sure do make a difference. I worked at a diner for five years and I never had a customer pay for another’s meal, so I’m guessing it is more anonymous to do it in a fast-food line as opposed to inside an eating establishment. What a wonderful and thoughtful way “paying it forward” … we need some good things to happen to combat all this divisiveness we have right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I do think that the eyes light up when we smile. It’s kind of weird how so many of us tend to avoid eye contact with strangers. I wonder why. Thank you for sharing your story. I agree about those little touches that can be such a comfort so I guess in their absence our words are more important than ever. I’m sure you could empathize with her having lost your mom who you were so close to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think our eyes light up too Ruth … or they crinkle if they are old enough with laugh lines like some of us (ahem … not you, you’re younger than me). This woman was nice and it was really recent – I saw her eyes brimming over almost immediately after I turned around and she saw me. I knew something was amiss. They say that everyone has a twin, so I thought that was it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, they could be squint lines from your being out in the sun planting and harvesting too. 🙂 Laugh lines are good and give you character Ruth. I agree with you – it was an emotional encounter and when I first saw her eyes well up, I wondered what had happened — did the tears represent joy, sadness … maybe even fear? It was a bit disconcerting for a moment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful poem! And I love your examples of how you’re making some else smile. Smiles are contagious. Every time I smile at someone and say a little hello they always smile back. It makes me feel good to know I’ve made someone else smile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A fantastic post.
    I have to admit that I’m often “in my own world” when I’m out and about. Mostly it is because I am trying to be time-efficient. However, I do try and smile when I come in direct contact with others (ex.: cashiers).
    Thank you for sharing your story with us about the lady in the store. I can see how it made your day. I have to agree that simple gestures from others (like her thanking you for your smile) can brighten your day.
    “** NOTE Wearing a mask can not hide a true smile – they can see it in your eyes so keep smiling. 🙂” I ABSOLUTELY, 100% agree! I’ve been saying that for a while now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think many of us are guilty of trying to be time-efficient and it was probably more necessary when I was working full time and raising 4 kids, but those days are done and I can reap the rewards of slowing down and interacting with others and the world around me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Working in retail these were all things I found made a difference every day. Not just for the people I smiled at or the fellow associates I thanked , but for myself as well. Now that we are retired I still find myself making eye contact and smiling at strangers in the stores ( even with my mask on ) . I think it connects us with others . I love the line ” a little less of me, a mite more of you “

    Liked by 1 person

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