In August, sadly, someone close to me got a heart attack and went into a coma. I wish I could say he's jumping around, tending his garden and petting his cat like he used to, but unfortunately, almost 2 months later, he still hasn't awoken and it looks like he might never wake up at all.
During a holiday in September I had all the time in the world to take it easy, and during that period I decided to pick up blogging as soon as I felt back to my old, more optimistic self.
In september, since most of the time I was on holiday in Italy and my Italian is barely good enough to be able to buy myself an ice cream, my act of kindness mainly consisted of tipping well and smiling broadly. But since I was able to take a bit of my holiday mood with me, I took it easy at home as well and started to thank people.
Thanking people is very rewarding and easy. Since this blog is about being kind to strangers, I started to focus more on what I enjoy in life. It wasn't part of my routine to thank for things like a great website. It never occured to me to surf to one of my frequently visited sites and look up a way to contact them and thank them. I now wrote a thank you mail to the BBC, telling them I love their Country Profiles at the bottom of their regional pages.
After a few days I actually got a reply, not a standard reply but a real thank you for my thank you comment. It might sound silly, but that felt pretty good as I hadn't expected a genuine reply at all. Now I got confirmation that someone was actually glad to read my thank you note!
I also contacted my favourite cartoonist, and had the exact same thing: a few days later he wrote back to thank me. It's very nice to see your email wasn't just read, but appreciated enough for the other person to write back.
Now I am planning on making the thank you email a routine. It's so easy to thank strangers for their creativity, their work, their stories, etc. About as easy as it is rewarding.