<![CDATA[BUFFERS AND BREAKTHROUGHS "TURNING THE UNFAIR INTO THE UNSTOPPABLE!" - Blog]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 01:05:36 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[What Makes a Special Needs Marriage Special ]]>Mon, 23 May 2016 18:55:08 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2016/05/what-makes-a-special-needs-marriage-special.htmlWhat Makes a Special Needs Marriage Special

Every marriage has struggles. Some of the most popular issues in marriage are dealing with differences regarding money, child- raising, families, sex, work, and housework. 

 Having good communication can help improve these common issues.  When you have a special needs child one or both of the partners are constantly putting out fires. So there doesn’t seem like there is time to talk. Furthermore, when there is a quiet moment, each parent is looking to spend time alone to recover from the stress of daily life.  They know it’s only a matter of time before they will be back in battle.  The time alone is necessary to function and regroup in order to handle the seeming insurmountable challenge of dealing with the onslaught of stress that comes with every special situation.

Special needs stress is doing double duty by having the stress of the special needs child on top of everything else.  There is a constant emotional gasping for air that goes on.

 Where does that leave your marriage? How is it possible to stay happily married when it feels like there is no time to nurture the relationship? 

 Well, the good news is that the maddening environment forces the need to participate in a conscious marriage.  Coasting or taking your partner for granted won't work.  You MUST make the effort to make it at all!

When both parents are on the same page about their child’s condition, they can bond over their mutual pain and make decisions together.  This can strengthen a marriage. 

The key is handling the overwhelming stress and have tricks to stay the course together.

Keep in mind that the biggest issues that damage most marriages don’t seem as paramount when you are dealing with deeper issues.  Fighting over who is going to take out the garbage seems trivial in the face of deciding medical care for a child, fighting for the child’s rights or fighting against a system that is not in the child’s favor.

Most special needs parents find themselves fighting a school district or an insurance company to get more services at some point or another.

 Parents of special needs children can develop a different perspective of "Not sweating the small stuff".  "Not sweating the small stuff" can give a healthy perspective to help couples move forward as a unit.

Here are 5 tricks to stay the course together:

1.  Make time to talk a priority

Having a special needs child forces one to prioritize. There is only so much time in a day, also is there is only so much energy a person has!  When your partner wants to talk, leave the work and the housework and give them the attention they deserve.  The dishes and deadlines will wait. 

The house can always be cleaned later. It’s just going to get dirty again anyway.

Making your partner a priority will make them feel loved and give them the energy to make you a priority in return.

If the present moment won’t work to talk, make an appointment to talk later and stick to it.  Some couples make a standing appointment to spend together so both partners know they will have their special time. Having something positive to look forward to in a marriage enhances it and creates a sense of positivity that can assist the couple in trying times.

2.  Send text messages or email during the day.

Short Frequent positive messages can be an easy to stay connected with your partner and let them know you are thinking of them! This can resolve issues of partners feeling ignored or unloved.  Special needs parents may not have time to trade loving thoughts at home if the home is especially chaotic.  Additionally, romantic notions may not be the feelings parents are in touch with in the face of dealing with stressful surprises that are ubiquitous with having a special needs child. It may be better to send romantic sentiments during the day while the kids are at school or when you know your partner might be open to receiving it. 

3.  Have empathy for your partner

For the most part, your partner is facing the same sense of loss, stress, sadness and confusion you are. If anybody knows what they’re are going through it’s you! They are going through everything you are and have the added burden or either dealing with the child and all of that stress, being the “Bread winner” or all of the above!  You are overwhelmed as well, but if you can put yourself in their place, let them know you understand their position.  Empathy for your spouse can do wonders for your communication and your marriage. A little validation and understanding goes a long way.

4. It’s Just the Situation

Sometimes partners can seemed bothered by seemingly small things. Any special needs parent can tell you that there are good moments and bad moments usually in the same day or the same hour. Everyday can seem like a roller coaster. Sometimes the emotional stress seems  too much and parents feel like they can't take one more minute. Hopefully both partners don’t break down at the same time. When you find your partner is especially short, sad or grumpy invite them to talk and know that the seemingly small thing they are currently complaining about may not really be the issue.  It’s important to be a detective and know how to decipher clues. Be careful not to take a bad mood personally.  That is a sure fire way to the start of an argument. Sometimes just listening without judging or asking helpful questions like, “What can I do?” will be super helpful and comforting to your partner.

