Day 25 (Fri 3/8/13):
I think freekibble.com was probably it today, as far as Giving to anyone outside my house... that and being friendly and having fun with the clerk on the one errand I did drive to today. I stayed home today after a *very* busy week that resolved some personal business in ways I would have never expected, and the relief of it all mentally is a very big Receive to me. There might be more, but that was it as far as what was intentional (& what I can remember!).
Happy weekend to all--
Day 24 (Thurs 3/7/13):
* Gift of Making the World a Happier Place: Brought a bag of tiny muffins to my tax appointment as a gift for the tax preparer & her family, and gave her a big thank-you hug when I left. Hey, why not? A huggier world--I'm having fun with that. :-)
Receives: Wow, so many this week & so much happening, I've had a hard time making lists each day keeping up with it all. Just overall, a great sense of being well taken care of, and being able to move through my days seeing a lot get accomplished and issues resolved/moved forward... all for the purpose of being free from the past, accepting what is needed for me to be happy today, & being able to move forward with my life. Thank you.
Day 23 (Wed 3/6/13):
* Gift towards Public Good :-) : Decided to stop short of itemizing every single deduction possible on my taxes because I cannot find all the backup & I'm ready and willing to stop looking for it... so I am calling the missed deductions a donation towards the national debt by letting the federal gov't keep the refund money I might have gained by insisting on getting compulsive about it. So...somewhere this year there will be a tiny chunk of federal highway or a part of a grandmother's Medicaid prescription pill that I bought for someone who needs it with the money I *didn't* insist on getting back.
How's that for reasoning my lazy way out of doing any more paperwork? :-)
All done w/ taxes! Goodnight!
PS Additional Gift of Cheerfulness & Maintaining Peace: I had asked for some records to be printed out for me related to my health care, and it was taking a little longer than I had planned, and it looked like maybe it was going to make me late to my next appointment, but the girl so much wanted to see if she could just get it figured out so I could get what I wanted, so I let her do that for me ("Just Say Yes") even though I started to feel anxious about the time and let her know I would probably have to leave soon, so then she felt pressured but thought it would just take one more minute, and we were starting to lose eye contact, each of us starting to get drawn into our own anxiousness. And then she sent the job to the printer, and I caught her eye, and gave her a big smile, and crossed the fingers on both my hands for good luck, and we laughed, and all was restored.
And, yes, she did print out exactly what I needed. Thank you.
Day 22 (Tues 3/5/13):
Gave hugs to 2 different people I just met today (different parts of the day), as thank-yous and goodbyes... just because. Isn't a more huggy world just nicer? "Be the change you want to see in the world."
And small habits maintain:
* Dropping all change into the donation box at checkout stands (2X)
* Waving to people a thank-you to people behind in traffic when I change lanes
* Cheerfulness to people on the phone in the insurance field (when I can!!!) because an "we're all in this together" attitude usually gets the task done easier and adds to everybody's day rather a Big-Sigh-"You-People" attitude (not that it doesn't still happen.)
Day 21 (Mon 3/4/13):
* Gift to Self & Creating Opportunity for Others: Gave myself the Gift of asking for help, and creating the opportunity for others to Give (to me), and it all came through. Thank you.
Day 20 (Sun 3/3/13):
* Brought my mom some flowers & a comedy CD after she'd listened to me on the phone for an hour Sunday morning very down about a few things... until I realized later probably all just hormones... and that something pretty & an hour's worth of funny might make up for a Big Whup about nothing. She still gave very wonderful support & advice, though... amazing how she's gotten so much more fun to be with the older I get.
Day 19 (Sat 3/2/13): Well, this Round is just whipping by.
* Gift of Relieving Discomfort: Stopped by the coffee shop on the way to an a.m. meeting, running late, and the older woman at the register was very carefully putting 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8 pastries into their new individualized boxes for the guy in front of me as a to-go order, along with I'm-not-sure-what for beverage(s). Well, this was going to definitely make me late now, and the people were stacking up behind me, too, as we went along. But I found myself putting on a cheerful smile and starting a conversation with him by asking very excitedly if this was a treat for work? oh, family? oh, how nice! smile smile smile. He felt bad he was holding everybody up, but I just smiled & told him I thought it was a great thing he was doing. And I did.
