The 11th Hour and Public Toilets

I had an incredible day catching up with one of the best people on the planet, my former neighbor in Laguna Beach, CA. Then it was on to spend my afternoon with my Guatemalan family, all gorgeous skin, smiles, humor and love for miles.

I don’t know if I was of use to my sweet friend. I talk too much sometimes but with her less so than when I’m with others. I was incredibly engaged in her stories and the details of her journey. I know by her own admission she isn’t finding time to nurture herself much these days and that includes girlfriend time. Perhaps my request to catch up over coffee and having flown 2,000 miles helped her get a much needed time out. But she’s not my deed for today. Seeing her was absolutely selfish.

As for the afternoon and early evening, I don’t know if I’m inconveniencing my ex-nanny and her family by spending so much time with them, but they certainly don’t act like it. I don’t know if seeing us helps them as much as it helps us. She and her family are complimentary but they could care less about who I’m wearing, what school I did or didn’t go to and not finish, and frankly, if I ever become an accomplished writer, or accomplished anything. My ex-nanny’s name is Hilda. She’s hilarious. And wise in such an obvious way I think it could make two thirds of this country blush. Remember her. I’ll quote her on occasion. What Hilda has given me and taught me, and continues to give and teach me can never be paid back. We’ll never be square. I’ll always be in the red with her, though she’ll deny it.

I don’t believe being in relationship with others, listening, cheering on, being present to celebrate and mourn together, to nurse, nurture, encourage, etc. falls under the “deed” or “service” category. It’s not service to carry one’s weight in an intimate relationship. It’s one’s duty.

Unless you want to be a hermit.

So, for my very first day of the 365 Servings: A Deed a Day Without Anyone Finding Out, at 11:20 PM, January 5th, I went to the front desk of my hotel. I asked them for tape and a pen. I swiped a notepad near a hotel house phone and while in the Womens Lounge I wrote out six notes:

1) THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK (taped above floor buttons in the elevator)

2) YOU ARE LOVED (taped above the toilet paper in the handicap stall)

3) EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT, RIGHT NOW (taped above the toilet paper in the next stall)

4) YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL (taped on the entry mirror when entering the Womens Lounge)

5) THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE COFFEE! (taped outside the locked doors of the small cafe)

6) YOU ARE PERFECT, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE (taped above the toilet paper in another stall)

They might all get found and discarded before the sun rises. Then I thought, but someone will see them.

I won’t ever know if someone smiled at the random kindness; if it brought a moment of validation they didn’t even know they needed from the universe or a fellow human, if it inspired more kindness. But it doesn’t hurt to try.

And to hope.



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