Happy Monday, y’all! Have you ever heard the phrase, “Be a bucket filler?”
Smalls brought home this coloring page from school and I thought it was really cute! I didn’t know what it meant so I asked him to explain it to me.
Basically, to be a bucket filler, you treat others well and do nice things for them. In the process of filling other peoples’ buckets, you also fill your own.
I love this idea and it’s the first time I’ve ever heard it discussed at kiddo level! It’s a fantastic life lesson, and it is compact and sticky enough to use as shorthand for teaching moments. (There is a whole Bucket Fillers website, which I found when I was looking for the coloring page. I had no idea this was a thing!)
Bucket filling is not just for kids, though. We grownups can, and should, get in on it.
Why You Should Be a Bucket Filler
The first and most obvious reason to be a bucket filler is because treating others well is the right thing to do. Beyond that…there are so many people in this world who don’t have full buckets. Maybe they are sad. Maybe they are being bullied. Perhaps their life at home or work is not so great right now and their bucket is down to a few drops.
You never know what people are going through. If you take the opportunity to fill someone’s bucket, it might not seem like a big deal to you, but for them it could be huge.
Did you ever do something nice for someone else and then feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Giving to others makes us feel happy! So when you pour kindness into someone else’s bucket, some of it splashes over the top and lands in your bucket, too.
When I lost my job last spring, I felt really down about myself. I didn’t know what to do and didn’t really have the energy to move myself forward. I decided to get involved with some service projects at church, figuring at least it would get me out and around nice people. The more work I did with them, the better I felt. It was sort of amazing!
So when you’re down in the dumps, the BEST thing you can do is do something nice for a fellow human. It’s amazing how quickly it gives your heart a lift! It might seem sort of selfish to help someone else in order to make yourself feel better, but as I said a few months back, sometimes being selfish is a good thing.
How to Fill Other People’s Buckets
There are so many ways you can be a bucket filler! And it doesn’t have to be a big, grand gesture, either. Compliments totally work! As does holding the door, letting someone pull ahead of you in a traffic jam, helping someone with their grocery bags, or giving encouragement to a mama who is at her wits’ end. There is a huge lack of basic civility out in public these days, so to compensate I try to be extra nice to people around me. (Remind me to tell you someday about the time two ladies screamed expletives at me, the store clerk, and the manager because I dared to use coupons. Many many coupons.)
Giving an unexpected little treat is another way of filling someone’s bucket – a small gift card for coffee, a plate of cookies, a book or magazine that made you think of that person — no need to break the bank. Gifts shouldn’t hurt the giver.
I especially like the idea of leaving little handmade presents in random places for other people to find. For inspiration, check out #yarnifiedlovebomb and #crochetgo on Instagram. If you don’t crochet, you can use paper hearts or little painted wooden hearts or whatever suits your fancy. The universe has a way of putting those gifts into the paths of people who most need to find them. Conspire with the universe for good!
You Can Fill Your Own Bucket, Too!
What makes you happy?
No really, stop reading and think about it for a minute. Make a quick list.
We get so wrapped up in the workaday life that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves is SUPER important! We can’t be any good to other people if our batteries are always depleted.
Hopefully you’re surrounded by bucket fillers so you have some help keeping your bucket topped up. But if you’re still feeling a bit low, pick something off of the list you just made and go do it. In fact, every day pick something off of your list and do it. Happiness is a habit! If you have fallen out of the practice of putting a smile on your own face, exercise those happy muscles!
Don’t Be a Bucket Dumper
So, when Smalls was telling me all about bucket filling, he told me that you don’t want to be a bucket dumper. When I later went and peeked at the Bucket Fillers website, I saw that it was actually being a bucket dipper that you wanted to avoid.
I didn’t want to dip Smalls’ bucket by telling him he got it wrong, so we’re sticking with bucket dumper. You can call it whatever makes you happy. =)
Obviously you don’t want to walk around kicking other people’s buckets over. If you’ve read this far I know you are not the bucket kicking type.
But you can be a bucket dumper in small ways that you might not even realize. Like not taking a few moments to listen to your kiddo when they want your attention. Or making mean eyes when you have to stop for a pedestrian to cross the street. Or not following through on something you said you were going to do.
When you dump someone else’s bucket, you are dumping your own bucket too.
Just don’t do bucket dumping. And if you do, an apology goes a long way toward filling up the bucket again.
Be a Bucket Filler Challenge
This week, look for ways to be a bucket filler! No one is keeping score or anything. I’m just throwing this challenge out into the universe to see where it lands. If it inspires even one person to fill someone else’s bucket, I’ll call it mission accomplished.
I have some crochet hearts that are looking for new homes, so I’ll be looking for places to hide them as I move through my week.
How might you fill someone’s bucket today?
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