Day Seven (Wed 10/31/12):
Pretty big day today.... I gave away my entire body. By saying Yes to being an Organ Donor when I renewed my driver's license.
(For any newcomers--this is part of Mbali's instructions to Cami or recommendations about how to do this giving--see Page 220 in Cami's book: "Nonattachment: Give your gifts with an open heart, without any expectations about what you might want to receive in return. In fact, try this: What if you were to give away something that you feel you could never part with? It could be a material thing, or perhaps a deeply held belief, behavior, or way of thinking that you feel isn't serving you anymore. Try this at least once over your 29 Days and take notice of changes you see in your life in upcoming months.")
This may be a no-brainer for some people, but this the 1st time in my life I've actually signed something to make me an Organ Donor. I understand there are varied opinions on this, but my main reasons for "No" in the past were 1) I spent my childhood in a religion that considered organ donation to be a 'sin' for a long time, 2) I have for varied reasons found the request somewhat invasive on my rights to my own body, and 3) call me a Hater, but I've been put off by the vibe of... entitlement?... that has come off some people I've known who are waiting on a donation... impatient & acting as if they put in the order, so why isn't it getting delivered yet?... when the bottom line is that Jeez Louise the only way you can get an organ to avoid what you do not want (death) is for somebody else to experience what it is that you are trying to avoid (death). Nobody owes you anything. Death happens & I am sorry it is coming to you sooner than you would like. But that needs to be faced too, because it is going to come to somebody else for you to live; it's not just a machine part you order from the factory. I have also seen or read of some organ recipients who are very grateful for the gift of life they have received, but it's just that--a Gift. Not a Debt that somebody Owes you.
But then I hit this blog a couple years ago when blog-surfing: http://tor-pastthepointofnoreturn.blogspot.com/ ... a young woman in the UK who needed a detailed transplant & over the months was called to the hospital *7* times with high hopes because they believed they had the organs for her & *6 times* they were not the right match for her in the end, and she was sent back home. And she knew she was dying. The writing was so sad at the end as she trailed off into no energy even to write, and yet still so humble. And then the 7th was the match!
And so hey--go ahead. Let her or anybody else out of their pain & fear & anybody else who can benefit, who can know whether they are 'appreciative' or not? I'm going to be dead either way, so what does it matter? Why judge? Or hoard?
Take everything, take my whole body.
There's nothing left now.
In other news:
* I left a penny I saw on the ground without picking it up for someone else to find as a Gift.
* I mailed out 2 Starbucks Gift cards to 2 people at my old job (Corporate Counsel & my replacement) who did go into my old computer for me when I asked for help to get back some log-in info that I left on that machine. Kind of them to do so, but definitely not required! (Let that be a lesson to keep that info in more than one place, because my memory could not be trusted away from that machine).
* And I took as good of care as I could of the 2 people I hit in a car accident I caused today. Yep, that's right, I rear-ended an SUV who then got shoved into the car in front of them. Never caused an accident before in my life, but now I've become one of *those* people who somehow weren't paying attention... just like was done to me a year ago & from which I am still recovering... hard to know I may have done the same thing to *2* people now. They both walked away w/ only scratched bumpers saying, "Oh, accidents happen", but I still did make the point of doing the supposedly Legally Unwise but Right Thing to Do (by me) in apologizing sincerely for the time & inconvenience this would take for them & for any injury that may have happened. And I called the claim in immediately after the accident & called them both back that night with the claim # and adjuster phone number so that everything could be as smooth as possible for them to get the care and reimbursement they deserve. I know insurance, lawyers, and adjusters will take it out of my hands from here, but person-to-person I did the right thing for me and my conscience by following up promptly and on a personal level with the people I had caused damage to, even accidentally, and I do count this as a Gift in fulfilling my Intentions for this Round in showing up to Be the kind of person I would want to Be in that circumstance.
3 things I am grateful for this day:
* Well, my car did get crumpled up very nicely, but it's driveable for now if needed & is not leaking fluid, so I was able to take it home to make arrangements for repair instead of being suddenly stranded as car-less
* Not quite sure yet on damage to the body (I have some aches & pains I didn't have yesterday & it's very disappointing to have another accident now on top of the one I'm not fully recovered from... wonderful to look forward to how the subrogation/insurance/legal issues will be more complicated now... ahem), but I think all in all, probably just more of the same for probably a little longer now. One of my friends reminded me that I've gotten myself a lot stronger *because of* the therapy etc needed to be recovering from the last accident, so this one may not affect me the same... very encouraging words, indeed. We'll see.
