The good news is, I've recently completed my second cycle of gifts! While I wasn't blogging during this cycle, I did keep some notes in a composition book almost daily, along with some happiness and gratitude thoughts each day, and thought I'd check in to share some highlights before beginning Cycle 3.
This cycle started Sept. 25, 2011.
Talked to my best friend when she was upset - prayers at night with my daughter after a really rough day - holding my husband and letting him be upset without dumping on him in return - mailed a small item to a friend who mentioned she'd like to have one - picked up a project at work to help a department who had someone out on paternity leave - cleaned the cat boxes for my husband - cut my mom's hair for her - stopped by a friend's work (a store in our mall) to give her a smile and some support (side note: she was diagnosed earlier that week with MS; I want to share Cami's story with her) - helped fix our home printer scanner for my husband - introduced a young friend of our family to our tae kwon do studio - donated a lot of items to a friend to sell at a yard sale to raise money for her family's mission trip to Nicaragua - "adopted" a teenager we knew for the evening at our 4H meeting when his parents couldn't make it - walked an older gentleman through the process of using a feature on my company's website - donated to the food bank at my mom's church (this was a "give something you don't think you can part with" gift, as we were already tight on our own grocery budget and bought $50 worth of food; "somehow" the money and food stretched) - edited some emails for my brother-in-law's new ebook launch at no cost - caught up on emails to friends - mailed out a donation that was long since "overdue" - fixed the handle on our toilet - sent a card to a retiree from our office who broke her arm - sent gifts in the online game that I play to some strangers who were looking for them (one lady wrote to me and said I made her day; imagine that?) - spent time with my mom on my day off - gave apple dumplings to my sister and brother-in-law - spent extra time with my Weight Watchers group - and my favorite one, printed out two "free positive thoughts" signs (you can get your copy here: http://www.kindovermatter.com/2011/01/freebie-alert-free-positive-t...) and hung them up at my office and our local grocery store. THAT WAS AMAZINGLY FUN. I actually went to the grocery store an extra time, just to see if anyone took them.
Happiness and gratitude highlights
My husband gave our daughter a dollar for collection at church, unprompted - drew a picture of our deck with squirrels and chipmunks on it with my daughter - the You vs. Debt course that I'm a part of - my husband opening up to me about his feelings on our daughter's Asperger's - a good Phillies game - stress-free day with my daughter - that my daughter gained weight (she's very underweight) - glad I have a work-issued laptop I can use until we get a new home computer - that I can play Words With Friends on Facebook - a yard football/catch game with my husband and daughter - to have tae kwon do class with two friends who are soon moving to Connecticut - that my husband's dad invited him to a Phillies playoff game - Sarah's for-two-lessons-only flute teacher, who was just INCREDIBLE - kind words from friends on Facebook - thanks from coworkers for my hard work (which felt nice) - happy news about the wedding of my first love from high school - a chance to see a friend of an old boyfriend, who I had lost touch with after the breakup - my sister and brother-in-law, who took my daughter to the Renaissance Faire and who helped fix our toilet - a chance to see Moneyball with my husband - new ideas - possibility of a new freelance job - our tae kwon do school "family" - a free lunch made for us by friends who we know don't have much to spare - my husband - our daughter's countywide 4H historian award (a real blessing) - Pinterest - staycation with my husband - 29 Gifts - the chance to sell stuff on Craigslist for some extra money - nice weather (HA - glad I was grateful for that one while it lasted!) - a friend who substituted for me at Weight Watchers - our local parks - the chance to clear out some lingering tasks on my to-do list - fuzzy shirts loaned to me by my husband - Facebook - Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt and You vs .Debt - my members and receptionist Bev at our Monday night Weight Watchers meeting - positive quotes - seeing people take the "free positive thoughts" mentioned above.
Yes, that's a random collection of things, but I just had to share that I made it through Cycle 2 and am looking forward to starting Cycle 3. Still not sure yet which way of keeping track makes the most sense for me, but I definitely miss being in touch with everyone here. Good Giving to you all!