Episode 8: Cherish the Memories

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Empty hangers: The ghosts of clothes donated.

Major Topic: Decluttering (cont’d) Nicole has taken her obsession with decluttering and minimalism to “the crazy level”, as Vic would say, and her closet now consists of nothing but her absolute favorite things.

Sucky Moment of the Week (5/5) Angela’s cat and partner in life, Bella, passed away after 19 years together. Inspired Action Cherish the memories, and take the time you truly need to grieve loved ones lost.

Ask Coach AWags Allison is participating in the #40actsofkindnessbefore40 challenge, and asks for some ideas of random acts of kindness to try out.

Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Cherish the memories.

Try This! Pick a random act of kindness that inspires you, and do it this week!

Team SHOUT out We love our bloggers! Nicole and Angela acknowledge the Spark Podcast blog writers, Sarah, Sarah, and Jenny.

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RAK ‘Em Up

If you’ve ever driven up to the pay window at a Starbucks drive-thru only to realize that the stranger in front of you has already paid for your latte, you know the power of the random act of kindness. They are a pleasant, humbling surprise to receive and a joy to give. But the true magic of the RAK (yeah, we’re abbreev-ing, go with it), is the wave of positivity that radiates out into the world with such a simple combination of intention and action.

This week on the podcast, a listener wrote in seeking inspiration on creative RAKs she could implement in her daily life. In the spirit of that request, and with the knowledge that there is always room in the world and our lives for more random kindness, we created a list of our ideas for random acts of kindness. If any of these inspire you, try them out, and pass the positivity and good vibes forward. They tend to make their way back to you.

  • From Episode 2 of the Podcast: Leave a good review. If you have a positive experience at a store or restaurant and the receipt prompts you to take a survey, take the extra five minutes! If you have a pleasant customer service experience online or on the phone, do the same.
  • Write a letter to a teacher that made an impact on you.
  • Walk around the parking lot of a grocery store and place all the stray carts back into the corral.
  • Thank those who serve our country and communities. Buy a meal or coffee or beer for a member of the armed services or police officer.
  • Put a quarter in someone else’s expired parking meter.
  • Bring a healthy breakfast to work for all your coworkers.
  • Leave an outrageously big tip.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • You know that awesome thing you really like but you don’t really need anymore and were gonna sell? Offer it on Craigslist or Facebook for free.
  • Make your friend a playlist (it’s the new mixtape).
  • Help a stranger carry that heavy something or all those bags to their car.
  • Write a nice note and stick it under a stranger’s windshield wiper.
  • Volunteer on your day off.
  • Hold the elevator.
  • Call your mom.
  • If you have a talent or hobby, offer your services for free. Teach a yoga class, take your friend’s headshots, knit someone a sweater – just do what you do!
  • Be kind to yourself, too.

What are some ways you spread kindness in the world? Let us know in the comments, and keep RAKing ’em up!

A Cat’s Love

Nineteen years of cuddles, comfort, and play. It’s only been a day since my sweet kitty has been gone, but I miss her more than I imagined was possible. My heart physically aches. She was my best friend.

We were both babies when we met. She was 6 months old and I was just a 20 year-old college student. Together we lived in San Antonio, Austin, Boston, and Dallas. We had many different roommates, friends, and parties.  She was by my side through every gut-wrenching break-up and with me the day I married the love of my life, John. She loved him, even though he wasn’t a “cat guy,” and she certainly knew it. She even tolerated a new addition to the family, Roxy, a DOG. She cuddled with me through an exciting first pregnancy and a very painful second one. She became besties with Luke and even let Zoe pet (pull) her fur.

Throughout my entire adult life, Bella and I were inseparable. Up until her last moments, she was by my side. Most cats hide when they are sick and ready to die. The only time she left me was when John and I were desperately trying to get her to eat something. She retreated to the closet as if to say “Mom, stop. I am ready.” Moments after I texted the vet that we were going to let her go, she came out of the closet and never left my side.

Pets are incredible creatures. They are such intuitive beings. They know when we hurt. They take care of us when we are sick. They celebrate with us when we are happy. They remain loyal, no matter what we say or what we do. They love unconditionally. And all they ask for in return is nourishment, love, and comfort. It’s really pretty simple and a lesson we can all learn.

Today was my first day without her. I woke up to silence. There was no meowing at the foot of the bed, no purring in my ear, and no soft fur on my face. Roxy slept in her place all day and looked at me with sad eyes. I swear she misses her too. John, the guy who doesn’t like cats, had tears in his eyes. While it hurts so very much to say goodbye, I am so grateful that she was there the day I went to the Humane Society of San Antonio.

Sweet Bella, you were an incredible companion. I am so glad you are at peace. As our vet Mandy said, “Enjoy your wings, girl.”