Posts Tagged ‘Pinocchio’

Crossing the Finish Line: RAC Challenge Wrap-Up

October 31st: Reflecting on holiday seasons in the past, I wonder why Thanksgiving and Christmas have lost the magic they used to hold many years ago.

November 1st:  Seeking to re-establish that “spark,” I come up with a wacky idea to encourage a more festive holiday attitude within myself and others, as well.  I run it past two people, they give me a vote of confidence, and an idea is born.

November 2nd:  I decide to make the leap and chronicle my experiences on a blog somewhere in Cyberspace.  I research popular blogging sites, ultimately pick Word Press, and create Miracle on 32nd Street.  The idea for RACs (Random Acts of Christmas) is born out of my very first post.

November 2nd, 6:46 PM:  My very first comment arrives in my email inbox.  Heidi becomes my very first poster.

January 1st, 2011:  The first ever RAC Challenge officially wraps up its first season, and goes on hiatus until November 2011.


What a difference a day makes.  One minute, I’m on my way to rehearsal, daydreaming about Christmas and how the holiday spirit has been elusive in years past.  The next day, I’ve gained the title of “blogger”, along with a screen name, website, and one comment.

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What a difference a month makes.  Compare November to December:  in the latter month, I had around 1150 views.  In the former month, I had 2500.  I gained more posters, but more importantly, I gained faithful posters:  people who, like clockwork, continually comment on my writing…people who I now consider as “friends,” although we’ve never actually met face to face.

You can read all about how blogging has changed my life in this article, but this post is dedicated to the RAC Challenge….the idea that started it all.  Now, two months and two days after I initially began my blog, I pause for a moment to reflect on my journey with the RACs and how they have had an amazing impact on who I am and my life in general.

How the RACs changed me…

Coming ‘Round the Bend

Well, here we are…December 24th. My favorite day of the year, aside from the first day of autumn. A day where excitement is high and “Scrooges” are few.  A day where children reach their height of anxiety and where parents reach their height of insanity.  A day where we allow ourselves to feel a tingling of anticipation for what’s to come…Christmas Eve.

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Christmas Eve also ushers in another milestone for me this year as well.  Tomorrow, Miracle on 32nd Street will have been in operation for 1 month and 22 days…not a tremendous milestone in terms of length or significance…but an important reflecting point because of the original aim of this site.

Back on November 2nd, I laid out my goals and aspirations for this blog:  to perform one random act of kindness, every day, up until New Year’s Eve. These “random acts of kindness” quickly became labeled as RACs, or Random Acts of Christmas.  Through my purposeful actions, I wanted to inspire “Christmas spirit” within myself, and, most importantly, within those whom I interacted with.  I had spent far too many Christmas which fizzled out by the time the Big Day rolled by, and I wanted to find a way…any way…to revive that long lost Christmas cheer I had harnessed so long ago.

An experiment.  A challenge to fulfill.  A place of laughter.  A hobby.  An outlet for “do-gooding” and creative writing.  These are all labels which have fit my blog along its short journey thus far.  And, as New Year’s Day gets closer and closer, I wonder what other labels my blog will take on once the original project has crossed the finish line.

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Originally, I never intended this blog to document anything but my RACs. As I got lost in the world of Blogging, however, I became a member of a much larger, funnier, more poignant picture.  I began to frequent other blogs which made me laugh, cry, think, and re-think.  I developed a core of “friends” on Word Press who have stuck by me through good posts and bad.  I have learned some of the necessary tools to be a good blogging friend (i.e. re-blogging, re-Tweeting, commenting, trackbacks, etc), and have become entrenched in a reciprocal world of writers, photographers, humorists, and thousands of others who claim a small home in the Blog-O-Sphere.

In other words, I got hooked.  I no longer had a blog with a time-sensitive goal…I became a blogger, through and through.  I have subscriptions, and I subscribe to sites.  I have followers, and I follow others.  I “Like” great posts, and re-blog about the ones I admire.  I manage my site comments, while simultaneously tracking my own.  I check the Freshly Pressed every day to find new writers and offer my two cents on their offerings.  I tweet.  I Facebook.  I StumbleUpon.  I go through all of the motions a hard-core blogger partakes in…finally, I’m a real blogger!

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Keep on reading, y’all…

Pick a Little, Talk a Little

Since my RACs have been a little dominated by food-relating activities, I decided to devote my weekend tasks to a conversational theme:  make personal contact in a way that would be out of character for myself. (And, when I say “out of character,” I don’t mean by tackling someone to the ground, touching someone awkwardly, or laying a big fat kiss on the cashier at Wegman’s).

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How my family greets one another...

Nay, I simply wished to push myself beyond the safe, reserved persona I often emit when meeting/interacting with strangers.  I wanted to be that person who literally will talk to anyone about anything.  Baby steps here, people…baby steps.

All of my RACs over the weekend were small gestures….no Nobel Peace Prize winning entries here….however, they were actions that truly made me realize just how much more I could be doing in an effort to be a kinder, more considerate person.

#1:  Upon checkout at your friendly neighborhood Sal Val (Salvation Army), I happened upon an amiable cashier, more than willing to share her views on company management and her relationships with other co-workers.  It was 5:00 PM, rush hour traffic had already commenced, my hair was flat, and the store smelled strongly of damp corduroy jeans…I wanted to get home as quickly as possible, but first, I had to…gulp…interact with a chatty employee.  In moments like these, I usually pretend to find something extremely fascinating with the floor or role play as a mute, but I knew…I knew…I had to step outside of the box.  So, for about 3 minutes, I entertained friendly, pain-free conversation with this cheery woman…who ended up actually brightening my evening.  It’s funny:  after surviving a rough week, it’s amazing how much a simple kindness can do for you.

#2:  I am a naturally shy, reserved person…a character trait which I’ve struggled hard to break out of.  When I meet or work with new people, I rarely ever make the purposeful effort to utter the words “It was a pleasure to meet/work with you.” It’s not for lacking of wanting to say that….the reclusive, inhibited, awkward 13-year-old in me still screams “THEY’RE GONNA MAKE FUN OF YOU AND CALL YOU A DWEEB!”

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I really WAS a dweeb...

Read more about my baggage…