Day twenty's wedding of an old friend brought with it an interesting set of gives. Aside from the obvious wedding gift, I found it to be an occasion full of giving opportunities.
The first was before the wedding. I was a friend of the bride, and one of the first people I saw when I arrived was her father. He's a big ol' Texas man who's far more comfortable shooting deer and making his own jerky than he is mingling in the gardens of a posh S. Pasadena mansion in a fancy suit. So I went… Continue
Added by Cedi on October 17, 2010 at 1:32pm —
Day nineteen was my volunteer at the school day, which meant I had at least one guaranteed give built in. And again it was a sweet time. I helped the children cross one of the streets near the school, and though it did get a lot of traffic the vast majority of the drivers were other parents so they were already on the look-out.
I noticed a couple things this time, though. One is a sense of notoriety that comes with giving consistently. People that I haven't met waved at me as they… Continue
Added by Cedi on October 17, 2010 at 1:13pm —
...With beautiful results.
Ironically I usually don't count gifts to my kid as "gifts" since part of me insists that "father" loosely translates as "guy who gives his children everything he possibly can." But this was a good, planned gift that I was looking forward to giving (and it makes for a good story) so I count it anyway.
In our many visits to the library we'd come across a series of children's CD's entitled Beethoven's Wig. It is a series traditional classical songs… Continue
Added by Cedi on October 13, 2010 at 11:10pm —
My, my, how the time can fly.
I was leaving the library parking lot with my kid in tow and I saw a man poking around under the hood of his car. I had that but-I-really-don't-want-to-give-right-now thought, but then I thought about it for a moment longer--if I were stuck in a parking lot, wouldn't I want help? Haven't I already gotten help in those contexts? So I took a walk over and asked if he needed help. He was actually fine, just adding some water, and we ended up… Continue
Added by Cedi on October 11, 2010 at 11:48am —
I've been continuing to give, though I haven't been blogging about it lately. But it's good to be back. =)
My two most recent gives have been a bit more intentional than some of the others, and that's actually made it more gratifying. For Day 12 I even did some "scouting"; one day after picking up my little girl from school I saw another mother from the school get off a bus with her little girl at a stop along the route that we normally drive. I told my daughter that if we saw that mom… Continue
Added by Cedi on October 6, 2010 at 10:23pm —
Day 11 saw me giving to a couple people that typically go ignored in the hustle and bustle of LA life. The first was a woman camped outside of Trader Joe's grocery doing some fundraising for a local school for troubled youth. It's so tempting to go striding right by people like her, and initially part of me wanted to do exactly that--had to go here, had to go there, traffic was getting thick, better hurry--but then I remembered.
So I pulled out the money I'd had in my pocket and… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 30, 2010 at 11:20am —
Thank you again for taking the time to read these entries. I cannot say enough about how much that support helps me stay on track.
Day ten's gives were done in almost cruise control. I made a point to be kind to people in positions to serve me (the bank teller, the two baristas at the coffee shops, the cashier at the grocery store). I called a friend and invited him to a professional workshop that I thought would help his current and future projects. I again thanked a friend of mine… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 28, 2010 at 10:19am —
It seems for me that seven days is where the newness of posting blogs wears off and it becomes easy for the distractions of life to grab my attention. Thank you all for simply being here, sharing your experiences and thus reminding me to do the same.
Both gives for days eight and nine put me up against a personal social barriers, though in the different ways. Day Eight I was in a coffee shop and I saw an attractive woman sitting nearby with a beautiful tattoo of a mermaid on her… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 27, 2010 at 11:00am —
Day seven seemed to be around listening--deep listening. Early in the day two friends of mine crossed my mind and I realized that I hadn't spoken with either in some time. It came to me as a nice give to send some love their way. Both are on Facebook, so it would have been easy to leave a "hey how are you doing" on their pages and leave it at that. But something told me to dig a little deeper--listen deeper.
One is an active facebook user, so I went through some of her recent postings… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 24, 2010 at 12:05pm —
The day six give was again quite interesting. I was approached after church by a woman in need of a ride home. She's someone I've known in passing for years, and although she was headed in a completely different direction from my home, I said yes because it wasn't that far away. I though it an easy give opportunity, actually.
And it was easy, and yet it brought with it an interesting opportunity to politely exercise boundaries. I put my daughter in the car and told her to go to sleep… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 23, 2010 at 5:00pm —
I wanted to learn from Day 4 and not only give something I wouldn't normally give but do so from a place of joy. (Or at least NOT from a place of circumstantial pissosity.) In that respect Day Five was quite challenging in one sense and quite rewarding in another.