* And again... was it just yesterday that I made that big donation to the shooting victim who lost both her children & her father in just a few months? Me, I may have extra paperwork issues now, but pain like that or getting called 6X to the hospital hoping for a cure that is not actually there... these kinds of problems, I do not have.
Well, that's probably the longest post I've ever done!!! Good grief, are you still reading??? Good for you (maybe!). Now Happy Thursday to you!
Day Six (Tues 10/30/12):
Hibernation day... slept in late after all that Big Important Work finished yesterday & left the car in the driveway as A Day Off from any more Important Work. Did leave the house to take a the dog for a big long walk to do a couple errands & get him out & then back home, please.
* Donated to the shelter animals through freekibble.com. Thought that might be it for a lazy day, but then...
* Made a large (for me) donation online to the family of a crime victim that I had meant to donate to directly anyway & then I was reminded when I read the notice of the memorial service that was in the Sunday paper I just read today. I live in the metro area where the theater shootings happened this summer, and the youngest victim (6 years old) was laid to rest this week after a delay until her mother was well enough to leave the hospital to attend (single mom, also shot, paralyzed now, and miscarried the child she was pregnant with at the time due to her injuries, after losing her own father who she lived with until he died earlier this year. Way too much for one family, I think.) I had meant to send them some money, probably some small token number, but when I got on the website tonight, I saw that the difference between what they'd raised & the next Big Round Number would be about a week's worth of expenses for me & somehow I just figured--WTH--What does it matter? Send it. Let them have it... Me, I have no problems compared to this & can share what I have for now. What is a week's worth of money out of my savings when I do not face anything like that? There was also a problem with the website accepting my payment, so I emailed both the site and the family to alert them, so that there would be no problems with them getting anything anyone wanted to send, and I walked my payment down to the corner mailbox as a check payment in the meantime.
* Also sat down & corrected one of my monthly "recurring" donations that I could not get set up again online with a new debit card number after the credit union asked me to change my card number after a breach of security at some vendor's system. The charity missed a couple months' worth of money, but I finally got a voicemail back from them on how to start over through their system, so that's done; I'll have to see about the difference they missed.
3 things I am grateful for this day:
* The 3 shelves of food left after I cleaned out my pantry for the food bank & the food in my refrigerator that is left after I cleaned it out too last week. I like the feeling of knowing I have enough for 'a while' but without having 'everything' stocked up... I am able to still buy exactly what I need for this 1 day if I want something other than what I have, but I notice I am sticking to 1 or 2 day's supply instead of a few weeks, etc. I have more than enough & more than many & that in itself is enough.
* Received the Gift of a dime on the sidewalk & decided to pick it up. I usually leave small change on the sidewalk for someone else to find... but there was something in it today about staying mindful & respectful in small money matters, for today at least, and I picked it up.
* Received the Gift of a dog treat for my dog at the quickie mart where we stopped to buy some microwave popcorn for tonight. The clerk noticed my dog tied to the trash can out front while I ran in & she went out to play with him for a minute :-) until I checked out... and then there she was, pulling out a treat strip from under the register shelf to give me for him. I asked her if she wanted to come give it to him herself, and she smiled but said she did have a line coming up behind me, so she couldn't, but she looked happy I asked.
* Some heart-breaking crimes in my area the last few months... between that & the hurricane... I have no problems. I am not special & anything could happen to me too, but for now... I have nothing to complain about & many reasons to focus on the comfort and peace I do have for now. "Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are"--Marianne Williamson.
Peace to all & may we be able to offer the same in kind to those that do not have it at this moment...
Dy Five (Mon 10/29/12):
My Big Long Give/Receive Essay for today:
So I had 2 big Projects scheduled for today, one with 2 hrs prep work last night for a Very Big Grownup Financial Thingy that of course The Rest of My Life Depends On. And I went to bed last night being very Determined that Thou Musteth Get Up Early and Concentrate on This All Morning Long until your phone appt at 1pm.
