Have a Feel Good Friday!
I love August. It boasts of summer holidays abroad, less traffic, lovely long days and barbecues. It is a happy time of year. While I revel in the bliss of another sunny day, it can be easy to forget that outside my serene British summer bubble there are still many ongoing issues facing our world. So, I am resolving to have at least one Feel Good Friday this August when I spend the day being mindful of ways I can make a difference and taking action.
In my head, this is how the day might unfold…
I am woken, as usual, by one of two things: a) the dog jumping off the bed with a thump as an indication he would like to go out for his morning pee-pee or b) my eight-month-old daughter, who has an exceptionally fine-tuned body clock. I reluctantly drag myself out of bed. Then I remember today is about being positive so I turn and smile at my husband; he thinks he is still dreaming (he has never seen me smile first thing in the morning).
Once everyone is dressed and fed, we head out the door for a walk. I’ve done a couple of stretches to warm up the old legs. No greenhouse gas emissions from my car today! I haven’t had time for a hot drink so I take my coffee in a reuseable takeaway-style mug and try to maintain my composure as I juggle dog, buggy, drink, keys, phone…kitchen sink. As much as I enjoy the occasional take-away latte, today I won’t be contributing to the 2.5 billion cups which are thrown away each year in the UK.
It’s a bumper year for blackberries. I’ve just about cleared-up along the river in Walton but my local source tells me the Hersham Riverside Park is where it’s at for ripe pickings. Once I’ve battled the brambles for my berries, my plan is to bake an apple and blackberry crumble using apples from the tree in our garden and as many Fairtrade ingredients as I can source from local shops. This way I ensure the farmers who helped to produce my crumble are getting a better deal and are able to lead the dignified life everyone deserves. In fact, my foraging has been so successful I decide to make two crumbles and take one to my neighbour simply to brighten their day.
I pop into Waitrose and while I’m shopping for supplies I add a couple of things to my basket which can be donated in-store to the Walton and Hersham Foodbank. The charity supplies emergency food for local people in crisis. Buying a few extra items with my shopping is an easy way of helping.
“Would you like bags?” the cashier asks.
“No thanks, it’s Feel Good Friday. I brought my own.”
Okay, I don’t actually say that but I do pack my groceries into the bottom of the buggy rather than unnecessarily taking a plastic bag.
Back home, while the aroma of baking crumble fills the house I count the money in our coin jar. I’m going to use our spare change to give a microloan to an entrepreneur in the developing world and help get their business up and running. They will eventually pay me back and I can re-donate that money to someone else. The legacy of Feel Good Friday will live on!
The attention typically demanded by my daily routine means I rarely have a chance to connect with distant family or old friends. Today I make a point of calling someone I care about just to say hi and find out how they are doing.
It’s a shallow bath for little one this evening and quick showers all round to ensure we are being as water-wise as we can. Dinner is a gourmet vegetarian dish made from local produce.
…oh alright, perhaps my proposed Feel Good Friday is a tad over-the-top BUT even opting to do one or two of the above-mentioned will have a wider positive impact.
As the day draws to a close I reflect on all the opportunities to make a difference that present themselves on a daily basis.
What small thing could you do today to make our world just a little more like August all year round?
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