Do the Shuffle–How I got Stung by a Stingray in Clearwater Beach

It was a beautiful day to be in the light blue warm waters of Clearwater Beach: September 27th, a sunny Friday afternoon, and my 24th birthday. I was with two of my favorite people in the world: my sister, Monikka, and my best friend, Dana. We spent most of our beach day in the water because it was just that hot. We were actually playing catch for most of that time with a little beach ball we picked up at Walgreens on our way to the beach. At a certain point, we decided to go back to the beach and layout while listening to some music. Dana found an awesome playlist called The Sound Bar on Apple Music and we just jammed out and relaxed for a while.

Cooling Off

When it came time to cool off in the water again, we grabbed the beach ball and hauled into the water. Dana and Monikka couldn’t have been more than a foot away from me when I felt something sharp grab my foot… or seemed like it. I felt a type of tingling pain shoot up my leg into my hip and really couldn’t understand what had just happened. My sister asked what happened and I said I must have gotten bit by something. I showed her my bloody foot while constantly saying “ow.” As I attempted to explain how it felt, Monikka assumed I was stung by a jellyfish because we were all just unaware of what type of marine life was at Clearwater Beach. My sister grabbed my hand and walked me to shore where she could see my foot bleeding and walking got harder for me due to the throbbing pain in my leg.

Maybe It’s Just a Cut?

I sat on my beach towel by my chair and asked Dana to just clean out the wound as I calmed myself. That’s when this Canadian man approached us and said that I was definitely stung by a jellyfish and pointed out that there was a purple flag out at the beach. Apparently the purple flag indicates dangerous marine life. None of the three of us had a clue–Monikka lives in Florida and Dana frequently visits. We all just knew something was wrong for sure. This kind gentlemen pointed us in the direction of the fire station conveniently located about 60 yards away from where we were on the beach. Monikka and I headed there and Dana stayed behind to keep watch of our belongings on the beach.

Firemen Saved the Day

Once we got to the fire station, I was still in pain but had calmed myself down to explain what happened. We walked in to interrupt the firemen eating dinner–I felt so bad–but they knew right away what had happened. All I said was, “I think I was stung by something.” This (very attractive) fireman asked me if I felt a tingling pain going up my leg and, when I confirmed, told me that I was stung by a stingray.

Getting Into Hot Water

How they treat this was pretty interesting to me. All you have to do is stick your foot (or affected area) into a bucket of extremely hot water. Simple, right? Not so much. Now I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I did give my sisters hand a painfully tight squeeze as I submerged my foot in the water. You do get used to it after a while… Until they make you switch your foot to a hotter bucket of water since yours cooled down. They firemen were nice enough to splash cold water into the bucket for a little bit of comfort, though. The point of the hot water is to pull out the toxins that the barb of a stingray injects you with when it stabs you.

The Worst Part?

In reality, it wasn’t all that bad–it was mostly uncomfortable. In 90 degree weather mixed with humidity, it isn’t very pleasant stepping your foot into hot water. I was seriously sweaty (more so after the hot water) and anxious and in front of all of these firemen while in a bikini. However, it is crazy that the hot water draws the toxins out that way. I could feel the tingling go away from my hip down to my ankle as if it was was water rolling down my leg. It really didn’t take long to feel a difference. I maybe soaked my foot for an hour or so.

Stab Wound

As we were leaving the fire station, they advised me to keep an eye on the wound because sometimes the barb can break off in the wound. Also, they told me to expect to be in pain because it is like a stab wound. I wasn’t in pain at all by the time I was leaving, but it was likely due to the skin being so irritated around my foot and ankle that I wasn’t focused on the pain of the wound. Over the next couple of days, I did notice some bruising and that is all it felt like to me: just a bruised foot. I still couldn’t wait to go back to the beach!

Telling This Story to Floridians

Before we left the fire station, on of the firemen told us we should check out the place near by called the Palm which is a restaurant/bar right on the beach and semi-next door to the fire station. When we went in, we told one of the employees what happened and I she immediately said, “You didn’t do the shuffle?” And that was the first of many times I heard that the rest of the trip. I suppose it is just common knowledge in Florida. Some of the people that were on the beach and saw what happened ended up being at the Palm, as well, and were concerned about me. They came over to hear what happened and give me well wishes before concluding with, “Don’t forget to do the shuffle!” A few minutes later, we went back to the beach and “shuffled” into the water.