Just being there for a few minutes can turn a frown upside down!

5.  Have Fun Together

Having chronic stress can make life feel like the “All Stress Network” “All stress all the time.” It is very important to have fun together. Childcare can sometimes be an issue. Don’t let not being able to escape be an excuse to escape stress!

Watch a funny movie together, look up funny stories to share, play board games or cards, give each other a massage.  What about scheduling a date for lunch or breakfast during the week?

What about a date early in the morning before everyone is awake?

 The point is to find a way to have some fun and create some pleasure into your life. You owe it to yourself and your marriage to do just that!

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<![CDATA[Joy To The WORLD]]>Mon, 13 Oct 2014 20:41:44 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2014/10/joy-to-the-world.html
                                                                   

     Being a caretaker of a special needs child is a very tough and all-encompassing job, that can at times, seem downright thankless.

     As we factor in all that needs to be done, it can become quite a production!  Besides doctors appointments and therapy appointments, there is bathing, feeding, driving, shopping, advocating, comforting and much more. The list can continue on and on!  Often this tough terrain seems like trying to run a race through cement.

     The news is not all bad. Here an important question to think about.

 I know that what I am about to ask of you sounds much easier said than done, but, take a breath for 30 seconds, and then think about how your special needs child brings true joy to you and to others. 

     Yes! You read that correctly, ask yourself how does your child bring joy into the world? Did you ever notice that your child is bringing joy to others, and being their most authentic self, when they are happy? I am sure you have noticed the joy that is felt as you watch a puppy or a baby be themselves. It’s contagious!  Usually we are concerned about what other people are thinking about our children.  It is often a negative or critical thought. Then we start assessing the situation as well. Are they being too noisy, too disruptive, or too inappropriate?  At these times, I imagine this concept of bringing joy to others rarely crosses our minds.  I am happy to report that our kids DO bring joy to others much more than we might think!  I had a recent experience of my child bringing joy to others that I would like to share.

     My house of worship offers a rock n’ roll musical service called a Rock Shabbat. Instead of a typical Friday night Shabbat service the prayers are offered in a rock n’ roll format. 

My daughters  loves and lives for Rock Shabbat.  She owns 5 “Rock Shabbat“ T-shirts, which have become her clothing of choice.  

     From the moment we walk into the temple for a Rock Shabbat service my daughter is beaming from ear to ear. If there were ever a place where she attempted to be “neurotypical” this would be it. 

  As she enters she excitedly greets the people she knows, takes her seat and eagerly waits for the concert to begin. As the first note of music begins,

her smile brightens and she starts to bop.

     These concerts have given me a moment to slow down. It becomes a rare moment when I have a chance to notice what is going on around me. I see the people stealing glances at my daughter watching how much she is enjoying the program.

     As the evening continues, the natural, overwhelming, joy within my daughter begins to build.  She starts to laugh and rub her hands together to express her elation.   Again, I see the effect she has on those around us. Many start to crowd around, to sing along with her, to sing the songs they know she knows, and she becomes more excited to have to people sing with her.

     Finally, the joy my daughter feels engulfs her and she feels the overwhelming need to jump up and down laughing out loud, completely overjoyed!

     As her mother, I am so pleased to see her deliriously happy, and, able to share this joy with her family and everyone around her.

 This scenario became especially obvious last Friday night as her energy and joy impacted those around her in such a strong, positive way. All of the people around her were beaming as much as she was and it was so obvious that I could not help but notice.   

Later, I was told that the performers on stage were motivated by the energy coming from my daughter and those around her.   Can you imagine? This pure joy was contagious enough to enhance the performers and therefore positively impact the performance!

