Big Yellow Taxi (tipping)

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We all have good days and bad days. Since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s my bad days come a little more regularly. I don’t know if it’s the chemicals in my body or the chemicals in the medications I’m taking, but I definitely feel a little lower than usual.

Luckily I have a cheeky two year old, a hilarious husband, a fluff ball dog, some great friends and a job I love to pull me out of the fog. And now I have my good things too. That’s another one of the reasons for doing this… I know how good I feel for doing these little things – and having something every day keeps me bobbing along. So not entirely altruistic…

Today has been one of those lower days… But luckily I did something that for no cost and no effort really boosted my mood and helped someone else too…

First, I just want to say that I never complain. Never. It’s a British thing I think, we put up with bad service, mutter under our breath and when anyone asks if everything is ok we smile and day ‘of course’! Maybe it was my bad mood, or maybe it is something to do with the fact that I’ve been in New York for over a year now and I’m toughening up, but today, when we visited the holiday train show at the New York Historical Society for the second time, and for the second time one of the exhibits wasn’t working, I asked for a refund. I was surprised when the guy said ‘Sure’!

So on the way home we ‘passed it on’ and used the refund to give a much bigger than normal tip to our taxi driver (according to my numbers whizz of a husband it was a 360% gratuity!). I had the best response yet… After we’d got out and he realized what was going on he gave us the biggest beaming smile ever. He was so happy, smiling, giving us the thumbs up and waving. It made me feel great again.

Got any ideas for me? I’d love to hear your suggestions for my ‘one good thing‘.

A donation to my own back yard

When we left the UK, the thing I was most worried about was not having a garden. With a  dog and a 2 year old, it seemed like a pretty important thing to have. Luckily, we now have a huge, 843-acre back yard…  with 21 playgrounds, 2 ice rinks, a zoo, a real live turtle pond, a boat house and so much more…it’s called Central Park.

Dog in the snow in Central Park

Our dog enjoying a snowy Central park

We go there at least once a day – in sunshine, rain, snow, hail, wind… and every day we love it. I recently noticed some great ads in the park which alerted me to the fact that the park relies on donations from the public to keep it looking it’s best. Central Park Conservancy is a non-profit organization that contributes more than 80% of Central Park’s $37.5 million annual budget. So today’s one good thing is a donation to ‘my own back yard’.

Autumn in Central Park

Autumn in Central Park

The best bit is, that from now until December 31st, a group of generous donors will match every dollar donated, up to $250,000. So my $50 donation (which works out at less than 14 cents per visit for us) has been doubled to $100. If you’d like to join me and donate to America’s most visited park, you can do so here.

I know my money will be well spent. Soon, Conservancy Staff will shovel up to 6.5 million cubic feet of snow from 58 miles of Central Park paths, put down 80,000 pounds of sand to keep the paths safe, and hang 18,000 lights in Harlem Meer for us all to enjoy.

Central Park Zoo

Family fun at the Central Park Zoo.

We’re lucky to have such an amazing back yard. It’s important to help keep it that way.