Life has started out pretty good in the New Year. Last night I hung out at an old friend’s house in Maine drinking bourbon, playing board games, lighting a bonfire, and drinking champaign well into the night. Today I woke up early (earlier than my body wanted me to) to go play ice hockey for two hours. Every year on the 1st, one of my old hockey coaches rents out the rink and a bunch of us play until the zamboni kicks us off. After playing hockey we immediately went to my aunt and uncles house for a barbeque (50+ degrees on January 1st?!?!). This is where I had my first piece of meat in over a month. It was great, but again I didn’t really have a craving for it like I thought I would so it was a bit anti-climactic on that front.
The jury is still out as to whether I’ll continue to eat meat or not. I imagine that I will eat meat, just less of it than my lifestyle demanded before December’s vegetarian experiment. I wasn’t quite sure what to do today for my random act of kindness. Is it still random if I plot it out ahead of time? I think the point is really to do something out of my way every day to make someone else’s life better. Also, if I plan to do it every day, I should have a few ideas up my sleeve so a day doesn’t sneak by me. I think I’ll be able to get to sleep at night even if it’s not a truly random event.
We spent the afternoon (sweaty and smelly) eating food, catching up, and watching the Patriots game on TV. We definitely had a blast because it’s not that often that everyone can make it home to Maine at the same time. So spending the day playing hockey and visiting with family was great because both things I really only get to do a few times per year. With the thought of my Random Acts of Kindness experiment in the forefront of my mind I was constantly trying to find the perfect scenario to help out. I offered to help with grilling the meat but my uncle had it under control and it would have been a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen scenario anyway. I also thought about offering to do the dishes but they had indeed already been done by the time I thought of it. Soon thereafter I went into a food coma from the burger, cake, and cookies and napped for about an hour on the couch. Then before I knew it we were on our way home, it was getting dark, and I still hadn’t done anything yet.
We were almost home when it dawned on me that I should get a thank-you card and write them a note; thanking them not only for having everyone over but also for feeding me the first piece of meat I’ve eaten in over a month, the end of what has been a great experience. It turned out that my Mom already had a stack of nice blank cards so I used that to write a note and then mailed it to my aunt and uncle.
They indeed went out of their way to invite us over for food, fun and football and we had a blast. As I said earlier, it’s not that often that my family is all in the same place at one time. So the fact that we could all get together meant a lot. Normally I would have just said thank you, hugged everyone goodbye, and then went on my merry way back to Boston. However, this time I took the extra few minutes to write them a thank you note and drop it in the mail. No matter how advanced our communications technology is getting, there’s still something special about getting a letter in the mail.