The joy my daughter brought to the Temple that night was able to transcend Autism! Even though, ironically, it was the Autism itself that enabled her to eliminate her inhibitions and naturally leave her in a relaxed state  of euphoria that others would have to imbibe a few cocktails to achieve.

     Through her genuine joy, she was able to directly increase the level of joy for everyone. That is truly amazing!  I am blessed that the clergy in my house of worship are so special and realize this very point. They have told the congregation to  see my daughter as an example of  a true expression of joy! They have invited others to emulate her enthusiasm in this type of service.      

 Often there are some moments in my life when I owe my daughter and her diagnosis of Autism a

‘thank you’ for teaching me something unique and special and that evening was definitely one of them.

    

We have to look just beyond our circumstances to see the actual person that we are caretaking and see him or her as a person who experiences moments of true joy. It is important to carry those moments with us to BUFFER us from other moments. The moments of joy are the ones we want to hang onto and let the not so nice moments just float away. Usually we do the opposite.

Above is cherished picture of my daughter just being herself in an enlightened state of joy.

The magic is obvious.   

Picture

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<![CDATA[10 Sacred Life Lessons to Learn from someone with ASD]]>Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:58:30 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2014/09/10-sacred-life-lessons-to-learn-from-someone-with-asd.htmlHere are sacred lessons I learn from my child everyday.  Here are the ways I aspire to be more like her.


1. The true meaning of  “Unconditional Love”.   Loved regardless of what you do or don’t do. That is how they love.

2. Can you imagine how loving you would be if you were impervious to having your feelings hurt by petty comments or squabbles? They are above all of that.

3. How freeing to never know jealousy.  Of that I am jealous.

4. How amazing would it feel to be in capable of hate?   They are.

5. How would I live my life, if I were not afraid of embarrassment?
More like them I suppose, the best version of themselves.

6. They know nothing but honesty.  I never have to worry I will ever be lied to.

7.  They are always loyal.  I will never worry they will cheat me or cut me out of her life.

8. They will never gossip.

9. Special needs individuals do not know judgment. They love us for who we are not how much money we have, what we do, our race, creed or color.  They don’t care what mistakes we made in the past.

10. Their souls are perfect.  This forces us to look beyond the physical at our own prejudices to see the beautiful spirit that lies beyond what the eyes can see. The way all of us want to be recognized.

They live the life we can only aspire to live. We attend religious services, we pray and try consciously to live the life they live with ease.

Only those with the courage to open our hearts and minds to this population will be able to learn from them the scared qualities that they have mastered.  For they are our teachers and we are their students.

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<![CDATA[Finding Her Way,  Not Mine.]]>Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:23:11 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2014/03/finding-her-way-not-mine.html
I am proud to write that yesterday my daughter, who has Autism, became a Bat Mitzvah.  I have a new appreciation for what it takes to become a Bat Mitzvah. Funny, I just meant to write what it takes to prepare for a Bat Mitzvah. My ultimate point in writing this was going to be that in spite of all the hard preparation, unlike neuro-typical people, having Autism gives one immunity of the “Disease to please”.

People with Autism don’t do things to please other people. They are just themselves.  They are in the moment. Being in the moment, is the main message in most, if not all, spiritual teachings. In many cases, it is easier said than done.

As I originally started to say, so much preparation went into yesterday. I have to be honest, I wanted nothing more than for my daughter to show the audience how much she knew, how hard she worked and how much she loved being Jewish.

Well, as it turned out the first two things, may have gotten lost in translation, but the third was made loud and clear.

My daughter didn’t do what I wanted her to do. She barely sang anything even though she knew everything. She was extremely happy to get up and down off the bimah (stage) just to say hello to all of the people she loved. She showed sincere excitement and appreciation for them being there.  She was just happy. Practically overcome with joy.

Why was I, as her mother so upset when my daughter was so happy?

Then it hit me. R in BUFFERS is “Remember them.”   This means to think about life from your child’s perspective, not your own. This was HER time to shine and every time I felt disappointed I realized I was making the moment about myself.  I thought about my investment in her performance or what I wanted her to do.  As song after song went by, she sang nothing or made noises, I knew that holding onto making it about me or my agenda was getting me into trouble and deeper and deeper into disappointment.  