The Shuffle

Apparently, you are supposed to shuffle into the water because you will kick up the sting rays and they will move. What had likely happened in my situation was walking into the ocean and stepping right on the stingray. They sting you as their defense mechanism. Obviously, if they feel threatened by you stepping on them, they will think you are a predator and “sting” you with their stinging spine (barb). Again, none of us ever knew this information before. SO, when people near the beach say do the shuffle, they aren’t talking about a dance…

Once I Returned Home

Everyone kept saying I, at least, have a good story about my 24th birthday. I couldn’t agree more… People at work were genuinely shocked and then would tell me their crazy beach stories–it really created a lot of good conversation. I have never had anything like this happen to me before, so it was definitely surprising. People would ask if I was okay and what it felt like now. I would respond by telling them it felt just like a bruise.

That was up until the Saturday after I got back and began to feel feverish and dizzy at work. I didn’t think much of it, but I eventually checked my foot. Before work, my foot looked fine–nothing but a bruise and what looked like a little scrape. Once I looked at my foot at work, it had swollen up and was red and splotchy. Actually, I could barely put my shoe back on after removing it. I ended up having to go to urgent care the next day because the red area grew and the swelling increased.

**I had just put pain relief ointment on my wound and surrounding area. The swelling went all of the way up into my ankle and lower leg**

The doctor prescribed some antibiotics and told me to take it easy, maybe stay off of my feet for a while. Well, I work on my feet, so that kind of went by the wayside. For the next 48 hours, my symptoms of infection actually got worse–even while taking antibiotics. I decided to go back into the doctors to see what was going on the next day and just continued soaking my foot in Epsom Salt. The next day, there was a huge difference and my foots swelling was going way down. Just goes to show that sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.

2 Weeks Later

I am doing very well now (minus this awful cold), and my foot is back to being just bruised across the top and less swollen. These antibiotics are really doing the trick! I am grateful for being so well taken care of at the fire station on Clearwater Beach and at the doctors here at home. And, hey, it is a pretty good story! I don’t hold any resentment and can’t wait to be back in the ocean soon! Next time I will be more aware!

The nice firemen at the station told me it is so common to be stung by a stingray! They, actually, told me that I wasn’t the first one they treated that day and said I wouldn’t be the last. So…

DO THE SHUFFLE!

It could keep you from having the same experience I did!

Have any of you had something like this happen in the ocean?

Let me know in the comments!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

How I Turn Around My “Off” Days

I am writing to you all from my bed super sick. I have been fighting this cold for a few days now, and I am really feeling it today! Yesterday was interesting for me because it was one of those days where I couldn’t beat the exhaustion and was not feeling 100%. It isn’t often, but when my day starts like this, I have a hard time getting into the groove of things unless I interrupt it early on. Here is how I pulled myself out of this slump and turned my day around:

Workout

My whole day yesterday I felt like I was in a funk. As those of you who read my blogs know, I usually workout everyday at 5 am and yesterday I just didn’t make it happen. I had to work at 6:45 and had a long day the day before, so I let my exhaustion tell me what to do–which is not something I would recommend. Aside from the endorphins and surge of energy, working out just makes you feel good about yourself. When you start your day with a win, it sets a good tone for the rest of the day. As my mom would say, “You’ve already won the day!” That being said, I didn’t win the day until about 8:30 pm yesterday because that is just the way it went. Some days it is just a win to get any type of workout in. I, surprisingly, had an awesome workout, too!

Get Ready

Sometimes we can work from the outside, in. I know that isn’t what most would recommend, but there is just something about doing a little extra on the outside that makes the inside feel better. When I am wearing an outfit that I feel good in and my makeup and hair are done, I just automatically feel better. You know the old saying “Look good, feel good”? Yeah, it’s true sometimes. Sometimes you’re running late, you are self-conscious about your skin breaking out, and you can’t stop coughing, but the one thing you don’t have to worry about is your outfit… because it’s fire!

Hang Out With Good Friends

During this type of day, I would usually get off work and rush into yoga pants to chill out for the night and be slightly productive. Instead, I kind of was dragged out by my own desire to be surrounded by great people who uplift me. When I just wanted to go home, I made myself go out and be around people who make me feel like the best me. The people who know you can have that ability to just make you feel better with their presence. It’s the unconditional love and positive vibes that are impossible to not let in. They don’t need to circle around you and tell you how great you are, just being there for you and wanting to spend their time with you can be powerful enough to lift you out of a slump.

