Post by Ashley Aceto for the Kind Kindred series.

drawing courtesy of

I turned thirty this year and the arrival of my fourth decade has caused me to reflect upon my first thirty years of life. In doing so, I’ve recognized how touched with kindness my life has been. My childhood was close to perfect due to the many people who loved, cared for, and nurtured me. My twenties were blessed with people who supported me in countless ways. Whether the kindness came from family, friends, or perfect strangers, it was a gift to which I credit most of my accomplishments and happiness today.

With that being said, I also recognize that turning thirty makes me a bona fide adult. More than getting married, raising a family, starting a business, or buying a home, the big 3-0 makes things abundantly clear: I am all grown up. Gone is the gray area of my twenties, and though this may cause me some anxiety, I also realize that I am now in a position to pay it forward to the people who have been so kind, so helpful, and so supportive of me as I did my growing. In the words of the late Madeleine L’Engle: “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” Reading that quote really turned things around for me. When I peeked out from underneath my “I’m getting so OLD” funk, I realized that thirty can totally rock. Why? Because I’ve been shaped with kindness for thirty years, and I can use that to help others.

And so, in my newly claimed position as a grown-up, I’d like to dedicate my thirties to making other people’s daily lives just a little brighter. I’m seeking smiles and sighs of relief on a daily basis. I am committed to making someone’s day every day this year. I made this commitment to myself in March, and in the last few months, I’ve brightened someone’s day in countless ways. I’ve looked my two-year-old square in the eye and spontaneously asked him if he wanted to go get some ice cream and take it to the park. The smile that cracked across his face was priceless. I’ve made my husband’s favorite meal for dinner just because. I’ve sent “just thinking of you” cards, paid compliments to strangers at the grocery store, purchased coffee for the person behind me at the Starbucks drive-thru, offered to watch my baby niece so her mother can breathe, and more.

Every time I spread a little kindness and attempt to make a day, I am rewarded with the best smile. There’s a certain bright-eyed happiness I’ve come to recognize in the recipients of my kindness, and I’m completely addicted to it. It’s so good that I want to share it with all of you. I’d like to invite you to take on the challenge of making a day for thirty days. Beginning today, commit to one small or large, random or planned, act of kindness per day for thirty days. Comment below with the ways you made a day or take to social media with #kind30 to inspire one another. Let’s spread kindness like it’s contagious. Will you join me? It would really make my day!

Love and Kindness,


Ashley Aceto was born and raised in California but recently relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and their son. She enjoys renovating her home built in 1928, running, and reading.

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