But when I woke up, I thought, "Good grief, how much attention does this really need? Is this about Being or Doing?" And I realized, I didn't need all morning to keep reading about it, what I really needed to do was get outside already! Be out in the sun for a while instead of stuck inside with papers and the computer! Go gratefully pay somebody to please kindly make you a breakfast sandwich before the place closes at 10:30 & take the dog to the off-leash park before the on-leash rule kicks in at 11:00 and have a Happy start to the day instead of all this Drudgery--You can be back by 11:30 & still have plenty of time--Go!
So I pile out the door about 10:15 to Go have a good time Being Happy... and there is my neighbor in the street, with the hood up on her car, on her cell phone, and now she wants to know if I can give her a jump. AAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!! Because this does keep happening with her... several times now. GET A NEW BATTERY ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I'm not going to make it to the fast food place before 10:30 if I stop and help you AGAIN. (Picking up on the frustration? No longer Happy. In fact, Yes, the words "Well, I did have somewhere to be" actually came out of my mouth... uuh, right--such very important places to go like the dog park.) But she's a single mom & English is not her 1st languge & I really don't know what the situation is or might be, and knowing What Goes Around Comes Around (of course I want her to help me if/when the situation were reversed & I know she would), I go rummaging around for my jumper cables (insert Big Fat Sigh of Self-Pity here) but my trunk latch is not working right, so I just told her I would go talk to another neighbor, Mark, for her, who is the retired neighborhood handyman but she is not able to talk to him in her language & Yes, of course he had jumper cables, although No, the jump from my car did not work because her battery is so old & run down. But Mark, being Mark, not only had cables but also a battery charger, went home, got that, put it on her car, got it started, and told her she really did need a new battery.
Meanwhile (oh yes insert Big Magnanimous Pat-on-Back here) I had *not* abandoned them while they did that.... slowly watching my nice time at the park slide away & self-destruct, yes, but got over myself & got my Attitude back together and stayed with them until the job was done... and then even took up more time to cheerfully rummage through my glove box to find the receipt for the battery I just bought over the summer from a great little auto supply store not far from us where I knew they were fair *and* spoke her language, and she took down the address & phone number ("oh, thank you, Laura, thank you.") I think that part was the real Gift... the part that went beyond just "Neighborly Obligation & be on my way".
So now all 3 of us were free to be on our way, and ... revamping plans... but just in case I'd made a mistake about how late breakfast was served (maybe 11:00? instead of 10:30?), I still went to the breakfast place & went inside & asked, and lo and behold, No, they were no longer serving breakfast, but Hey, the manager had a "sample" sandwich left over from breakfast that he wanted to get rid of... for free. And I thanked him so much & told him I'd really been looking forward to it, but when I went to get in my car, my neighbor needed a jump on her car & I wasn't going to make it but thought I'd still ask blah blah blah so this was great that it still worked out. And then Oh, Look--he actually had another box of leftovers from breakfast that he gave me for free that he also needed to get rid of ("well, you deserve it for helping somebody else out"--well, not so sure about the 'deserving', but I just said Thanks!!!!)... lucky day for the dog too!
And so we toodled over to the park, and got in barely under the 11:00 deadline, and well, I kind of fudged on how long he got to stay off-leash past the "official" cut-off, and we ate our free sandwiches in the happy October sun & hey, I even pulled out my camera & took a few Happy pictures.
3 things I am grateful for:
* Project #1 (Big Very-Grown-up Financial Thingy)--3 hours again today: Completed & let go of... big sigh of relief!
* Project # 2 (Health/Wellness)--3 1/2 hours: Completed!
* Hot shower & going to bed early now: Hurray!
This is what I mean about--Good grief, imagine how Selfish I would be *without* these Challenges to keep me going,
Day Four (Sun 10/28/12);
Oops I guess I forgot to blog this one: Donated a good chunk of time & effort to a non-profit organization... 4 hours total with travel + then more work and copying and organizing at home.
Day Three (10/27/12):
* Donated a Book-on-CD to the public library. (It's actually one I had to *buy* from them a few years ago, because I lost the thing somewhere in my house and could not find it. Then I found it & it was missing a CD. Now I found the missing CD... in my shelf of CDs-?!!) It's not a book I really want, so let's get it back out there into the world.