Go For a Drive

Finding a road with no stop lights and lots of twists and turns, putting on a playlist that speaks to your soul, and letting go of the stresses of the world is a wonderful experience. A little seclusion can really mend your attitude, because whatever you are feeling can be processed without taking it out on someone else. Yes, you shouldn’t drive while in an extremely emotional state. But on those “blah” days where you just feel a little down, with the stereo up and windows down, a drive can be soothing to the soul.

Listen to Great Music

Usually, I loop this into my workout and my drive because music is so therapeutic for me. When I find a good song, it seems like I could listen to it a million times. I don’t… But I do use it to guide the rest of the music. Sometimes I just end up downloading the album of that song and giving the other songs a listen to get more familiar with the artists work. Other times, I go on Apple Music where I can usually find a good playlist by searching for that one song. It will suggest other good songs or playlists related to that song. Then, I can just lean back and relax without having to change or search for a new song every 3.5 minutes.

Yes, there are days where I listen to ballads and just belt them out along with the track in my car; however, on these days I find it best to find a more empowering song that makes me feel strong and inspired. For me, I played the song “River” by Bishop Briggs and got so pumped up while I was driving, so I downloaded the whole album and listened to it during my workout. I think I had one of the best cardio workouts ever listening to this album. Maybe it’s the pace of the songs, or the message, or maybe a combination of both–all I know is those songs spoke to my soul and made me feel invincible. Music does that for me sometimes though.

Words of Wisdom

Whether it’s scripture, a good quote, or a talk with your mom, hearing some words of encouragement can go a long way. I used all of these yesterday when I really just felt bad about where I was. Tuesday night I randomly bought a set of prayer cards because I am a sucker for interesting things placed near a cash register. I felt like it was one of those things that I needed to buy. I kind of forgot about these cards until I went into my trunk to find something and saw them still in the bag. I went inside and opened them to only take one card. There are times when I really think there is divine intervention trying to guide you and place things in your path specifically for your situation you are in. This is the card I grabbed:

It was so comforting to read this because it made me feel comforted at I time where I wasn’t feeling secure in myself.

The next thing I would love to share with you all is this app I have had for a while called “Motivation.” I have mine set up to automatically alert me 5 times a day between a specific time window. Just like a text or notification, it alerts me with a motivation quote or saying. It is so perfect because it isn’t something you have to seek out: you set it up for your ideal number of notifications and then forget about it. Then, at those specific times that you already forgot about, a nice motivational quote pops up on your phone. I find it hard to not feel inspired by all of these quotes. All it takes is that little bit of inspiration to change the pace of an off day.

I hope all of these tips are helpful if you ever have an off day! Or–better yet–prevent you from having an off day!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

25 Things Before 25: Week 1 Update

9/27/19-10/3/19

What an epic week! Here’s what happened:

Trip to Florida

So the first week after turning 24 has been interesting to say the least. It began in Florida at my sisters new house in Tampa. My friend, Dana, and I went down there to visit my sister and celebrate my birthday. This trip was nothing short of amazing! For the last few months, all I could dream of was being on a beach somewhere. Dana and I went to Dunedin, Florida on Thursday, and then Dana, Monikka, and I went to Clearwater Beach on Friday and Saturday. I had never been to either before and, while no beach could ever compare to the beauty of Clearwater, we had a great time at both beaches!

First Time in Tampa

I realized that, even though I have been to Florida many times, I had never been to Tampa before this trip! The only unfortunate thing about this trip was that I didn’t get to log a new state by being in a different state than Colorado. I figure that I will be revisiting a lot of states I have already been to throughout the year because of family in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Number 20 of 25 Things Before 25 includes me visiting 25 out of state family members.

