There are Awareness Days of the Year for almost anything you can think of.
Despite the fact these well-recognised awareness days of the year are annual events, what parent has never been caught out, at least once, sometimes more? By their child coming home from school the night before and announcing “it’s World Book Day tomorrow”?
I know I have and definitely more than once!
Does this mean we are bad parents, with no handle on what’s going on in the lives of our children?
No, not at all.
What it does mean, is there are so many awareness days of the year that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Especially with all the other distractions of modern life, when most parents are working and juggling multiple things at once, it may not be front of mind.
Here’s something I learned late on in my parenting career, and make no mistake, parenting is a career. It’s also a career for which you get absolutely no training. I don’t care what anyone says, nothing can prepare you for parenthood.
So, here’s the tip I learned. Write it on a calendar in the kitchen or set it as a reminder on your phone. Set it to repeat each year, then 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day before. Along with any other awareness days of the year that you need to remember. It’s not rocket science but it may just help you dodge a bullet or two.
Even in the twenty-first century, no amount of Googling or watching YouTube videos will give you the knowledge you need to handle the World Book Day bombshell when it’s dropped. Usually, with only a few hours notice to either create a costume from things you have at home or get to the shops before closing. In an attempt to buy whatever you can find in your local supermarket.
You can see always tell the night before World Book Day the parents that have forgotten and are frantically trying to find something.
If you’ve been there, you’ll know. If you haven’t and you are considering having children, you will, all in good time.
There are many other awareness days of the year, they include things like National Chopsticks Day which falls on the 6th of February every year. National Typewriter Day, every June 23rd and Cabbage Day, which falls today, as I write this, 17th February 2023.
Two other important awareness days of the year fall on this day, Random Acts of Kindness Day and World Human Spirit Day, which again, fall on 17th February each year.
It was these two awareness days of the year that inspired me to write this blog post, today.
Almost all of my posts are related to work and the services we offer to our clients and this one is too, in a way.
We use awareness days of the year for some of our clients, especially when it is something related to what they do and, as I mentioned previously, there are awareness days of the year for almost everything these days.
If you can’t find an exact match, don’t despair, there’s always going to be something you can relate to, like the ubiquitous May 4th, which is Star Wars Day.
Everyone must know that one by now, right? I’m not going to explain it.
Why do I want to bring National Random Acts of Kindness Day and World Human Spirit Day to your attention?
As I mentioned previously, the vast majority of my content is work-related but today I wanted to do something a bit different. Today I wanted to give you an insight into what makes me tick as a person and how I bring this to my business.
These two awareness days of the year are important to me and I think they should be important to you too.
Random Acts of Kindness Day – 17th February each year
Random Act of Kindness Day is a day set aside each year to encourage people to be kind to each other. Not that it’s something we should really need reminding of. Being kind should be a daily practice.
It doesn’t take much to be kind to someone, even if they’re being a total dick.
Try to be the bigger person and instead of responding in much the same way, acknowledge they may be acting out of fear, ignorance or attachment.
Also, understand that they might be going through something you have no idea about. They may have just heard some bad news, maybe about their own health, or that of a family member, close friend or loved one.
Responding in the same or similar way will add fuel to the fire and the circle continues.
Learn to break the circle.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest impact.
Something as simple as letting someone out in the traffic, holding a door open for someone or saying please or thank you can turn someone’s day around in a heartbeat.
Not only will you make someone else feel good, but you’ll also feel good too.
Go on, try it, and be the change you want to see in the world. It doesn’t cost a thing.
World Human Spirit Day – 17th February each year
World Human Spirit Day is a day to recognise and celebrate the spirit of humanity around the world. This day serves as a reminder of how much we have in common, despite our differences.
This is a day dedicated to celebrating the spiritual connection of all humans around the world. It is a day to recognise the importance of our spiritual connection to each other and to the world around us. It is a day to celebrate the unity of humanity, to celebrate the diversity of our beliefs and the commonalities of our spirit.
A time to reflect on the ways we can be more compassionate and understanding of one another, to help create a better world for everyone. It is an opportunity to spread kindness and compassion, and to celebrate the spirit of humanity.
What have these things got to do with me and my business?
Before I set up my own business, I was commuting around eighty miles a day, to and from work, across two extremely busy motorway networks.
Saying that, are there any motorways that aren’t busy these days?
I totally sympathise with anyone who commutes a fair distance, especially by car. The thing is unless it’s paying mega bucks, I can almost guarantee the money won’t justify the health risks.
When I was doing this commute, I was a wreck.
I was a wreck when I got to work, after battling through the traffic to get there. Quite often taking twice, sometimes three times longer than it should, due to road conditions and the sheer volume of traffic.
How did this affect my working day?
It put me on the back foot right from the off.
As soon as I got in the office, things would start to niggle me. Sometimes trivial stuff like loads of cups and dishes in the sink, so there were no cups for brews because people hadn’t washed up after themselves.
Sometimes, it could be a work colleague or team member, who hadn’t fulfilled a time-critical task that had been asked to do the night before. Quite often involving a customer service task.
Even if something tangible hadn’t happened, I could get triggered by an irate customer. Who, incidentally, would probably have had good reason to be irate, if they were chasing something time-critical that hadn’t been done.
Whatever the cause, it often had the ability to leave me in a state of stress and anxiety for the remainder of the day, as I mulled the issue over in my mind.
Then, after a long day in a busy sales office, it would be time to commute home again. With no idea of knowing how long it was going to take or what you would encounter along the way.
Weather, accidents, road works, motorway closures, you name it, I’ve been stuck in or delayed by it. Oh, and of course, the road rage brigade, which I’m sorry to admit, I have joined on more than one occasion.
Then, when you get home to spend some, supposed, quality time with your children, partner or loved ones, you are fit for nothing. Tired, irritated and often just plain angry. This isn’t how your loved ones want to see you.
I can visualise you nodding your head in agreement with the things I’ve mentioned.
What can you do to stop falling into the same bad habits?
Personally, I would do what I did, firstly I left the job I was in and secondly, not long after, I begin a meditation practice.
I have been meditating almost daily now for around nine years and I can honestly say it has been a life-changing experience for me. Along with the meditation practice, I have been familiarising myself with Buddhism, other Eastern philosophies and spiritual teachings.
They have helped ground me and provided a much-needed daily break from the world around me. It doesn’t have to be much, 10 minutes a day will do but if you put the time in, after 30 days you will see a difference in your outlook.
Meditation can help to cultivate, patience, kindness, and an open heart and mind, which in turn can help you to decide on what is and isn’t important in your life.
If you can, leave the job you commute to and find something closer to home, do it!
If you can’t, meditate.
What is my life like now and how do these changes fit into my business?
My life now, after almost nine years, is totally different.
Do I still get angry and frustrated with things? You bet I do.
Do I act out on these feelings and emotions? Sometimes, yes, but I’m now more aware that I’m doing it and am better able to control myself. Instead of flipping out at the first sign of stress. Which also adds unnecessary pressure on your physical body and can manifest itself in many ways. None of which are beneficial for a healthy body.
The changes I made to my life, through meditation, have given me a solid base from which to reposition myself and my business. This has benefited my customers and me, as now I’m more relaxed, more patient, and more open-minded. Taking more pride in my work and enjoying the process. This of course leads to a better quality of work for my clients.
It isn’t easy and it takes time, much like everything else in life, if you want to be good at something, you have to practice. It takes daily consistent effort to improve yourself, whether that be physically or mentally and it’s never over. There are always improvements to be made.