In my recent Pay it Forward post I shared a story of a random act of kindness my sister had done on our recent Disney trip. As we prepare to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, what better time to think about ways we can Pay it Forward to those around us? Whether you help a family member with a rent payment one month or put money in a parking meter for an unknowing stranger…you are PaYiNg it FoRwArD. We will be collecting Pay it Forward stories from our readers between now and Monday, November 19th. These stories will be compiled into a special post for Thanksgiving to share with our readers.
Please email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
…what do you do? Whether it was a friend from 2nd grade, a boyfriend, or family member, we can all remember of a time that we hurt someone. If you were lucky, they forgave you. If not, you may still be seeking forgiveness.
I’ve really struggled with this question over the years. It is upsetting when you do everything you can to mAke iT riGhT—apologizes, phone calls, a kind demeanor, or even space away from you—to result in nothing more than a cold shoulder years later. This is frustrating and can often tempt you to be angry at the person. It’s this vicious cycle of you wanting forgiveness, them staying resentful, and then you being mad at them for still holding a grudge!
There comes a time when YOU just have to LeT Go. Let Go of the fact that they may never forgive you. If you have exhausted all options, you have done the best that you can. You can’t live the rest of your life in misery because of something you’ve already tried to fix. When you see them, continue to be friendly but don’t put your life on hold because you may never get the answer you are wanting.
And if you are the one that is still holding a grudge…re-read this post and put yourself in their shoes. Realize how much you are missing out simply because you won’t give one of the biggest gifts you can give…FORGIVENESS.
This summer my family spent 9 AmAzInG days in Disney World. It was the first trip for my two kids and the second trip for my niece Taylor. With 3 kids ages 5 and under and my parents who toughed out the long days and heat…the fast pass system which can save you up to an hour and a half of waiting on lines is a NeCiSsItY. My sister was given 8 fast passes for the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror from one of the ride managers. If you haven’t been to Disney World, these two rides are located in the Hollywood Studios theme park and have an average wait time of at least an hour. Throughout the day our family used the passes that we wanted, but she still had a handful left over. Before we left the park, my sister decided to go to each ride and give out her fast passes to people who were waiting on the actual lines which as I said before were about an hour-long. She was met with SmiLeS, ThAnKs, and DisBeLiEf! One recipient said to her, “Thank you so much, I’ve done this for other people, but no one has ever done it for me…way to PAY IT FORWARD.”
In the upcoming months we will be asking YOU to share your own PAY IT FORWARD stories! Remember…a little bit of kindness goes a long way.
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
I have to admit I am a total junkie for the Your E Cards that have been popping up all over Facebook and Pinterest, but this one really pushes my buttons. When my son was born my husband and I made the decision together that I would leave my job and stay home to raise our kids. I understand that this choice is not something that is possible for every family and that there are many women who may not want to leave their career. However, I am finding there is still a disrespect for the stay-at-home mom with the “What do you do all day” AtTiTuDe and in turn the working moms seem to face the, “Oh you’re so lucky you get a break at work” NoNsEnSe!
Keep in mind…I’m not an expert. I am basically going off of my own experience and that of my sister who is a working mom of a 3 1/2 year old. In this day and age we are all just trying to get through the day whether we work or not. When are we all going to WaKe Up and realize that stay-at-home, working, part-time, full-time, married, divorced…WhAtEvEr…we are in this together. Instead of putting others down or making them feel inferior maybe we should take a minute and think of what their day might be like. I think a better rule of thumb would be…
Don’t Judge Until You’ve
Walked A Mile In Their Shoes
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
Taken from Successful Farmer magazine:
“The very human desire to run away from confrontation is so natural and common that we have to wonder how so many farm partnerships [or relationships in general] manage to survive and succeed in spite of it.
When trying to gather the courage to face a tough issue, it’s worth remembering that cowards die a thousand deaths, while heroes die but once. We know from experience that avoiding a battle doesn’t end a war – it just makes it that much tougher to fight, let alone win.
Fear can paralyze. It can keep a soldier from fighting for survival. It also can prevent people who love each other from coNfRoNting dangerous issues and solving them while that’s still possible. Armies learned centuries ago that even though fear can’t be eliminated, training and experience can instill habits that sidestep paralysis and enable action.
It can be the same in families. The straightforward commitment to face and rEsoLve day-to-day disagreements and misunderstanding, particularly the smaller, easier ones, develops the habit of reacting appropriately to issues as they arise.
It’s not so complicated. Sweat the small stuff first, day after day. It won’t make the big stuff any smaller, but it will make it that much easier to muster the courage for the scary face-to-face discussions that are so critical.”
I can relate to this article, can’t you? If I have a conflict with a friend, family member or coworker, it is much easier if I can work through the problem as soon as it comes up. It is never easy, but it is worth it. Suppressing issues that arise only turn small problems into big ones. Do yourself a favor and Be a HeRo by resolving disagreements as they come.
This past weekend I spent the unofficial beginning of summer at the Jersey Shore with my family at my parent’s beach house. Each morning my son rode his bike while my daughter pushed her baby doll in a stroller next to him as I pushed our beach cart full of “NeCeSsItiEs” up the block and a half to the beach. I couldn’t help thinking how much easier this seemed compared to the past few summers when I had to manage the beach cart and the kids in a wagon behind me. The morning of Memorial Day as my son and I were making our way up to the beach I hit a bump with the beach cart and the cart and all of its contents landed on the street. Four chairs, my beach bag, and enough sand toys for a small army scattered all over the street. My first instinct was to get my son Nicholas to stop riding his bike so that he would be safe while I picked everything back up, and then I began to collect all of our beach gear. As Nicholas and I started picking up the sand toys I noticed two young boys who were about high school age had watched the entire incident and just LooKeD at me and kept on walking. I stopped what I was doing and pointed them out to my son. I explained to him that someday he is going to be a “big boy” like they were and that he might see a Mommy who is having trouble like I was. I told him that I hoped that when he grows up he would… At that point Nicholas stopped me and finished the thought for me. He looked at me and said, “Mommy, I would help the Mommy pick everything up.”
Nicholas Memorial Day 2012
There are so many times as parents we get caught up in the busyness of the day-to-day routine that we forget to look for the moments that may have an ImPaCt on our children’s futures. I thought this teachable moment was going to show Nicholas what to do when he gets older, but what it also did was remind me that although I am SO hard on myself, I must be doing something right for my son to already know a lesson that those boys may have missed somewhere along the way.
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
I remember when Doug and I were dating and we had to carry a heavy piece of furniture out to his truck. After we got done I told him “goOd WoRk” and he replied with “kNow YoUr RoLe”! It made me stop and think for a second…we all play a special role in every task and relationship that we experience.
As the years passed I realized that our roles cHaNgE depending on the situation. For example, when he takes the initiative to call and schedule something for our family, it is my role to be quiet and not ask twenty questions to insure that he did it correctly. His role is to take care of the matter and it is my role to trust him. (And I know if I perform my role correctly, I will avoid potential arguments!)
Another example is in friendships. Every relationship is diFFeRent which means your role changes depending on the person you are communicating with. I LOVE to talk, BUT my role with some people is to be the sounding board. I am happy to play a different role because I know it is needed to keep that friendship strong.
Maybe you’ve never given your “role” much thought. Just remember that even though you have sTroNg qualities, sometimes you aren’t suppose to use them in every role you play. Next time ask yourself, “What is needed the most here? A cheerleader, follower, educator, volunteer, cleaner, etc.?” and take pRiDe in playing the role that is NEEDED most!