It’s been a long time since I blogged…..not due to lack of something to say, but more that my co-workers clearly have nothing better to do than read about my life. So let’s call this my midlife crisis and I will start blogging again.

Haven’t you always wanted to be that person you hear about on the news that goes into a Tim Horton’s and pays for the next 500 coffees? Last month, I was taking my kids to curling, and pulled into Tim Horton’s to grab breakfast on the way. When I reached the window to pay, I was told that the previous customer had paid my bill. All of it. I am talking about 3 breakfast sandwiches and 3 drinks. I was dumbfounded. And then, I was the dummy the broke the ‘Pay It Forward’ chain because I was so shocked I just drove away. It took about a kilometre before I truly realized what some stranger had done for me (in fairness, it was early). I buy coffee all the time for someone behind me in line, but I have never bought a family a meal. What an awesome gesture! How could I ever beat that?

I am a fairly confident man with everything in my life except women. In my experience, confident guys are usually the cheaters, but these are the men that most women are drawn to.  Since my divorce, I have been trying to break out of my comfort zone and find my 20 seconds of insane courage that Matt Damon refers to in “We Bought A Zoo”.

I told my daughter I wanted to buy flowers for some women we know for Valentines Day, even though some of them may not know us. We picked out a couple of bunches of flowers, and separated them for delivery with personalized little notes on some. We started with my favourite Costco supervisor, an older woman that always goes out of her way for a customer with a smile. She had no idea who I was, and it felt great, so I told her to watch for the next reaction.  I next went to the very cashier that sold me the flowers, a beautiful 20 something that I would normally never talk to, that always seems to be dancing to a song in her head. To be honest, I don’t know who blushed more, me or her. We also delivered flowers to a senior confined to a wheelchair, some single moms, some neighbours going through a divorce, a neighbour whose husband was away, and a friend whose husband was home sick so she wasn’t getting anything. Yes, we even gave some to my ex-wife.

My final delivery was to some staff at a neighbourhood restaurant. As I was about to go into the restaurant, a beautiful woman was walking by. Completely out of character for me, I asked if anyone had given her flowers. I think she was surprised by the question, but answered no, so I handed her some of the flowers in my hand and wished her a Happy Valentines Day, without blushing! (And sadly, without even getting her name.)
I had no idea the impact handing out flowers would have on people, and for that matter on me. It made people smile, it made people feel good, and it made me feel awesome. The day finished with someone buying me a beer, another random act of kindness, so it was a much better Valentines Day than I expected. In fact, I want to do it again. Soon.

Random acts of kindness are in all of us, and they don’t need to cost as much as flowers or buying a family breakfast. I sent a photo of the flowers to every single woman I am friends with on Facebook, and even a man that felt left out. I posted them on Twitter so that no one felt left out on Valentines Day. All at the small cost of a few minutes of my time. What will your random act of kindness be?

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