So this is it – the 29th day of my 29 Days of Giving Series. I started with the hope that I could get back into the writing groove again, and spread some kindness along the way. It's been that and so much more.
I have a new found respect for people who publish something every day. It's a lot of work. I do feel as if I've gotten over that hump of being so scared to post something that's not perfectly polished that I chose not to write at all. If y'all wanted perfection, I imagine you'd spend your time reading something a bit more lofty. That being said, I will not be posting every day again for a loooong time. Or ever, probably. You have to actually live a life in order to blog about it. In fact, as a special gift to my husband (and probably to a few of you, too), I'm going to take the next week off. He'd probably like to see me some evenings in a capacity other than hunched over the laptop.
The giving part, though? This is a practice I plan to continue as long as I can, albeit in a more private manner from here on out.
My mindset, prior to starting this journey, was that giving was really only for people who had a lot of time, or money, or both. Sure, I could manage to write a check here or there, or volunteer every once and awhile, but every day? Impossible. It never occurred to me that even the littlest things could really make a difference.
I think about the Cup of Joe, how just a few minutes and few dollars could mean something to someone halfway around the world. I think about gathering the books we already had around the house, and how much that one act of kindness impacted my child. I think about how we've been kinder to each other in our own home over the last 29 days than I ever remember, and how it just seems sunnier in our home, even on our darker days.
Time and money – those things help, but it takes very little of either to make an impact. What it does require, though, is mindfulness and an attitude of love. You have to make up your mind that you're going to do something, and that you're going to do it out of kindness and not obligation. Each and every one of us has the ability to do just that, if we so desire.
29 days was over and done before I got around to do many of the things I wanted. I still plan to do them, but I thought I'd share a few here in case you needed any ideas of your own.
- Donate blood or platelets.
- Pay for the car behind you in the drive-through.
- Don't walk past the Salvation Army bell ringer. Drop some change in. Better yet, drop in a larger bill.
- Offer to deliver a meal to someone who is going through a difficult time or transition. That couple you know that just had a baby, your older neighbor who doesn't get out much, that mom down the street whose husband works extra shifts to make ends meet.
- Offer to run an errand for a friend, especially if they have some littles in their care. Better yet, offer to watch the kids for them so they can run an errand in peace!
- Call someone just to tell them you love them.
Here's the thing about opening yourself up to giving – once you do, the ideas keep coming. In case you need any more inspiration, my gift today just might help.
Today I Gave: A signed copy of Cami Walker's book to one of my very special readers. Well, I haven't given it yet, but I will in one week when my 29 Gifts Giveaway closes! I met Cami at St. Luke's this morning and she signed her book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, for one of you. She just got some exciting news – they're making a movie out of the book. If you're anything like me, you'll want to read it before it hits the big screen. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below telling me about the nicest thing someone has done for you. The winner will be chosen at random after the giveaway closes on Sunday, November 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET. I can't wait to read your comments and be even more inspired!
Today I Received: An unexpected phone call from a dear friend. Sure, she initially called to talk trash about how her Patriots were going to trounce my Colts and I would owe her a pitcher of margaritas. (And yes, Rebecca, I will gladly pay up at the beach this spring. Victory was so close!) But then we spent the next 20 minutes or so catching up, and I remembered how much I love this girl and miss having her right down the street from me. Even if she is a Patriots fan.