Today started out a bit rough. I called about renting a cabin for a night next month and the woman who answered the phone was rather grumpy and said they didn't rent them for a single night. I found myself responding in a rather grumpy voice as well. After I got off the phone I was down for a while, not only because it's hard for me not to take random grumpiness personally but also because I was disappointed in myself that I didn't take that opportunity to give her the gift of pleasantness. I decided my gift for the day would be to send my husband an ecard thanking him for how hard he has been working this week. After I sent it I felt better and was able to release some of my negative feelings. Later I wrote a letter to the soldier I "adopted" through Soldiers Angels. I also sent a jar of homemade broth to my grandma because she has been under the weather.
I am so glad for this challenge because without it I wouldn't have been as mindful of the many gifts I received today. When I started adding them up this evening I was astonished at how many there were and I was so glad the challenge kept me from overlooking them. My mom dropped by today and my children complained they didn't have any snacks so she made a special trip to the store just to bring them some. It was really sweet of her and the children appreciated it. She also bought me a tool for cleaning up my yard after my dog. It may be an unglamorous gift but it is one which will make an unpleasant job much easier! My husband did our taxes today and while I made a few contributions from my own records, I was SO thankful I didn't have to do the bulk of them myself. Another gift I got today was one I've used over and over without thinking much about it. The ecard I gave my husband was from ogphoto.com, the website of talented photographer, Oscar Gutierrez, who offers his photographs as ecards completely free of charge---there aren't even any ads! I have been using his site for years and just today realized what a truly beautiful gift he has given all the people who send and receive his exquisite photographs. The last gift of the day was when I went out to mail a letter and leaned out a little into the street to reach the mailbox. A car was coming and they slowed and made a wide arc around me. That was very thoughtful, especially since I wasn't standing in the street so wasn't really in danger. It also helped restore some of my faith in the kindness of strangers. A day which started out with random grumpiness ended with random kindness and hopefully I can carry that kindness into my interactions with others tomorrow.