Do you ever feel like you need a vacation after your vacation? Time to unpack, do laundry, restock your fridge, unwind and transition back to normalcy?
Yeah? Me too.
It’s been about two weeks since we’ve arrived back home after a five-day rural road trip adventure and I feel like I’m finally back to our regular household routines.
This girls trip with my mom, daughter, aunt and cousin was packed full of excitement and memories.
After five states, 1,190 miles, one dead car battery, three hotels, multiple mouth-watering meals from the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile, one eerie castle on top of a hill and one impromptu play date with a baby monkey, we collected a countless number of priceless memories we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
We were all excited to explore new places and step away from the normalcy of everyday life. We had big plans and only a few rules:
Rule #1: Laugh a lot.
Rule #2: No fast food or chain restaurants.
Rule #3: Go with the flow.
There was no problem abiding by Rule #1. We stayed true to Rule #2 as well. We did hit up a McDonald’s drive-thru once in the middle of the afternoon for some Dr. Pepper but no food. Promise.
There were many instances where Rule #3 came into play – moments when we were reframing negative thoughts into positive ones – the first being the first morning of our trip. We finished breakfast, checked out of the hotel, loaded up the car and were filled to the brim with excitement about the next segment of our adventure when…my car wouldn’t start.
So here we are…four women bubbling with energy and a rambunctious toddler stranded in an unfamiliar hotel parking lot. At this point I could have broken down with a why-does-this-have-to-happen-to-me attitude or I could harness the positive excitement I had about the next segment of our adventure to take action to resolve this little hiccup.
No one wants to deal with car trouble in the middle of a relaxing get-a-way but here’s the thing – this was one of the most memorable parts of our entire trip. Not because it was an inconvenient glitch in our plans but because this glitch made room for random acts of kindness to bless us with generosity and compassion.
Random Acts of Kindness
Once I realized my car wouldn’t start, I asked the hotel receptionists, who were very helpful, for recommendations on who to call. Luckily, there was a car dealership and mechanics across the street from the hotel. After calling and waiting on hold for several minutes (their Thursday morning was already off to a hopping start according to their receptionist), a mechanic said they would be right over to take a look at my car.
With my caravan waiting in the hotel lobby, I met the mechanics outside at my lifeless vehicle who offered to take it across the street to their shop where they could do a complete test to make sure they identified a solution so we wouldn’t have any more trouble on the rest of our trip. They accomplished this in half the time they estimated it would take. When they delivered my vehicle back to the front door of the hotel, they said the battery just needed a jump and that were were ready to hit the road again. No major malfunctions. Phew!
I asked if I could pay them for their services and the mechanic, who had such a genuine nature about him, just shook his head and said:
“Oh, no. We’re just happy to help.”
To the mechanics (sorry I forgot your names; I’m bad with names) who took time out of their Thursday morning and their already full workload to help out a few women and a toddler traveling through your town…thank you. In the midst of the negativity that our world seems to be saturated with lately, I felt honored to be the recipient of your authentic compassion and willingness to do good for a stranger. Those random acts of kindness are what our world needs more of right now. You remind me and inspire me to do the same for others and that ripple effect is what will change the world.
What was your most recent random act of kindness?