* Gift of Time: Gave a presentation at a non-profit group where I'm volunteering to show how a project that was lingering unfinished for a year until I took it on recently is now finished. We are all relieved & can move on now.
* Gift of Sharing: that smiling flower from Miakoda's post yesterday--I love it, and put a small copy in my car, and then when I got to my mom's house, I gave that one to her, and she wanted another copy so she could put one in her car too! Thanks Miakoda!!!!!!!
* gift of friendship & support from long-time friends I spent part of the day with
* gift of running into an acquaintance I haven't seen for a while & always liked (& showing excitement to see him, instead of any awkwardness, which left him smiling & I think feeling appreciated, which I do... Receive/Give there)
* gift of getting to spend some time with my mom, who I haven't seen for a while
* gift of NO BILLS OR INSURANCE PAPERS in the mailbox... sometimes I forget that an empty mailbox can be a Big Fat Receive right there
* gift of time to go to the pool for just long enough before it closed early for the day
* gift of a Saturday-night movie on TV when I wanted to not do too much & it was something I'd wanted to see
* gift of going to bed early when I was tired
* the fun of watching my dog become totally devoted to another woman in our obedience class today because she happened to give him a piece of cheese--CHEESE!--before class. And he only had eyes for her from that moment on.
I knew he only loved me for the treats. :-)
Day 18 (Fri 3/1/13):
* Gift of Presence & Thanks: Brought 2 29Gifts buttons to a Dr's appt ("You Are a Gift") & gave them to my Dr and his physician's assistant for being folks I trust & who take good care of me (along with returning calls promptly & initiating them on their own to follow up on issues we've discussed). I made my Dr close his eyes before he left & I put 1 button in each of my 2 fists, then had him open his eyes & pick a hand. "OK, now pick the other one too!" So he knew the 2nd button was for his assistant doing great work in my opinion, and I told her on the way out that there was a small token of my appreciation waiting for him back with him so she'd hear it directly from me too. She gave me a big hug.
* Biggest Receive!!!!: Miakoda's picture of a happy flower yesterday in her post!!!!!!! I love that picture & printed out a copy for the house and a copy for the car. Being happy in the light--that's all we really have to do & yet sometimes such a challenge.
Had an interesting Giving experience (?) when I stopped at a junk-food store (ie, convenience store) to buy a snack, and as I came out & got into my car, with the door on its way closing, a homeless or down-on-his-luck guy came right up into the space above my window to ask for money, and I was surprised that what came out of my mouth very matter-of-factly was, "I'm not comfortable doing that right now," and I closed the door and locked it right in front of him, with my snack and wallet and spare change in full view on the seat next to me, and I felt just fine about it. He stayed right there next to me in the parking lot staring at me and made a face and raised his eyebrows (accusingly, in my opinion, as if I owed him something), and I just raised my eyebrows back, with the feeling going through me of "I do not OWE you anything", and I backed my car out, leaving him standing there. A moment later the verse of "do not be owing anything a single thing... except to love one another" went through my mind, leaving me wondering if I missed an opportunity to show love in spite of my feelings (what happened to the 'dangerous unselfishness' I wrote about a while back from MLKJr's last speech?). And yet I was surprised at the very strong NO that came up for me--NO with no apology, either, especially given the way I've been willing to open up more to giving directly to the poor around me in person as part of these Challenges rather than just through charities. Maybe it was a vibe about safety/feeling he was a little too close (although we were right in front of many other people); maybe it was a wave of selfishness on my part/impatience to be on my way; maybe it was a reminder that I continue to fail or fall short of ideal in spite of all this giving practice.
Just a few thoughts about something that was not an automatic Just Say Yes for me, when that has been becoming my general rule of thumb for put-on-the-spot situations as I've grown in these Challenges. I guess it's good to know I continue to retain my own power of choice--all these "Just Say Yes" Yesses on-the-spot must truly be sincere Yesses if I still retain the choice of No on occasion.