My first give was easy. There was a new crossing guard near my daughter's school, a young woman who was clearly a bit skittish. Admittedly, walking out into LA commuter traffic is not a job for the meek. Worse, her fear of… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 22, 2010 at 10:14am —
Again, the cycle continues. Like the day before, yesterday saw me feeling stressed out about circumstances, and again that was impeding my Giving Mind, so to speak. I was feeling pissy about not being able to responsibly afford the gift I'd wanted to give, which was the negative self talk's backdoor into my consciousness.
I went through the day looking for a "real" gift to give. Not the kind words or well-wishes or small bits of love that I give to people everyday anyway. (Interesting,… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 21, 2010 at 10:43am —
Day three's gift found me volunteering at church, and with it came an another interesting experience. Instead of feeling warm and fuzzy about giving, I felt apprehensive; my fears about life wanted me to be doing "my own thing" and not spending time GIVING again. I could give later, like after all my problems were neatly solved and tucked away (read that "never").
And what's more, I couldn't really shake that nagging, negative voice, even though I didn't heed its advice. And it was… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 20, 2010 at 10:00am —
A call for volunteers went out from my daughter's school. Being an energetic arts charter that relies heavily on the contributions of its parents, I thought the school could be an excellent recipient for my day two gift. So yesterday I showed up in my grubbiest clothing, ready to work.
Right away I was handed a a power drill, a leveler, a ladder, some pretty mean-looking screws and some wall mounting pieces. My job was to mount these three massive decorative boards in the music room. A… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 19, 2010 at 8:06am —
I'd been carrying around a trunk-full of bottles and cans to give to a street person who collected them for cash, and actually finding one today reminded me of how good it can be to give. So why not make it a 29-day habit?
His name was Pappy, and he was a tall, fairly well-groomed brother from Muskegon, Michigan. Since I grew up in Detroit we chatted about not missing Michigan winters and how good we have it here in LA. It was simple, but full. I saw he appreciated being treated like a… Continue
Added by Cedi on September 17, 2010 at 10:00am —
My gives started blending together, so I started exploring ways to make them more personally noteworthy. And day 7 brought an interesting collection of gives.
For starters, I volunteered for two services at church rather than my usual one. They needed help for both so I was glad to lend a hand, and that in itself was not a particularly big deal to me. My ex-wife showing up for one of the services was more personally significant. But I was surprised to find that I was inwardly okay… Continue
Added by Cedi on January 11, 2010 at 5:27pm —
I surprised my daughter by taking her to the local observatory and sharing her excitement at the exhibits. Who knew that finding out how much she'd weigh on Pluto would make her so happy?
I also contributed to a developer of a piece of free software I'd been using a lot lately. Not tax deductible like the tithes, just a cash gift, which made it a more meaningful give on my end.
But now I feel I'm in an easy give-groove, and it's time I challenged myself. Because I'm fairly… Continue
Added by Cedi on January 9, 2010 at 7:22pm —
Day four's giving was confronting, albeit probably good for me. First I went out of my way to give a homeless man some loose bottles since I saw he had a cart full of them. He accepted them, but he didn't really say thank you, which rubbed me the wrong way. I let it go, but I saw how tied feeling appreciated was to my idea of giving.
But it came up again for me in the evening. A friend had asked me to play a song for her mother's birthday celebration. She's not a very close friend… Continue
Added by Cedi on January 8, 2010 at 9:55am —
Day three was partly great, partly challenging. Most of the day was right in line with the whole giving-love-peace vibe. I was leaving my meter and I saw a truck parking in front of me, so I pulled up next to him and told him he should take my space since the meter had failed. So I gave the impromptu gift of free parking in Hollywood, which is actually pretty sweet.
I also showed up and helped with the final set-up of the children's art show at my daughter's school, and I did follow… Continue
Added by Cedi on January 6, 2010 at 12:30pm —
I so appreciate this site, and the love I've been given here already. I cannot wait to read more of the blogs and learn of the journeys of others.
Today I volunteered at my daughter's school, and I found myself offering additional services later on to shore up future giving now. Funny how that works. I was asked to play saxophone for a birthday party and though I said yes I later found myself later asking why. (I don't consider myself a very strong player due to lack of practice.)… Continue
Added by Cedi on January 5, 2010 at 8:37pm —