Thankful to be “Number 17”


March 5, 2018

Today was one of those Mondays when I ran out the door at 6:45 AM and didn’t return home to slice until well after 10:00 PM.  Although I was running the minute my feet hit the floor, my day was filled with excitement as I found myself continuously pondering what I was going to slice . . . was I going to write about the ride to school with my 14-year old daughter, who actually still likes me, or perhaps a reflection on my mid-year evaluation.  I considered writing about the lecture a friend delivered telling me that I really needed to find balance and make time for me . . . perhaps that will be a future slice.  I contemplated writing about the time I spent supporting perhaps the world’s greatest teacher, my best friend, who is as she says, “being held captive” as she lives with dementia.  What a day; so many slicing possibilities.

What resonates most with me is my experience at the gas pump.  For the record, I am not a high maintenance woman.  However, there are a few tasks that I just don’t do; pumping gas is one.  I realize I am very fortunate in that I don’t even have to think about the gas level in my car.  Somehow my husband instinctively knows when my car is running low.  He asks, “Georgia, do you need gas?”  I always give him the same response.  “I have no idea.”  Unless the red light flashes on my dashboard, I never know how much gas is in the tank.  Tonight the light flashed and I had no choice but to fill my tank myself.  I’m so happy I did.

As I wrangled with the gas pump to accept my credit card and let me begin the dreaded task, a gentleman approached me saying, “You look like you’ve had quite a day!”  He had no idea the can he was about to open.  As he pumped my gas he explained that I was his “Number 17.”  Exhausted, I did not make the connection until the stranger continued his story of his struggle with the tragedy in Parkland, Florida and his commitment to spread 17 acts of kindness each day.  As the stranger was filling my tank he genuinely asked me about my day.  The tank was filled long before I unloaded my day on him and yet he continued to listen.  

I thanked my stranger for picking me to be his number 17 and listened as he shared with me his other 16 random acts.  I realized that I frequently have kind thoughts throughout my day; yet many of them go unsaid.  Imagine if, like this stranger, I took the time to randomly share them?!  I’m looking forward to what tomorrow brings and for not letting kindness go unsaid.  



Published by georgiaaustin1

Wife, Mother, Dog Lover, Elementary Assistant Principal excited to write

11 thoughts on “Thankful to be “Number 17”

  1. Oh wow. This is beautiful and did not end the way I thought it would! So inspiring. I wonder how many acts of kindness I could do tomorrow? On the one hand, 17 seems like a lot. On the other hand, it’s totally doable if I’m really focused on it, which is probably the point…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very sweet slice to read. I could feel how the kindness lifted you up form a long day. With many choices for slices I think this was a good one to keep from the day. The other possibilities you can write in your journal and use on the days when ideas run low.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful post. We really do have to be intention in doing acts of kindness… especially as teachers, with our days so full–so much is expected/required of us and we spend so much time with people. I smiled about you pumping your own gas because not only does my husband keep our tank full… I live in one of the very few states that does not allow you to pump your own gas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I love this. Especially in a “world” we live in now where unfortunately, there seems to be so much negativity. It’s so nice to hear about these acts of kindness and to remember that there are GOOD people out there that can just make our day. | love the idea of his 17 acts of kindness and it makes me want to try something like that myself. I’m glad this nice stranger came into your day and brightened it a bit for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. WOW. What amazing experience and what an amazing person.
    I am honestly speechless. What a wonderful way to spread kindness in such a tragic time.
    I feel like that encounter is going to stay with you for a lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

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