Happy Weekend to all,
Day 17 (Thurs 2/28/13):
* Tangible Gift: Mailed out a thank-you card to the school & class that hosted me as a visitor the other night in an educational program I'm considering
* Gift of Presence/Being a Real Person: Made genuine conversation with a clerk who was swamped with a big line
* Gift of Presence/Sharing Myself #1: Went to a class of a spiritual nature in the evening & a woman there shared a loss, asking the teacher for insight (suicide of a friend). I went to her at break to share a specific thought I was given once regarding suicide that has helped me (that it is a decision made in one moment of the person's life that does not reflect the whole value of who they are--it's just one moment--just one deep moment of despair where they made one decision that is unfortunately irreversible, and so we are left behind to pick up the pieces--but it is not the whole judgment of their life or values or worth--it's just one moment) & she started crying and hugging me to thank me.
* Gift of Presence/Sharing Myself #2: Same class of a spiritual nature--another woman shared some unexpected family news she'd just gotten that day, asking the teacher for insight (unborn grandchild will be born with Down's Syndrome). I went to her at break to share a specific writer and website who shared in great emotional detail her own experience with not knowing her child had Down's Syndrome until the actual birth and all the feelings that came with it & ended up writing a best-selling book about it, although the initial news was a very deep trauma; my classmate wrote it all down as that is the stage where they are today.
* Gift of Presence/Sharing Myself #3: Prayers for a classmate in the same class who has some family unrest at the moment... I went to her & specifically asked if she would like anything in particular in prayer right now.
* Sense of great peace in the reading & writing preparation for class... the peace I think we all seek, and which comes and goes for me, as it does for us all, I suppose
* Took myself to lunch at a little sandwich shop where I have a favorite sandwich
* Took my dog to the dog park & made friends with a couple I see there often but who I hadn't talked to alone before
* Got money matters arranged for March & one day at a time, all is well. My records are still a little off from when my computer was down, but how lucky am I that I have some wiggle room until I get that figured out without having to worry
* Paid some bills with gratitude that I have what I have
Day 16 (Wed 2/27/13):
* Someone turned in my lost earring to the front desk at the rec center! I noticed it was off my ear 2 days ago last time I was there, but I'd done errands for part of the day too, so I figured that was long gone somewhere... nothing extravagant or expensive, but one of my favorites...
* But the cleaning lady at the rec center stopped me today to ask if I'd found it... because I'd asked her the other day to keep an eye out for it if she would. And I'd forgotten to ask at lost-and-found when I came in, so her asking me reminded me to ask at the front desk... and there it was!
* I went back to tell the cleaning lady thank you for reminding me about the earring--because now YES I did have it back! Unfortunately I couldn't find her even just one minute later (I even asked a guy to look in the men's room for her for me)-???-where she went, nobody knows--but I walked around the whole building looking for her. The willingness to go back through the whole building to say thank you is what I count as my Gift for the day. I believe I'll see her someday soon enough again.
Day 15 (Tues 2/26/13):
SO: I miss IslandGirl, bless her in her break from us. Also--anybody heard from DavidKav? He seems to have gone MIA mid-round & I miss him.
* Gift of Silence: Well, much to my chagrin, there was a misunderstanding & I came home to a voicemail last night saying a Dr appt I was very much looking forward to finishing today had to be rescheduled. However, that was the only thing I had planned outside the house for the day. SO: I gave myself the gift of silence for the day & felt free to concentrate on some reading and writing for a class of a spiritual nature for later this week that I was behind on the homework for anyway & was able to turn the Disappointment into a Gift.
* Peace of mind by taking care of Spirit and Body today
* Got a phone call from an acquaintance calling *me* out of the blue when I had plans to call *him* to ask about his current career and how he got into it. But instead, surprisingly, I look down at the caller ID, it's him, he had his own reason to call me to start with, and Yes, he had time to talk. And lo-and-behold..... Same story as me: mid-life career change after 20 years in one industry & then couldn't stand to go back to it after getting laid off. Needed no extra outside education as his employer provided him all the training & credentials he needed for their purposes. Very inspiring to me.
* Because the afternoon appt was cancelled, I was also free to call & arrange to sit in tonight on a sample class at a school I am considering attending in a different industry. Very helpful to just keep taking in more info on what seems to be drawing me in.
