A marathon random act of joy and a competition!

If you're losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon

I had big plans for a special London Marathon random act of joy this year. Big plans. Involving marching bands. But, as it is, I won’t be cheering anyone on as I’ll be too busy gasping for breath as I tackle the race myself.

If you’re in London this weekend, I urge you to take my spot on the sidelines instead. Don’t worry, you don’t have to organise your own horn section, but taking to the streets and cheering for strangers is one of the most uplifting experiences there is. Every time I’ve done it I’ve ended up in tears as I watch someone who is at the brink of their physical limits step forward with just a little more energy at the sound of someone calling their name.

And of course I have a vested interest as I’m relying on the spirit of strangers (as well as some of my wonderful friends) to help me get round. So if you do come to cheer then please yell loudly for me too. I’ll be wearing bad lycra and an oversized red vest with CHERYL typed on it.

If you’re not in London, don’t worry, there’s still an opportunity for you to get involved. I’m running the marathon in aid of Shelter. As someone who delights in creating joyful experiences and gets so much pleasure from making a beautiful home, the idea that anyone is without one is deeply upsetting. My target is £1800 which is enough to find 54 families secure housing. Definitely worth running the 26.2 miles.

In order to meet my target, I’ve decided to create an extra special joyful care package and raffle it.

The lucky winner (from anywhere in the world) will be chosen at random and after a good old chat, I’ll put together a customised care package just for you. The usual monthly packages tend to include stunning stationery, designy treats and lots of care and thought. This one will be worth over £100 so there’ll be plenty to surprise and delight.

Make Me Joyful Marathon Comp

To win it:

1. Go to my sponsorship page HERE and make any sized donation (even £1 will help).

2. Include your full name (so I can track you down if you win).

3. Put MMJ somewhere in the message so that I know you’ve entered.

I’ll be announcing the winner on Thursday April 17th so please do it before then. A HUGE THANK YOU in advance.

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Jazz hands and joy

Today’s Random Act of Joy is courtesy of reader, Heather. Last week I received a lovely letter and some theatre tokens that Heather wanted me to use to ‘make someone happy rather than letting them languish in a drawer’. What a gem.

I love the theatre (and when I say the theatre I really mean low-rent musicals with plenty of jazz hands) so it’s a real pleasure to imagine someone finding these and then treating themselves to a night in the stalls.

Random act of Joy: hiding theatre tokens around town

In honour of it being Mothering Sunday this weekend, I hid the special envelope in a shop display for nappies! Not one of my most glamorous hiding places, but if anyone needs a lovely night off then it has to be a new parent.

Thanks again Heather.

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25 happy ideas for the UN International Day of Happiness

MHappy happiness day everyone!

Today is the UN international day of happiness, which means that there is even more of an excuse to give a smile, pay a compliment and roll out some Random Acts of Joy.

If you need some inspiration, here are 25 ideas to spread some joy today.

1. Upload a picture of something that makes you happy at the wonderful Day of Happiness website.

2. Give someone a proper hug. Not a slightly awkward, limp, lacklustre one. A real squeeze. Bonus points if it’s a stranger.

3. Write a letter to a friend you haven’t spoken to for a while.

4. Put on a favourite song and dance. Wildly.

5. Stroke an animal. Unless they’re savage like Miss Pudding. In which case, a virtual stroke will do.

6. Tell your boss that you value what they’ve taught you. Be specific. If you’re the boss, do the same for an employee.

7. Leave a random note for someone to find. If you want pretty stationery, Gabrielle is giving away a free printable here.

8. Buy yourself flowers and pick up a second bunch for someone else too.

9. Pay a stranger a compliment.

10. Send an email to all of your friends and offer to do a good deed for the first person who replies.

11. Ask your local station to write an inspiring quote on the station whiteboard. Get ideas here.

12. Flowerbomb your street and plant seeds in any spare patches of soil.

13. Spend 30 minutes packing shopping for people at the supermarket. Try not to look like you might steal their bags.

14. Let something go. Ok you may be right or you may do more or they may be frustrating, but just let it go.

15. Hide a bar of chocolate in the office with a message to ‘eat me’.

16. Give a personalised book recommendation to someone. Or send them the book anonymously.

17. Be the more loving one. Don’t get stuck in tit for tat and do something kind for your beloved.

18. Admire a neighbour’s garden or a beautiful house further down the street? Put a note through the letterbox to tell them.

19. If you’re a runner, smile at every fellow athlete you pass. Add a high-five  if you have the energy.

20. Go old school and put a request for someone on the radio.

21. Buy a stranger’s drink.

22. Meet a friend/loved one from work at the station with their name on a board.

23. Draw a picture of a friend. Sign it and send it to them.

24. Send a package of goodies to a friend’s office address. Let everyone know that they’re loved.

25. Think of someone who has made a difference in your life. Call them to tell them.

Any more to add? Leave a comment and let me know. Have a fantastically happy day.

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