What I Have Accomplished

While 25 Things Before 25 is a huge part of my life and things I want to accomplish this year, I am not only centering this year around my challenges that are a part of it. I am centering this year around personal care and growth with adventure sprinkled into the mix. The first week of 25 Things Before 25 included so much adventure, but I did not accomplish as much of the tasks as I thought I would in Week 1. I am, however, very proud to share with you all what I did accomplish:

  1. Read Dodging Energy Vampires by Chistine Northrup, M.D. (Number 2)
  2. Had coffee with someone I love–Miss Dana Swenson (Number 4)
  3. Visited 2 beaches–Dunedin and Clearwater (Number 7)
  4. Completed 1 of my routine workouts (Number 8)
  5. Got a new set of nails (Number 9)
  6. Had 2 firsts–visiting the gulf side of Florida and getting stung by a sting ray (Number 16)
  7. Captured on beautiful sunset on Clearwater Beach (Number 17)
  8. Tried 4(+) new products (Number 18)
  9. Visited my sister, Monikka, out of state–Tampa, FL (Number 20)

My Progress in Perspective

All in all, I completed 14 of what will be 900 tasks! That seems a little overwhelming, right? Well, I am not letting anything discourage me! Also, 300 of those tasks are part of the Routine Workouts (Number 8), because it includes 25 workouts per month for a year. That is one thing that is just part of my daily life after the last 6 months. Adding it to the challenge is more of a way to keep consistency and hold myself accountable rather than adding a far-fetched change in lifestyle. Bringing it down to 600 tasks–now 587 tasks–seems like a lot less!

I spent five of the days in this week out of state, so the non-travel tasks will be more focused on in the coming weeks. I did take Tuesday and Wednesday off of working out because of the hectic combination of travel and work. I can’t wait to push myself more and see what more I can accomplish this month! That being said…

Goals for October

I do have a crazy work schedule this month, so that should add an interesting spin on this challenge! Surprisingly, I think that I am more productive the busier I am… anyone else? Here is what I am pushing myself to accomplish this month:

  1. Have at least one thing in each category completed by the end of the month, since I have 14 categories with nothing in them after the first week.
  2. Post 2 or more blogs per week describing these adventures.
  3. Add videos of my experiences to Instagram!

Thanks for tuning in to see the fun and adventures of 25 Things Before 25! I will have more blogs to come that include the products I have tried, the EPIC book that I read, and stories from my trip (including how I got stung by a sting ray)!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

P.S. You all can expect a weekly update on the 25 Things Before 25 journey every Monday!

Click here to learn more about 25 Things Before 25!

And click on the book below to get your hands on something that has extremely inspired me!

25 Things Before 25: Number 25 Volunteer

Volunteer for 25 days!

Most Recommended

So I asked in my introduction to this challenge what you all thought I should do in multiples of 25, and most responses included volunteering! When I began writing this list, it was the first thing I wrote down. I wasn’t surprised that my followers and supporters had the same thinking in prioritizing service. This is something that I have had a passion for since I was a child have always been super active in. From days spent volunteering to give Christmas gifts to children in the foster system to a mission trip to serve the homeless in inner-city L.A., I have always had a passion for volunteering.

Going back to something I love

I grew up going to church every Sunday and nearly every Wednesday and this really got me involved in volunteer work. Outside of church, I was always involved in activities that were super involved in charitable causes. When I was a dancer, my studio began doing a benefit every other year to raise money for a variety of causes. When I was on cheer, we would do Santa’s Sleigh Ride at DIA every winter. When I was a part of FBLA, we raised money for March of Dimes at every event. When I was a part of DECA, a couple of friends and I created a blanket drive that donated blankets to Denver Rescue Mission. All in all, I was very active in volunteer work and I want to change that to the present tense of the statement.

Ms. Julie Miller

I mentioned that I was very involved in church growing up, and during that time, I had one of the most wise and inspiring youth ministers. The things she taught me about life in general still resonate with me today. But, since we are on the topic of volunteer work, I will just stick with some of the things she said to a group of us on a mission trip to Los Angles: “Don’t expect this to change their lives’, expect it to change your own.” I loved this because it is so true. You don’t volunteer for the gratitude of the people you serve, you volunteer for the pure goodness of doing so. Although you may be providing one meal for one person on one day of their life, you aren’t providing them with sustenance for their whole life. What you are doing, though, is participating in the community of people helping people. Your actions can truly inspire others to act and the whole of that can make a huge difference.

So during this mission trip–I was 14 at the time–I met a man named Jesus. He was at one of the churches my group had gone to in order to buy, cook, and serve a meal to people of the community. We were talking and my friends and I had told him the message our youth minister conveyed to us. His response was something that I couldn’t quite understand at the time because I thought he was telling me she was wrong. He had told us that we changed his life. He said it was so inspiring to him that a bunch of young people would care so much to provide a meal for his community–one in which jobs were scarce and each time he or one of his alley-mates would get a job they would come back with food for everyone. It wasn’t until later on that I had really understood that what Julie had said and what Jesus had said truly aligned with each other. Jesus didn’t leave that day with every situation figured out because of what we had done. He was inspired by the actions of a group of young people. That was the change in him.

