A few nights ago I had dinner with a friend. We chatted about everything and somehow ended up reviewing the past year.
“And then there was that time you fed me. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me,” she said.
Huh? It took me a minute or two to understand what she was talking about.
Earlier this year, my friend’s mom had some very sudden, extremely serious health issues. The day her mom was rushed to the hospital, my friend sent out an email, updating a bunch of us. It was clear my friend wasn’t even sure which way was up. I called her. “I’m bringing lunch, what do you want?” I can be so subtle.
At lunchtime, I swung through a drive-through, grabbed a burger (as she requested), french fries (because I believe they have healing powers), and zipped over to the hospital. It was a lovely day. We sat outside, she ate and talked while I grabbed an occasional fry.
To me, the lunch had been a break in the workday, a small gesture I could do to help a friend.
To her, it had been an Amazingly Impactful Moment.
(Side note: her mom is out of the hospital and doing great.)
Amazingly Impactful Moments (AIM)
Story #1. I remember being in elementary school. Around the holiday time we drew names and had to get a gift for someone in the class. We were only allowed to spend a dollar. I fussed at my mother “ONLY a dollar!! That’s nuts. What can you get for a dollar??!” My mom raised her eyebrows and said in a quiet, dangerous voice “Would you like me to take back the gift I got for you that cost less than a dollar?” Not being the world’s greatest idiot, I backed off, and assured her that I knew there were lots of gifts that didn’t cost more than a buck. I have no idea what I bought for the class gift, but I definitely remember that my mom got me nail polish. She painted my nails and I got to sit at the dining room table while they dried. I felt awesome.
Story #2. After my first kid was born, a visiting friend cut up an orange for me. At the time, I thought it was the Greatest Act of Kindness anyone had ever done.
Story #3. A month or two ago, I had a lousy day. There was nothing I could particularly point to as the source of “ick” but I came home just snarling. “It’s not your fault,” I growled at the kids as I stomped into the house, “but I’m in a rotten mood—back off.” Kid number two was walking by, stopped, kissed me on the nose, and went on with whatever she was doing. It changed my entire day.
It’s not the amount we spend that creates Amazingly Impactful Moments. Often it’s not even the amount of time we spend. In today’s rough and tumble world, sometimes it’s that we just take a minute to be kind, to be thoughtful, that creates an Amazingly Impactful Moment (AIM). Sometimes it’s that we know a girlfriend so well, we instinctively know what she’ll need—even if she doesn’t. Sometimes it’s just smiling at a stranger that triggers a chain of events we never learn about but that brighten someone’s day.
As we move into 2013 (yep, I typed that without having to backspace), I invite you to join me to look for opportunities to create Amazingly Impactful Moments—for yourself and for others. AIM high, girlfriend. And have a wonderful, healthy 2013 full of all the things you wish for.
JUDI COGEN is Chief of Amazingly Impactful Moments (and the occasional Brilliant Idea) at Girlfriendology. She is grateful for all the wonderful friends in her world and can’t wait to meet the new friends waiting for her in 2013.
What are your Amazingly Impactful Moments? Will you share them with us?
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