Now that I can reflect, I ask myself why I wanted my daughter to have a Bat Mitzvah in the first place?  My sincere answer is to show my appreciation and respect for Judaism.  I wanted to share my love for Judaism and that part of myself with my child. I knew she could rise to the occasion and learn what she needed to learn to be Bat Mitzvah.

 I know that to give to someone is to give with our whole heart, expecting nothing in return.
To live that sentiment and really mean it, however, takes practice.  I have now learned this lesson on a new level after this experience.

I sat in Synagogue yesterday trying figure out what lesson God was trying to teach me. How I was going to find peace with what was happening around me?

I wanted my daughter to be Bat Mitzvah because I knew she could.  The real lesson that I just learned is that my daughter did not just learn some “Hebrew stuff “and now it is over.

As higher power literally just took over the keyboard and typed what I, her mother REALLY needed to understand is that yesterday was not about me or all of the years of preparation that I or anyone else, put into this one day. Yesterday was a celebration of my daughter’s journey, her ongoing relationship with Judaism.  Yesterday was not a big build up, an accumulation of years of hard work which would come to a screeching halt in 90 minutes.  

My daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is a celebration of a love affair. My daughter loves being Jewish! She loves her temple, her rabbis, her teachers, her congregation… and they love her back!  So as I previously stated, I originally wanted to share my Jewish identity with my daughter.  Now that I am not making about me, I can see the true miracle of what has occurred.  What has happened is so much better than my original intent.  To say “my daughter” still permeates of a personal agenda so I will say this young lady, has established her own Jewish identity. That is so much more than what I ever imagined.

 I know it is a lot easier said than done, if one can just let go of their agenda even for a moment, just to “remember them” or see things from our children’s perspective, we can not only give ourselves the chance to be truly present but maybe, even realize that one has accomplished much, much more than they originally set out to do.

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<![CDATA[E IS FOR EVOLVE]]>Wed, 30 Jan 2013 00:00:10 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2013/01/e-is-for-evolve.htmlI am very excited to have  Sandra Pearson as a guest  blogger on this post.  She is a true example of a mother who has mastered Autism on her own terms! She embraces the diagnosis with her website   http://ourspecialfamiliesvillage.org/by helping other special needs parents everyday! My hat goes off to you Sandra and it is my pleasure to feature you here. You are an inspiration to all of us! Here is her story. Picture
Who you are and what you do today?

I'm Matthew' Mom.

According to my Driver License, I am also Sandra Pearson.

Professionally speaking, I am an Internet/Online Marketing Consultant and Copywriter. I own ePro Virtual Assistance. I specialize in helping Special Needs Service Providers with their online marketing so they can help more People with Special Needs.

I also wrote an eBook to help Moms with Special Needs Kids work from home as Virtual Assistants. It's free and you can get a copy here: http://www.eprovirtualassistance.com/the-va-biz-101-free-ebook/

Some information about your child with ASD

Matthew is now 20 years old and is diagnosed as having "high functioning" Autism. He is in an independent living skills program that is administered through our local high school. He also has epilepsy. He cannot make legal, medical or financial decisions for himself so he is conserved. In other words, we remain his legal guardian even though he is over 18.

Matthew is a "gentle soul"; he likes everyone and doesn't seem to care if they don't like him. He loves to run and ran Cross Country and Track in High School. His is a huge Sponge Bob fan, is an incredible artist and his dream is to be a policeman. I'm hoping that someday he can work for a private security firm.

How did you "Evolve" from going against Autism to embracing it in your own terms by doing social media for special needs families?

Matthew was diagnosed just before his 3rd birthday. We knew he was behind with his speech but thought his developmental delays were just because he's a boy. So we had him work with a Speech Therapist. She was the one who raised the question of a "bigger problem." This was way back in 1995.

 I don't feel I was ever "against" Autism. The label meant nothing to me. I already knew Matthew and what he was capable of at that point. So I just started looking for information and resources to help Matthew be the Matthew he wants to be.