* Oh and I even got a free supper out of it, since they had brought in dinner for each other in the class tonight.
* Got an immediate return call from an alternative health-care provider who I am considering working with on this last leg of 'recovering' from what's still left... who I found out is certifed to work in a special area that may be of help to me... and whose name was given to me as a referral from a friend... 3 Receives in one.
* Full information from my physical therapist on how much I can expect to spend on a test not covered by insurance. Kind of high, but cheaper than other places I called to compare, and I am glad to have someone I trust to talk to about it all.
* Direction and guidance and strengthening of a spiritual nature in the reading and writing I was able to do today.
* My little dog found the treat bag I absent-mindedly left on the couch Within Full Sniffing Range and that therefore made it Fair Game. I didn't notice for a while & he scarfed down a bunch... him making me laugh every day is a Big Fat Receive & makes me happy to be living on this funny little planet Earth full of little weird creatures like him (and me).
* Mind free of Worry today is always a Receive.
* All is well, all will be well, all is already well: I love that feeling when it comes. And it comes, it goes, it comes...
Day 14 (Monday 2/25/13):
* Gift of Letting it Go: Today I waved a thank-you to a guy in a big expensive car who thought he was being so generous I guess by waving me ahead in the snow into a parking lot driveway lane when it was *him* that was in the way & *me* that did already have right-of-way. Or maybe I misunderstood what he was doing. In any case, no thanks was really necessary from me as I saw it, but why not turn the other cheek & go the extra mile to wave... make the world a little more cheerful no matter what was really happening.
* Woke up nice & early on a sunny day & got right up
* Took care of a business matter that was weighing on me by doing it 1st thing in the a.m. & I believe the solution for it came from a Higher Power because of the peace and clarity and lifting of the burden that I experienced in my body when I realized the best course & got it done without belaboring the thought process... it was just very obvious.
* That peaceful feeling that came that I've been missing for a while
* Business visitor came earlier than expected, so the 2nd business appt of the day was done quickly & resulted in a fair solution to another problem that is now resolved
*... bringing more of that peaceful feeling
* Kept my commitment to myself to get to the rec center for my workout & know my body benefits & that I appreciate my body more when I do... it is really a rather amazing creature/soul when you think about it
* Had extra time for my own reading of a spiritual nature
* Put myself to bed early after a lot taken care of today
* Oh, the funniest part of the day... as usual, it's my dog that makes me smile every day, which is always a Receive... walking turned into quite the hike over the snow for his little shortie legs... and because he hasn't been groomed for a while, his 'butt fluff' is yes, nice and fluffy. And when he walks or runs ahead of me, I get to see it bounce back & forth in quite the litte sashay.. BOOMchicka BOOMchicka BOOMchicka BOOMchicka.
Day 13 (Sunday 2/24/13):
* Gift to Self: Stayed in on a snowy day & watched all 5 Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts online at Amazon.com for the same price as the movie ticket & did not go out all day. I was going to go out to the movie in person today, but snow is bad enough that the person I was going with preferred not to go out, and a meeting I was going to was also cancelled due to weather, and so here we are!
* Gift of Listening--Another Gift Opportunity: Later in the day, I picked up the phone when I knew it was a friend who would probably want/need to talk for a long time; she's left several messages the last few days. It ended up being 3 hours, when I really was pretty settled in on the couch to read for the afternoon, but us single people need each other to help sort things through. The last hour got a little longer than I wanted to stay on the phone, but I will probably wear her out in turn some day soon, as I have in the past.
* glad I have the Thin Mint cookies to carry me through in case we get snowed in!
* Nanita's Green Chili to keep me warm... I love that stuff. On everything. Or just from the jar.
* happy to have this site to read good news!
* happy that a spiritual lecture I would have liked to go to was actually posted online for me to listen to today at home
* time and place to take a nap if I wanted to
* my dog to keep me company & keep the couch warm
* TV if I want it & plenty of movies
* running water (hot, even!)
* my neighbor shovelling my walk again before I could get to it... another reason I don't have to go out
* Oh--Hey my favorite of the 5 short movies is the one that one the Academy Award! Not necessarily a personal "Receive"--but I am very happy for them--well-deserved!
