Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Gift of Giving. The Birthday Present to Myself.

Most people that I talk to about getting a year older form that wretched look on their face and tell me something like, "I'm not celebrating this year." Or they go into detail about how old they are and how this birthday is "not that exciting."

Well, you know me. In typical Tisha fashion, I decided to change the way I see birthdays so that I am not fifty years old one day focusing on the fact that I'm not twenty-something. 

Here I am. Today, I turned 36. Instead of focusing on my age or how my body doesn't work like it did at 16, I decided to focus on something different. For years, birthdays were all about me and what I wanted for that day. Birthdays were about gifts for me and expectations about what others would do for me. 

But today I decided to change all of that and to change my way of thinking about birthdays. In my previous post, I challenged my friends, co-workers, and family to join me in doing one big or small Random Act of Kindness on this day, December 5, in my honor. I asked that at least 36 people do one act today and did they ever follow through! :) 

First, I'll share with you all of the RAK's I did throughout the entire day and then I'll share their photos with you. (this post will be picture heavy to say the least, so be warned.)
December 4
6:00 PM: Free pizza for my birthday from my favorite pizza joint. Prompted me to pay it forward early.
7:00 PM: Purchase 3 $5 gift cards from target. 
7:05 PM: Wait for unsuspecting person to walk through the door. There he IS! :) 
December 5
7:00 AM: Breakfast with my favorite 2 year old and 12 year old :) No one was behind me or even close, so I couldn't pay for a meal. Yet.
7:30 AM: 7-11 to get lotto tickets, money, a water, a couple of slices of tape AND to surprise the worker with a Target gift card. He was in shock that I was offering this. Can you tell? 
8:00 AM: Stopped at Dollar Store for tape, sharpie, and notepad. Handed a lotto card to the cashier. Look at that SMILE! 
8:05 AM: Had to pick up a package from the Post Office. Before I left, I handed her some cookies and thanked her for her service and hard work! More smiles! 
8:10 AM: Taped 2 lotto tickets and a note to our local gas station's gas pumps. FUN! Wish I could've captured their reactions! 
8:15 AM: Held the door open for a student just leaving her car. It was her birthday, too! I shared my birthday idea with her. 
10:00 AM: Taped change and a note to 2 different vending machines. Drink was on ME! 
11:30 AM: Girl who shares my bday brought a cupcake to me. I paid it forward to the office aides in the front. 
1:00 PM: Needed a quick lunch. Stopped at Sonic. As I ordered, an elderly man drove up right across from me and so I requested his order be added to mine. 
1:07 PM: Car hop brought my food, so I surprised him with a lotto ticket! 
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM: I was sent random texts, tweets, videos, and photos of what YOU ALL did to contribute to this day! 
7:00 PM: Dollar Tree run for wrapping paper. I taped a note and $2 to two separate places in the toy section! 
7:30 PM: Back at Target for the last gift card giveaway. This last RAK was the BEST reaction so I blew it up! Look at her face!!!!! :) :) :) 



My friends did many various things, also, throughout the day. 
Robyn in NY: Helped some tourists get around the subway. 
Jaime in GA: Paid for the meal behind her at Chick Fil A
Corbi donated money for Christmas to children in need.
Lib: Picked up and cared for a stray dog 
Adam: Took resources to a teacher in need.
Becca: Bought a candy bar and left it for a teacher with a "happy day" note.
Danielle: In honor of your special day, and birthday request, I left money with the tollbooth worker at my exit and asked that he use it for people who didn't have toll money. Hope your day was wonderful!! Happy 36th! :)
Kasie:Check your email, Tisha. My random act of kindness for you today was to spend 36$ on random classrooms in your honor. Because of your birthday request, students in Arizona will have the books they need and students in Ohio will have pencils and a pencil sharpener.
Happy 36th! 
Cher: So, this totally awesome lady that I met when I was pg with Kate, Tisha Poncio, had a birthday today and decided that in honor of her birthday she wanted to challenge all of her friends to do a Random Act of Kindness today. How brilliant is that? :) Great idea, Tisha! I hope my RAK made a family smile today!!
Tasha: I am filling out Christmas cards to be sent randomly to Wounded Warriors, and deployed soldiers. Christmas goodies to follow.....
MelissaI bought someone coffee behind me in the drive thru yesterday. 
Rebecca: She offered a free fitness class tonight to anyone that showed up! 
Maria: Brought coffee to a coworker today. :). Happy birthday!
Stephanie: Bought coffee via Facebook for a friend!
Jennifer: Bought a poinsettia for her co-worker. 
Jennifer's Co-Worker: Left money at the coke machine for a random person
Leanna: Made cookies for the fire department and other treats for a neighbor
Naomi: Paid for a car wash for the car behind her
Martha: Found my money for a diet coke and passed on a chocolate bar to another lucky stranger
Tiffany: She had her students volunteer time AND she sent her aunt's money with a sweet note of love
Rebecca: Donated $36 to feed hungry families 
Anonymous Friend: She went all out and got her kids involved. She wanted to stay unnamed, but she did the following: 
Bought 6 drinks at Sonic & gave to the construction guys, Sonic gift card 8 - $5 each (1 carwash attendee, 2 - post office workers, 1 to UPS driver at gas station, Last 4 -(had to get my girls involved) we went secretly to the parking lots at grocery store, middle school, veterinarian, and dollar store
"It's been a long time since I have done this with my girls - it felt AWESOME - thanks for the INSPIRATION - Happy Happy Birthday! Lots of good karma sent out in your name today."




I'm not sure why I never thought to do this before. Giving to others made my birthday more special, more full, more exciting, and more inspiring than any other birthday I've ever had. 

Birthdays shouldn't be about US. Birthdays should be about remembering what our purpose is, what we are bringing to others, what we are giving to those around us, and how taking the "ME" out of the day can really change a birthday's perspective. Taking the ME out of everything will allow us to change the world around us!

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone that participated in my birthday celebration (#RAK, #RandomActsofKindness, #tishasbirthdaycelebration). You guys are the real rock stars! Without you, I wouldn't have been able to multiply so many acts of giving and paying it forward! :)

I'm pretty certain we met our goal of 36 Random Acts today. What do you think? :) 

~tisha