My 29 Gifts journey continues, inspired by Cami Walker’s 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving can Change your Life. For a recap, please visit Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Okay, people…this is getting real. Hard I mean. Not hard because giving isn’t my thing. Hard because giving purposefully, mindfully, daily, consistently, and creatively really takes commitment. And don’t get me wrong. I didn’t take this on thinking commitment wasn’t part of the recipe. But I did underestimate how much focus daily giving really requires – especially since my intention was to try to change things up each day. A pinch of sugar one day, a sprinkle of cinnamon another.
While I’m proud of the past couple of weeks, I have lost a bit of steam versus the first 12 day – and actually missed a day of giving. But it’s all part of the process. And I’m still in the game.
Please enjoy a few of my latest gifts…and as always, I love hearing from you!
Gift #13: Thursday, March 9
After work today, with not too many options in the fridge for dinner, I headed to United Bakers Restaurant to pick something up. While paying, I noticed tzedakah canisters on the counter for Jewish charities, which have probably been there since 1912 when the restaurant opened its doors (and its pot of famous pea soup!) Well, I imagine they’ve been filled up and emptied many times since then….but you get my point. Those little canisters provided the perfect gifting opportunity. And they serve as a great example of what this challenge is all about. Often, at least for me, it’s about opening my eyes and noticing “new” things/people/opportunities…that have probably been there all along.
Gift #17: Monday, March 13
At about 8:00 p.m., with one kid in bed and two not so much (the bedtime debates and protests are a nightly thing, you see), my 10-year-old daughter, Lielle, was putting the final touches on a poster project for school, due tomorrow. Or so she thought. It turns out glitter glue kind of…well…sucks. Long story short, my gift today was patiently working with Lielle to help her create version two of her poster (no glitter glue allowed!) But I’m the one who received the best gift as I had the chance to watch how sweetly my 8-year-old son, Gave, willingly pitched in to cut, tape, and help Lielle bring her new poster to life. It was a proud mommy moment for sure. (Yes, I am well aware that cutting/pasting/helping was the ideal excuse for his late bedtime plot…this isn’t my first rodeo).
Gift #18: Tuesday, March 14
If you ever want to know how it feels to have someone look at you like you have three heads, do the following: pay for your coffee, and then hand an extra $5 to the barista and ask him or her to use it to pay for a customer’s drink at some point in the day. And walk away without too much of an explanation.
I know I’m not the first person to make this move, but I’ve often thought of doing it and this morning I did. At the end of the day, I popped into The Second Cup to ask Grace, the Barista, who she treated to a coffee today. Grace told me she used the $5 to buy a Green Tea Latte for one of their regular customers, an elderly woman named Irene. Just thinking of Irene being pleasantly surprised with a free latte put a huge smile on my face….and still does.
Gift #22: Saturday, March 18
Lielle was away for the weekend with a friend, so the boys and I watched Moana first thing in the morning. My gift to them was watching with no distractions (no phone, no cleaning the kitchen, no putzing around doing something that could be done later). Well, the truth is, I missed the first few minutes because I was doing nothing important on my phone. But for the next 104 I was very content watching and cuddling with the boys with our over-sized grey Costco blanket. If you haven’t seen Moana yet, it’s a beautiful movie with amazing music! But don’t do what I did, because those first few minutes are super important and useful when you’re trying to follow the story. Hint: there’s an island shaped as a woman (or is it a woman shaped as an island?), a curse, a Demigod, a green heart, and an ocean that “speaks” to a little girl named Moana. Actually, Moana and Esther have quite a lot in common…but I digress.
Please stay tuned for Part 5 soon…