Volunteering may be seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it has a greater effect! I can’t wait to get started!

Now, time to do some major planning!

Thanks for following along!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

Click here to learn more about 25 Things Before 25!

P.S. This picture is of myself, a friend, a pastor, and three of the jornalero’s we served lunch to on our mission trip to L.A. in 2010.

25 Things Before 25: Number 24 Blog

Of course I had to add a blogging challenge to 25 Things Before 25! SO, I will blog 25 times in one month!

Blogging for 4 Months

I have never completed 25 blogs in one month before, so I am excited to see if I can do it! I feel like my creativity would dwindle before I completed the 25th blog. Aside from blogging about my 25 Things Before 25 challenge, I’ve only posted 9 blogs since I started blogging again in July. Obviously, I have posted 25 blogs about this challenge since each item has been a blog post. For this specific challenge, I want to do 25 blogs in one month that aren’t centered around this challenge–although this challenge will be blogged about regularly.

Topic Ideas

I mentioned before that I was thinking about adding a “Review” section to my blog, so reviews would be one idea for this challenge. Also, I have been thinking about posting blogs about how I keep myself on a schedule and my daily life. Next, I am thinking about writing more how-to’s. My blog was originally going to be all how-to’s, but I am glad I went a different direction. It may be a good section to have on my blog in the future with more posts. Finally, I will be adding more posts featuring my perfect little puppy, Lady! I think that all of these ideas could easily accumulate to 25 blogs in one month.

This Year of Blogging

For this upcoming year of blogging, I have set some goals for my blog in order to bring my blog to where I want it to be when I am 25. This challenge will absolutely aid in helping me reach my goals, but they do reach beyond this challenge. A few of my goals are as follows:

  1. Create a strict blogging schedule and stick to it.
  2. Monetize my blog.
  3. Feature guest bloggers.
  4. Blog while traveling.
  5. Increase traffic by 100%.

I began 25 Things Before 25 with the idea of challenging myself and working on self-improvement, and I am excited that it will also bring more content and help me reach my blogging goals.

Thanks for all of the support!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

Click here to learn more about 26 Things Before 25!

25 Things Before 25: Number 23 Local Events

Go to 25 local events!

Small Town Feel

I live in Parker, Colorado which is a town of about fifty-five thousand people. That is far more than what is considered a small town and is, in fact, more than double the population of my home town of Superior, Wisconsin. Maybe it’s the friendliness of its people, or maybe it’s the physical smallness of downtown, but there is just a small town feeling in Parker. Anywhere I go, there seems to be someone I know. And maybe that’s because I have lived here on and off for about fifteen years and worked in highly trafficked places. Nonetheless, I know so many people in this town, but haven’t gotten very involved in my own community.

Becoming More Involved

I feel like I see things going on weekly in O’Brien Park, a park just off Main Street. I usually would pass by on the way to work and just wonder what was going on. So, I figure it’s time to actually go to something! First, I need to be more aware of what is actually going on. Second, I need to make my schedule more conducive to actually be able to go to weekend events. And, third, I need to actually go!

Realizing

One thing I was super bummed I missed this year is called Barker Days which is a spin on Parker Days (our town carnival/festival we have every summer). Barker Days happens at the end of the summer at the H2O’Brien Pool which is an off leash dog event where dogs get to swim and play in the parks off leash. They have vendors there and make a whole event out of it. I didn’t even know about this until this year when I got a puppy; hence, why I am sad I missed the event. I want my precious pup to have as many fun experiences as possible, and it’s not just me missing out on things. It made me realize how much more I want to be aware of what is going on in the community and actually go to these events!

I can’t wait to experience all of what my community has to offer and be present at these events!

What small town events does your town have? Let me know in the comments!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

Click here to learn more about 25 Things Before 25!

25 Things Before 25: Number 22 Movies

Watch 25 movies!

Tuesday Night Dates

During college, I would take my little brother to a movie almost every Tuesday in order to make sure we were spending time together and doing something we both enjoy. Those little brother and big sister moments are some of my most treasured memories. I would usually let him choose all of the movies, so we watched a lot of Marvel movies. We still do to this day!