Day 12 (Saturday 2/23/13):
* Another "Pay It Forward" Gift--Oops, Change of Mind/Be Present: Well, I had so much fun with the Girl Scout cookies yesterday *I* decided I would do it again... bought my box of Thin Mints from the table at the store & thought I was going to give them an extra $3.50 to give an extra box to the next person of their choice. Meanwhile, the girls this time were piping up about "donate a box to the troops in Afghanistan!". But *I* had decided I wanted to do the Pay It Forward thing, so I went ahead with that & that was still well-received... but then I had to pause, because I didn't like that I was not responsive to the moment because there *was* a different opportunity there today that wasn't mentioned yesterday, but I was still running by my own agenda. So as I drove out of the parking lot, I handed them *another* $3.50 for a box to be donated to the troops & felt much better! Bought 3 boxes & will only be eating 1 myself! That might be the way to do it!
* nice early coffee chat with a friend
* support from other friends I spent part of the day with
* wonderful bonding with my dog at our 1st class Level 2 Obedience Training... "anything for treats!!! anything for treats!!! anything for treats!!! I will stare at you in a trance for the entire class to the amusement of all the other humans if you will only tell me what I have to do to get a whole hour of TREATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" :-)
* I love my local rec center & that makes it easier to go there and do the whole 'exercise' thing
* great feeling from finishing some volunteer work for a non-profit I am associated with (a Give, with a Big Receive)
* heat when there's snow coming in
* enough money to still have my choice of what to eat & the options to eat out with friends if I wish... very grateful for that
* enough money to buy 5 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in 2 days & give 3 of them away
* a brother who texted me just to say hi as he was driving by my block (texting from a red light, I hope/I'm sure!)
* nice comments on my last post which I appreciated (PortaPotty story is a winner!)
Life is enough as it is as long as I do not get into Worry & stay in Gratitude... or even Amazement. Earth is an amazing place when I let go of wondering about The Future.
Happy Sunday to all--
Day 11 (Friday 2/22/13):
* "Pay it Forward" Gift: GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SEASON!!! Bought my box of Samoas & then gave them an extra $3.50 to give away an extra box to the next person of their choice. The moms were totally on board & looked like they'd have fun with it.
* Gift of Presence: Had a real conversation in the locker room at the rec center with a little girl who complimented *me* on my very bright pink blouse. She had on an equally enchanting big-fluffy-towel-with-a-hood-in-the-shape-of-a-horse-head, so she had ears & a mane going down the top of her head. I told her mom it was too bad we didn't get to wear those anymore as adults--HA! Or maybe they're just trimmed down very adult-like & called Snuggies.
* Woke up surprisingly happy for no reason at all (all the Gives/Receives yesterday??? Going to bed with childhood happiness from the Reader's Digest magazine? Don't know, but it was great)
* It was a happiness that was about "no worries, no plans, no thinking"--just feeling good, even if I did have a couple business calls to make. Happy Friday!
* I love Drew Carey on The Price is Right; he is so happy & smiling all the time, through the whole show. Gets me in a happy mood if I'm not already when I turn that show on. Ah, the wonders of unemployment.
* Gift of Presence: One of the clerks at the coffee shop got engaged recently; I made good eye contact & had a sincere intention in asking how the plans were coming along. She'd just come from a meeting with the pastor about the wedding and was very happy.
* Tangible Gift: Mailed out a Big Fat Gift Card (Home Depot) to my brother for his help in fixing my computer
* "Public Service" Gift :-): This one made me laugh... I was out running errands with the dog & got to the dog park right after I'd gone grocery shopping (non-perishables), which included buying toilet paper. During the winter the park bathrooms are locked up & the only 'bathroom' available is a little blue PortaPotty wheeled to the edge of the parking lot, so I stuck a roll of TP in there for fun as a small Gift to somebody who might really need it. (TMI? OK, but it was funny to me... very spur-of-the-moment since the groceries were right there as we were getting out of the car.)