3 things I am grateful for:
* Yes, the public library. Where you can just *take* things. And bring them back when you're done. For free.
* The billboard I saw that said: "When the Going gets Tough, the Tough get Efficient." Good reminder (from the utility company about using only what you need).
* Being able to still get a massage as part of Dr's orders... without having to fork over the cash. Mmmmm.
Now off to the 2nd of my double-feature movie evening, courtesy of the public library... (Laura's Current Pick--1st of the 2: Ondine, a lovely little film I'd never heard of, sitting there on the library shelf)
Happy Sunday to all--
Day Two (10/26/12):
* Had to get on the phone for 2 hours or so RE 3 interconnected insurance matters & I committed to being cheerful with a "We're All on the Same Side" attitude (instead of Big Sigh 'you stupid people with your stupid system making it so complicated'.... etc). I don't think any of us really wants to live or work in a complicated system, but that's what we seem to have & on a good day my best thinking is that we just have to do the best to help each other through.
* Made another $5 charity donation at the grocery store to the food bank... you walk in the store & by the carts they have this stack of boxes that are written up as a $5 or $10 donation to the bank & you put it in the cart & the checker scans it with the rest of your groceries & then they save the box out of your groceries to put back in the stack at the front.
3 things I am grateful for this day:
* Again--Hot shower & heat in my house. Very cold tonight & I was getting very chilled in my car because the dashboard blower doesn't work consistently (mechanic can't find the problem... maybe it's just time for another opinion), so there was no heat in my car. So happy to get home & settled & warmed up.
* The peace of actually being able to find at times some real relaxation with no Worry. I have $ in the bank for today & the short-term, and so for the moment... to just lay in bed a little longer than usual & practice feeling happy, not rushed, letting go of the feelings of need to hurry up & go somewhere, do something, just lay there and pray or meditate or just feel happy... we just don't have that time too often in our lives & I am savoring it for the moment. I really do think the experience is "practice" of a new skill I really haven't had in the past because it's just too easy to let the mind steer towards Worry instead of letting it Be when, really, all is fine for today... at least I prefer to call it "practice" (rather than "lazy" :-) !!!!) when I'm laying in bed pretty late these 2 mornings in a row snuggled in & happy.
* I found the remote control to my TV! It's been lost a few weeks, and the way it's all set up, I couldn't turn on the TV without it. I don't watch that much but it's nice to have the option to connect with the outside world if I want.
Day One (10/25/12)
Yep, looks like I'm back. Today I opened up a DVD cover to put the DVD in & take it back to the library (after 3 renewals!)... and there inside the cover was a "You are A Gift" bookmark from this site that I'd stuck in there already when I 1st checked it out, so that it could be in there as a gift to the next person who checks out the DVD.
So I'm taking that as my signal to start back up again.
* Returned that DVD to the library & gave the bookmark to whoever chooses to take it out
Intentions for this Round (pretty much the same as last round)---keeping it simple but keeping myself out there:
* To remember others every day in this phase of my life right now instead of contracting into MeMeMeMeMeMe. For now, I am free--if I can--to consider this time of joblessness as a real Gift rather than a Worry & I want to keep focused on the good here & all that I *do* already have and can share *right now* instead of wondering every day what I'll be doing 'later" & when/how/where it will come about blah blah blah WorryWorryWorry.
* To stay part of this wonderful positive community--welcoming newcomers & supporting those who continue on past the 29 Days. I consider this giving to have become a spiritual practice in a way & this is where I come to talk about that... and where else in the world am I supported to do this Giving *every day*? It's a wonderful & rare thing in my world... maybe I need to question why that is or how I could expand that support in my world.
* To stay focused on what I want to Be & Contribute every day instead of wondering what I'm going to Do
* Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude. Recently I was confronted with the challenge of taking that principle even one step further with the idea of *being* gratitude rather than waiting for an outside event to cause it... living gratitude every day for all that's already in front of us, instead of waiting for something "else" (new) to happen to *get* grateful for. It's a stretch but I'm playing with it.
What I am Grateful for today: This community & all who are posting their blogs (and for Deb & Lois, who always find something encouraging to say, every day, to everyone, no matter what!).
Big Hug & Happy Giving--