Ideas

There are a few movies that I am so looking forward to coming out in 2020 like The King’s Man, Mulan, Black Widow, Legally Blonde 3, No Time to Die, Fast & Furious 9, but–most of all–Top Gun: Maverick. So, take 52 weeks in a year and divide it by 25 and I’ll need to go see a movie almost every other week to see 25 new movies before 25. Sounds pretty doable to me, but I guess we will see! I am actually really excited to see all of these movies to see the stories continue. As you might have noticed, each movie is a part of a series aside from Mulan which is the real life version of the animated film. Fun fact: I wanted to change my name to Mulan as a kid because I loved her character so much.

I think this is a fun addition to 25 Things Before 25 and I can write some good reviews, hopefully!

Is there any movie you are looking forward to seeing in 2020? Let me know in the comments!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

Click here to learn more about 25 Things Before 25!

25 Things Before 25: Number 21 Recipes

Cook 25 new recipes!

Family Dinners

For years, my parents would host Family Dinner on Sunday nights. My five siblings and I all tried to get work off for it so we could get as many of us together as possible to catch up on life. Into adulthood, we have all stayed so close despite that fact that none of us live in the same town anymore. I definitely credit my parents clever “Blue Bloods” style Sunday dinners for the wonderful relationships the six of us have.

What’s for dinner?

In my huge family, we all have our go-to meals that we like to cook and everyone really enjoys. My dad is a grill master, my brother Chris makes amazing jambalaya, my mom creates amazing hot dishes, and the rest of us kind of wing it. Or at least I do! I love creating new dishes that become a family favorite (like my stuffed pesto chicken and pasta with homemade white sauce in the picture).

Trying New Things

Usually there would be requests for someones something, but I always tried to switch it up and try a new recipe. That is kind of where this idea of adding this to the challenge entered. I haven’t brought out my creative cooking skills since we stopped doing family dinners when everyone moved away. SO, in the effort of trying new things, I am trying new recipes!

If anyone has a recipe I should try or tips on creating new, please let me know in the comments!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

Click here to learn more about 25 Things Before 25!

25 Things Before 25: Number 20 Family

Visit 25 out of state family members!

Siblings

Most of you know that I am one of six kids and only one of my siblings lives in Colorado at the moment. We have had times where only three of us have lived in Colorado, but since 2003 there has always been three or more of us in Colorado. I have a sister in Florida, a brother in Wisconsin, a sister in Minnesota, and a brother in New York. My second oldest brother and I live in Colorado along with our parents. Since everyone has started to move away, it has been hard to organize it so we can all be in one place at one time. The most recent time was at my grandpa’s funeral last June. When we get together, it is like we are kids again and we have the best time. The best thing about having us all so far apart is to have great places to visit!

Distant Family

My parents moved us to Colorado in 2003 from Wisconsin. That being said, all of my parents families live in Wisconsin and Minnesota so we don’t see them very often. I want to make it a point this next year to visit my cousins, aunts/uncles, and grandparents and really make the most of it since it is so hard to get everyone together. We have a huge family, so I am sure I can see 25 family members even if it is just at the Pearson Family Reunion next summer! We always have the greatest time at my moms families annual event!

Nothing is more important to me than my family, and I am so excited to include more of my family in this adventure!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

Click here to learn more about 25 Things Before 25!

25 Things Before 25: Number 19 Pay it Forward

Pay it forward 25 times!

My Sister

Years ago, my sister and her friend would do a random act of kindness every Tuesday for a random person or friend. I obviously stole this idea from them because I thought it would be a great way to spread joy. My whole goal is to find joy in the journey, as you can see on my homepage. Nothing makes me happier than seeing others happy and that is the point of this part of the challenge. To see my sister do this weekly at the young age of 19 or 20 was so inspiring and I hope to not only implement this for the next year, but consistently for the rest of my life. After all, it is important to share the love in the community and show others someone else has their happiness in mind.

Starbucks

If you ever buy a coffee in the drive-thru for the person behind you, it usually starts a chain reaction: the next person buys for the person behind them, and that person buys for the person behind them, and so on. Then you have the effect of so many people feeling like someone was generous to them and they, also, paid it forward. It really creates good feelings all around. Plus, the smallest act of buying someones coffee could be the one thing that turns around someones bad day, stressful morning, or hectic schedule. All it takes is something simple to put a smile on someones face. And that is all I am trying to do here!

Thanks for the support guys!

Spread the joy!

XO,

Sonja Hoff

Click here to learn more about 25 Things Before 25!

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