* waking up to the noise of my neighbor (who I gave the article on identity theft issue a couple days ago) shovelling the snow off my walk for me
* business appt for the afternoon got cancelled, so I could stay home cozy in the snow for a while before errands
* awesome time at the dog park with my dog, who just surprised me with how happy he was to run & run & run in the snow & had a blast
* got my money matters re-organized or back on track after the computer crash & all is well; thank you
* Reader's Digest from 1995 was left at the rec center on the "give-away" shelf; I grew up with that magazine & boy, lots of good happy childhood feelings from that... nice cozy bedtime reading for me.
* Gift to Self & Others: Gave myself a break from the 'showing up' every day as present as possible (nice idea but a lot of effort) & just stuck to home and www.freekibble.com as something simple that still accomplishes something for me & others
* time for an extra-long walk with the dog (where we worked diligently on stopping for traffic at curbs! :-)
* letting the clerk at the bank show me some other options on a savings account when I was just so sure I "already knew" what I wanted and didn't need the whole show... and yes, I could use some of her ideas
* getting through on the 1st call to an attorney I wanted to speak to
* having some extra time with my personal trainer because her client right after me had cancelled her hour
* getting home and cozy for the night as the snow started to fall
* had a voicemail from a dr's office about some paperwork they are fixing for me; thanks
* had an email from a friend I haven't spoken to for a while who still loves me
* got another voicemail from a friend who appreciated some feedback/advice I had given him when I asked
* being home and cozy as the snow started to fall
* making time for reading of a spiritual nature before bed
I have a long list here, although I find I am not quite 'feeling' it today. I think some Fear has come up this week & is RIGHT THERE about "what's going to happen to me???" in making my way into the world to find a new job and make decisions about what I want to do (IS there something in particular I want to do?) along with still taking care of myself physically when I'm not all the way recovered. I am getting as much professional support as I can but still feel a little lost and a little pressure, and it's really not even about finances. Just that "What If??" feeling. I've been writing a lot about it privately in my journal, but it's still there every morning until I get up and get going the last few days.
And still... I started out in January with the feeling of: This Is Going to Be the Best Year of My Life.
Update: Days 1-8
Well, I thought this Round was going to be about Receives, but it's been a little disorienting to see the power of letting go, to not be as in control, to practice letting my Gives be from myself--or Be Myself--if possible and *not* about giving money or tangible things; I find myself not able to post about it every day here because it actually distracted from the concentration it's taken to show up at this level this Round.
Original Intention for Round 13:
I am The Gift (humbly, pleasantly, of service, available...present & cooperative, neither victim nor victor).
And in doing so--let me keep myself open for (and keep track of) What I Receive.
Day Eight (Tuesday 2/19/13):
Wow, got a little weirded out by Power of Coincidences the last few days... and all the people I met happy in their work. I would like that, but what is it I want to do next with my life? One day at a time is really all I can manage (or *need* to manage) & I don't feel like I have any great gift or talent that now is my Big Chance to use. Still....
* Gift of Sharing Myself with The World: Yep, that's what I've started calling what is otherwise called a "job search".
* Gift of Peace: Stood up for myself with a neighbor whose personality can be a little strong for my taste (she wrote euphemistically). Also called her later in the day to apologize for my tone being a little harsher than may have been necessary. The line was drawn & needed to be, but no need to use force if not needed... principle of non-violence, even in communication, if possible.
* Big Fat Gift to Self & Receive: Stayed home for the day when I hadn't expected to & had my feelings & a good cry about the last few days... and about my effort in this 13th Round to Stay Present and the amount of effort it takes. Then a knock came at the door, and it was a FedEx guy with a check from the insurance company for the 2-year-old matter I decided *not* to sue about & still feel satisfied that the amount is resolved for a fair amount without further action. Two years of distraction now resolved. I might have missed that if I hadn't stayed home to give myself a break. Thank you.
Day Seven (Monday 2/18/13):
The Give/Receives/Gives of Synchronicity:
* So I was sitting at a breakfast place reading the newspaper (which I don't get or read except on Sundays, unless I'm out somewhere that provides it as reading material), and I ran across an article on identity theft with a very in-depth sidebar on all the things you need to do if your identity or wallet is stolen... IE, "don't forget to call these people! And these people! And these people!" It looked helpful & I tore it out of the newspaper & stuck it in my purse, thinking to myself I'd be lucky to be able to find it again once I got it home & put in a file somewhere, because I am not very good with filing papers or remembering what file I put things in even if it does get filed 'properly'.
