To Julie's Kindness Project:
While I have what some perceive as a heavy care load, do not think of my work as kindness. I love the people I care for. Julie’s project had me think about how I could be kind in ways that are more difficult. Unfortunately, I found that I was exhausted to reach beyond my immediate circle. In fact, I had developed a bunker mentality out of resentment towards the outside world, due to daily judgement or unkindness from others, which I told myself were part and parcel of caring for those with disabilities, but I felt existed even under normal circumstances.
I started small—by acknowledging how I felt, being more assertive when possible, and then letting the little resentments go. When I do this, I can focus more on the good things and I am better able to recognize kindness from others. This has given me more energy to participate in community efforts or reach out to strangers in obvious need on a daily basis. Time is always an issue, but I am better able to pause for something that takes an extra moment. I knew Julie just a bit “back in the day” and always admired her confidence and upbeat nature. I am happy to contribute to this kindness project in her memory. Sorry if it's a little confessional.