Tuesday Tidbit: “Right Thing” Moments & Giveaway

This contest is now closed—thanks so much to everyone who visited, commented, and shared! Justine is the winner; I’ll email her separately about claiming her prize.

Even though I’ve realized a lifelong dream of becoming a published author, I don’t always feel like I know what I’m doing. In fact, I often feel quite lost.

This holiday season, I’ve been paying attention to when I don’t feel lost. And I’ve realized that there are quite a few of these moments. I think of them as “right thing” moments, those moments when suddenly I am aware that whatever I am doing is exactly what I’m meant to be doing, that there’s no disconnect between who I want to be and who I am.

The first of these came when I was addressing Christmas cards. Every year, I sent a Christmas card to an old friend of my late grandmother’s. I loved my grandmother so much, but she died when I was fourteen, and I never had the chance to know her as an adult. Writing to her friend each year makes me feel like I still have a connection to my grandmother. What’s more, my grandmother’s (now very elderly & widowed) friend is so deeply grateful for the card that she always sends me a thank you note. When I addressed my card to her this year, I suddenly had the sense that if I had done nothing else in 2013 that mattered, spiritually or cosmically, sending that card did.

The other night, one of my friends, who like me is new to town, celebrated her birthday. Her husband invited a few friends to get together, and we all went out to dinner. The dinner was over at nine, and the party started to break up, and I could see from her face that she desperately needed us to keep celebrating her birthday. My house was a mess, and I had nothing to serve, but I knew I had to keep the evening going for her. So I invited everybody over and made some cocktails and served them microwave popcorn and chocolate chip cookies. When they arrived, there was a giant pile of unfolded laundry on my armchair. Two of the women folded some of it for me. It almost made me cry. At the end of the evening my friend hugged me so hard it hurt.

Last night, my daughter was having a really hard time with her geometry homework. She didn’t seem to be able to actually see the angles. She couldn’t figure out how to name them with three letters, like ABC. She struggled and struggled, and she got more and more frustrated. I sat down with her, and we went over the entire assignment carefully, in detail, with me teaching her all the parts she didn’t know. It took more than an hour, and she wasn’t always nice to me. But she was really proud of herself when she finished that homework, and I knew she’d learned something.

I wish there were more of these moments, the ones where I knowCatch of the Day cover I’ve done something that matters. I wish I knew how to make more of them, and I wish I had the willpower and the time and the personal resources to make them happen all day every day. But I am so grateful for the ones that do happen, and I am so lucky to have those “right thing” moments in my life.

This weekend I read Kristin Higgins’ Catch of the Day. It made me laugh and cry. The hero is not someone who is constantly engaging in acts of random kindness, but twice in the book, he does the “right thing” when it matters, and it means so much to the heroine.

Comment on a “right thing” moment in your life, and you’ll be entered to win an ebook copy of Catch of the Day. You must be 18 or older to enter, and live in the US or Canada.