And off I went into my morning.
And within the hour, I was at the grocery store reaching around the gift card display when I heard a familiar voice say, "Careful there, that rack's dangerous!" And I turn around & it's one of my neighbors running through the self-checkout. Got to chatting & long story short, I mentioned he didn't look too happy when I had waved over the weekend--everything OK? Turns out his wallet got stolen from his car while he was paying for gas inside the gas station... with driver's license and Social Security card inside together. "Dumb," he says, shaking his head, "I have that number memorized so why did I have it in my wallet? Now I have to think of everyone I have to call."
"OH!", I said. Because guess what I had just stuck in my purse less than an hour before? Not even sure what I was going to do with it.
Yes, of course he took it.
And I offered him the emergency $100 bill I keep in my wallet until he got his banking stuff cleared up (today being a bank holiday); he passed for now as he thought he had enough cash on hand to last, but definitely appreciated the thought & said yes, he would definitely come by later for it if things got sticky.
* Went swimming later at the rec center. The lap lanes got full, so guess who came up & asked without hesitation, with a big smile on her face, if she could share my lane? Yep, the girl from yesterday with the teal-colored hair.
Yes, of course.
* Went off to a regional Dog Show with a self-employed friend who works in that industry & had a long long conversation with an artist/writer who's my same age & lived the life I might have lived "had things been different". Rang a lot of bells for me... very inspiring & surprising... the Path Not Taken.
The Gift of Compliments:
* Told 2 little girls at the dog park how much I liked their sparkly, glittery sneakers!!! (Are we allowed to wear those in our 40s? Where would I even buy them? Or are those days over???)
* Told a young woman at the pool (in her 20s?) how much I liked her teal-colored hair. I noticed it matched the teal stripe in her swimming suit & she immediately felt moved to tell me "and my pedicure too!!!". It's her favorite color.
* The Gift of Non-Judgment--Again: Today I stopped to buy a soda at a gas station. The guy in front of me was buying (or wanted to buy) a package of cigarettes, but found he didn't have his credit card in his wallet since he realized he'd left it with his daughter to use, and apparently he didn't have any cash with him either; he went outside & got on his cell phone to call whoever. Now, I am not a smoker and don't believe it's a wise thing physically, and am opposed to the prevalent use of credit cards in our society. That being said, I was in line to buy a soda (not the wisest thing for my body physically, either), and although I don't use credit cards, I have often left my debit card in my other jeans or something while out walking the dog and then found I didn't have it in my wallet when I went shopping, and just last night, I was totally out of cash *and* change after *donating* (not 'wasting') the last of what I had on my way home to a charity... IE, who am I to judge & you don't really know what someone has done with the rest of their money. So, to my surprise, without judgment, and with empathy for someone who just didn't have it with him to pay for what he wanted, I found myself asking to buy the 1st pack of cigarettes I have ever purchased in my life from the clerk & took it out to the guy still waiting by his motorcycle. "Happy Saturday!," I said. "Have a good weekend."
* The Gift of Non-Judgment: Today at the Home & Garden show, a roofing company was giving out individual roses to all the women who walked by their booth. My friend & I had taken the shuttle bus from the parking lot to the show, and the driver on the way in had a Tip jar that I'd dropped $1 in when we got out of the bus. The driver on the way back to the parking lot, though, didn't have a Tip jar (and good thing, because I had literally spent all my cash at the show, down to my almost all my change which I had put into a donation jar for a charity on the way out). I found myself *not* drawn to the driver personally because he was sharing some of his personal beliefs with a conversation with the passengers in the front seat of the bus & I, shall we say, did not share those same beliefs & was saddened to hear some of what he said. So I sat in the seat & practiced breathing in that we are Different & yet we are all One... and when I got out of the bus (last passenger out), I found myself offering me the rose as a Gift for his wife, who he had mentioned in his conversation, since it had been a free Gift to me. And the cycle went around again, in that the other Gift to me was that at first he was very generously declining because he wanted me to keep it, and then he found it within himself to graciously accept it & give thanks for the Gift he would be passing along to yet someone else. I loved the surprise of watching him back-track from "oh, a lovely lady like you should keep... you know, OK, thank you very much," and I wondered if he had his own spiritual process happening right there to let himself Receive & Just Say Yes. Who knows what's really happening sometimes.