At the time, the Internet was really in it's infancy. We were one of the few families who had it. Matthew's Dad is a computer geek so we had a computer and Prodigy internet before most people even knew what the "information superhighway" was.

I started searching for Autism related information but all I found was stuff written for doctors and research scientists. It wasn't written in any English I understood and there was nothing I could use with Matthew. But I knew there could be. So as the Internet evolved, I started a blogspot site, eventually I moved it over to OurSpecialFamiliesVillage.org and just started sharing the information I was finding. I didn't focus just on Autism but on all Special Needs. My local network consisted of families whose kids had all kinds of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and many of our challenges were similar - dealing with Special Ed and IEP's, behavioral challenges, health issues, etc.

As my site and network grew, my Virtual Assistance business evolved to where I was specializing in marketing support for special needs services. So now I focus Our Special Families Village on sharing information and resources from service providers I "meet" through my ePro Virtual Assistance network.

I'm not really sure how it all happened, most of it wasn't planned. I was just trying to find help for Matthew and myself and make a living at the same time. And as I went, the next step was revealed. Not much of a business plan but it works for me!You can visit Sandra at http://www.eprovirtualassistance.com


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<![CDATA[RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS 4-8]]>Wed, 19 Dec 2012 22:34:34 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2012/12/random-acts-of-kindness-4-8.htmlPicture
  My 4th and 5th Random Acts of Kindness were aimed at the people in my neighborhood.  During this holiday season I wanted to bring a smile, not only to strangers but to the people I regularly see as well.  

  For Random Act of Kindness #4 I bought a small bouquet of flowers and gave it to the ladies at my local bank that I see weekly. It was a small gesture that created holiday cheer.  I could smell the sense of goodwill that was created and so could all of the employees and customers who were there at the time.   Knowing that I was the creator of such joy really did put another bounce in my step.  When I went back to the bank the following week, I was honored to see my flowers proudly displayed on the counter for all to see. When it was my turn to be served, I was greeted with extra big smiles by all of the employees and one of the women pointed out the flowers displayed by “a great customer”.   

   I felt very happy to have expressed appreciation and warm wishes to the people that I see regularly but never take the time to acknowledge.

   For my Random Act of Kindness #5 I wrote a special card to an employee of my local supermarket that has been especially helpful to me.  This card was very meaningful because our relationship started off on the wrong foot.  I was looking for a special cheese about a year ago and due to a mislabeling issue I could not find it. This employee is the Cheese Manager. Our relationship started out a little heated since I insisted that this cheese existed and I accused her of not knowing her inventory. Shortly after this debate we discovered a labeling issue was the source of the misunderstanding.  The cheese in fact was there.  This woman was very professional with me, and even though I apologized to her at the time, I always felt bad about what happened.  

   We have spoken many times since our original encounter and actually have become friendly upon seeing each other at the store. I felt it was very important to me during this holiday season to let her know just how much I liked her and actually looked forward to seeing her in the store.  I wrote her a card with a lovely note and expressed my thoughts. On two separate occasions I tried to find her at work but I was unsuccessful.  I finally left the card with one of her subordinates.  I decided to call the next day to be sure it was received and one of the employees answered and told me how excited her supervisor was and that she told the entire department about it.  I was so glad to spread cheer to someone so deserving of my appreciation. When I saw her the next time, she was so happy to see me. I really feel that I have a made a true friend in her.  To me it is the true meaning of the holiday season to express appreciation for people who are special to us.

My Random Act of Kindness 6th was very simple. While I was at the store leaving the card for the cheese manager I bought a small balloon and gave it to an unsuspecting child with the permission of the mother of course! It was worthwhile to see her face light up like a holiday candle. She even had a little twinkle in her eye! The mother was very appreciative as well.

My Random Act of Kindness #7th consisted of me going out of my way to take in my neighbor’s garbage cans to their garage doors. Even though the recipients of these acts did not know they came from me I still felt great knowing I made people’s lives a little easier. I will admit I got a kick out of knowing that they would probably be wondering who brought their garbage cans to the garage door!  I felt just like a magic elf.