Big Fat Receives:
* Ran into & chatted up a lot of people at the show who are very happy in their work, in fact, that's about the only people I talked to or was drawn to... the couple who started their own garden-tub business out of their house & just started officially marketing to the Big Outside World 1 week ago when the show started... the sprinkler guy who's happy as a clam with his winters off work, his motorcycle and dog and alter-ego as a 'rock star' in a band that started up because he loves to stand up and do karaoke... the college student who's been painting houses as the chance to start up his own business while he's in school... the retired guy who left Project Mgt to start building Adirondack chairs out of his garage and now is also happy as a clam... the pillow saleswoman who used to be a Special Ed teacher who got laid off when she tried to take a leave after 20 years, stayed home "crying for 6 months", and then got up, joined her sister on the road selling at these shows, met the man of her dreams who sold at a different booth, and now they're engaged in her mid-40s when she's never been married before. "Things happen for a reason," she leaned over to tell me, "I couldn't be happier."
And I was so happy for them. All of them.
* Gift of Presence: Good eye contact with a clerk and a smile. We are all in this together.
Already getting hard to track. It's like Receiving is a state of mind, not just things that happen, if only I keep that as my Intention--just like letting the Gift of being Present is a Gift of state of mind, not just individual things that are given. I could make a list... and yet it's hard. And at the same time, now I'm getting shy about this 'experiment', because it is unlike any other Round I've done, and it's great and out-of-control at the same time (as in, *I* am not controlling what happens... if it's not a tangible thing I am giving that I can check off as "Given"--if it's me myself showing up & having no idea what will happen... I don't get the checkmark & I don't decide ahead of time what's going to happen. Getting a little weird). I will write what I can & post as much as I'm able to share.
* My Gift: Being present to the best of my ability & conscious that I may be adding more Good to a situation than I will ever know
* Tangible Gift--Not required this month but I'll track when it happens: Got up a little overwhelmed (2 pages of business/insurance/legal/employment tasks or phone calls??? Yowza). Found to my surprise that my 1st item of "business" after asking for help was to get dressed, write out a Thank You card, and go to the store to buy flowers to go with it for the office manager at my vet hospital who I had a nice long chat with the other day when I took my dog in for a checkup. She had supported me in a big way a very long time ago when my 1st dog died & in my grief I had never thanked her the way I wanted. Turned out her 14-year-old dog was in the hospital today himself due to a crisis & she said this was just what she needed to get through her week. Funny timing but I am grateful.
Receives for Today:
* Got a phone call from an insurance company with an acceptable offer to resolve an outstanding matter almost 2 years old (statute of limitations pending for me to file further action & we all know it) & they sent me the paperwork by email within minutes. This I am very very grateful for, not only for the money, but also the relief of it being over. Thank you!
* Called another insurance company RE small amount still due to me on a medical claim not paid out correctly from a couple months ago & that matter should also be resolved shortly with check is going out. Thank you!
($ counts but there are so many other things too:)
* Ran into a neighbor down at the mailboxes who I don't see too often, but even a brief chat about the weather reminded me of something I meant to do at the house to prepare for the next snow so that reminder was a Gift. Thank you!
* Got more Friends requests/Comments today from folks on this site than ever before in 1 day, I think. Thank you!
* My Gift: Being present to the best of my ability & conscious that I may be adding more Good to a situation than I will ever know
Receives for Today:
* The Gift of having this site still here as a place to process the meaning of the last 12 Rounds, the peace that came from writing about it, & the support of people on it in response to me stating my experiment with this intention as a Gift Back somehow for those Rounds
* The Gift of seeing a flock of geese I never would have noticed had my dog not seen them across the canal & barked
* The Gift of running into a neighbor in the park who I wish I could offer some help with a personal situation if only I knew them better... and oh, look, there they are in front of me...