For my final random act of kindness I had intended to make a bunch of cookies and give them to the police department, fire department and paramedics in my town but I have had to deal with pressing family issues and not had to time to do what I had wanted.

I was however able to give a giggle to the cashier in my local coffee shop. I was waiting to have a meeting with one of my Counseling Supervisors at the coffee shop. I got to the meeting early and walked in at the same time as a man that was dressed in a way that expressed he was a very religious person. I figured a person as pious as he appeared to be probably did many good deeds for others, so I wanted to pay it forward.  I insisted on paying for his coffee. Again both he and the cashier were confused at first. Then he thanked me and said that he was from Canada and that I gave him a great story to tell about how nice Americans really were! Unknowingly I have single-handedly increased our international image!

While I was still waiting for my supervisor to come a police officer walked in and ordered a cup of coffee. Since I was already on a roll, I jumped up to pay for his coffee also, the same cashier giggled and assured me that coffee for the police was already free!   A few minutes later my supervisor arrived and I could not resist giving the cashier one more smile and of course I purchased that coffee as well. I jokingly told her that would be my final “Random Act of Coffee” for the day. The cashier got a real kick out of it!  Ironically enough I never bought the cashier a thing or did anything directly nice for her but she was as much the recipient of good cheer as were the people for whom  I actually bought the coffee. In the last case even more so than my Supervisor!

I have completed eight amazing random acts of kindness. I have strengthened my relationships with some and touched all of the people I encountered along the way. I created what in my opinion in the true meaning of holiday cheer and in face of the normal hustle and bustle of this season coupled with the aftermath of natural disasters and unthinkable recent tragedies I can honestly say that spreading true kindness has been an amazing antidote to BUFFER myself from feeling overwhelmed and keeping up my true sense of faith.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL


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<![CDATA[RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS #3]]>Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:41:57 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2012/12/random-act-of-kindness-3.htmlMy third Random Act of Kindness was the biggest surprise of the first three.  I was in a bagel store buying bagels for a friend and the women in front of me was on the phone yelling at someone that she was in a hurry and that they better hurray up.  She seemed frustrated, hurried and annoyed.  This is a perfect candidate for a Random Act of Kindness.   The cashier rang up her total and I gave her the money. At the same time they both looked at me and corrected me that this was not my food but the food of the women in front of me.  I replied that I knew that and I was paying because I was spreading good cheer! The minute she heard this, the woman got right off the cell phone and began smiling and hugging me and jumping up and down and going on and on how nice it was that I was spreading good cheer on the holidays! She celebrated this random act of kindness so long that I after about seven minutes I reminded her that she was in a hurry! I honestly feel that she would have had an equal reaction if she had won thousands of dollars in the lottery! The reaction was that strong. I was so pleased that I made her day and I was able to change her mood around in a flash! She thanked again and literally skipped across the parking lot! The minute she left the cashier looked at me with an expression of total confusion and asked me why I did that?

I explained to her I was spreading good cheer. She did not understand what I was talking about.  I felt sorry for her that the whole transaction was lost on her. What kind of life must she have had that she just did not get it? I hope that somebody does something nice for her and that she understands good cheer!  I was glad that the feeling in the air among the other witnesses of this Random Act of Kindness prevailed.

Please try this at home! Spread good cheer and let me know how it goes!

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<![CDATA[RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS NUMBER 2]]>Wed, 12 Dec 2012 16:32:17 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2012/12/random-act-of-kindness-number-2.htmlMy second random act of kindness was similar to my first in that I did something nice for an unsuspecting stranger. The experience was similar because a real positive charge was created and again I got the feeling that I did something truly amazing yet is was so simple. This man did not seem as bewildered by the whole experience as the woman who had the milk, yet he too was pleasantly surprised and I like to think it definitely made his day!

 I was buying donuts for a party, when I heard the man next to me order a cup of coffee. As he was taking out his gift card to pay for the coffee I said “Absolutely not! I am paying and spreading holiday cheer!”   Then I wished him happy holidays. This time I was not committing this act alone but had my five-year old daughter with me! Once the kindness occurred things became very hectic. I remember handing the cashier 20 dollars to pay for my donuts and his coffee.  My daughter attempted to take money from my wallet and I remember putting the money she had taken back in my wallet while this lovely man was thanking me. The man was so surprised and so taken with what I had done I only remember him standing there literally gazing and smiling at me the way new parents gaze their child or the way you can appreciate a huge full moon hanging low over the ocean. The whole thing probably lasted about 10 seconds until I noticed my daughter walking away and had to turn my attention away from my new- found best friend. He looked at me and just be to sure asked if I knew who he was. I got the feeling he wanted to be sure he was not missing something and that a complete stranger was REALLY buying him coffee. I was about to introduce myself to him confident, that if I had been able to do that I would have had a new friend for life. Just then, my donuts arrived along with my change. My daughter got very excited to be in the presence of donuts and again my attention went elsewhere.  My recipient of kindness did not leave until he told me that he hoped to run into me again in the coffee shop so he could buy me a cup of coffee one day too!  After he left I asked my daughter if she understood what I had done and was disappointed that she had not realized a single thing. That goes to show that when you are trying to teach your children valuable life lessons about kindness and the power of small acts make sure there is no junk food around!

Happy Holidays! 

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<![CDATA[RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS NUMBER ONE ]]>Tue, 11 Dec 2012 18:14:15 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2012/12/random-act-of-kindness-number-one.html Happy Holidays! As promised, there have been four acts of random kindness so far. I have tried to do a variety of things for people I know and strangers.  I have to say that it has been a very rewarding experience so far that has left me with a holiday “High” of good cheer and I have felt more immune to the sense of hustle bustle and frustration that I usually feel with all the crowds and people rushing everywhere! It is amazing the difference in the quality of your life when you go around consciously thinking of nice things to do for people!

Random Act One

I was standing in line at my local grocery store and noticed a cute little elderly lady behind me purchasing a carton of milk.  I was paying for my groceries and turned to ask her if I could “Borrow” her carton of milk. She looked at me very quizzically and hesitantly handed me the milk.  I had the checkout person scan it. The checkout person looked at me strangely because she was also confused. She scanned the milk.

Out of the corner of her mouth the checkout person asked, “Do you know her?” I replied “No.”  I handed the woman back her milk now bagged and she looked at me again with the same expression on her face and asked me why did I want to borrow her milk? I told her I was spreading holiday cheer and I paid for her milk and was wishing her the happiest of holidays. She just stood there frozen.  Asked me again why I wanted her milk. I explained to her again the same thing and let her know she was free to go.  It wasn’t until the checkout person assured her that she was free to go that she changed from totally confused to cautious (like this might be a joke) to elated. She was so happy and so grateful that somebody cared enough to spread holiday cheer. I felt so good and powerful in that moment. The cashier got such a kick out of it too.  I paid for my groceries and as I was leaving this sweet lady and her friend waited for me like I was a celebrity and they were autograph seekers. She was still smiling and her friend thanked me and said I did such a wonderful thing. Yet a fourth person’s life was touched by my simple act. This is not including anyone else that was told this story whose life has been impacted in a positive light. I like to think the possibilities for joy are endless as this story is heard by more people.  I am amazed by two things: the first being that people are so surprised when anyone does anything nice for them and how such a small simple act can be so powerful.

Have a joyful day!

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<![CDATA[EIGHT RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS ON A BUDGET]]>Tue, 04 Dec 2012 17:40:20 GMThttp://buffersandbreakthroughs.com/2/post/2012/12/eight-random-acts-of-kindness-on-a-budget.htmlThe holiday season is upon us again! Everybody is busy rushing, doing and most of all buying!  Especially just coming off Thanksgiving and spending time thinking about what I am grateful for it always feels strange to me that the holiday season seems to be all about buying to me. I have always said that if the holiday season were about random acts of kindness it would be a different world. This year I am going to walk my talk and do one act of random kindness for each day of the eight days of Hannukah and blog about the results! Who is with me? Please comment on my blog or tweet me @JenaJake22 with suggestions! Please join me and I will blog about your experiences too! 

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