Day Five (Fri 8/25/12):
* Well, this one will sound a little backwards.... but I'm still sticking it in here because it's another lesson or thought process from this Challenge on Giving. I'm usually a pretty big tipper when I eat out (20%+), but today when I stopped for lunch at a little cafe I left a $2 tip on a tab of $11.05. Big enough, I suppose, but 20% would have been $2.20 & I would have generally rolled that up into $2.25 or $2.50. But I didn't feel like it was deserved & I did not have that 'generous' feeling of giving it anyway, of making the effort to dig around for the quarters... simply because it wasn't deserved.
And I liked that... that even though I'm in this Challenge, I'm not overspending or slaphappy about what I'm doing if it's not sincere... at least for today, in that moment. Maybe another day, I'd have left the bigger tip & chalked it up to her having a bad day & wanting to do it for her out of compassion or not judging... letting it be about me sharing instead of what was happening to her. But today, I was not feeling it, and I did not give more than I wanted to do.
So I guess it was about giving to myself, a clear boundary, letting myself know that I can trust myself with my money and I'm not giving or throwing it around just for the sake of having a Give for the day. Good to know.
* In other news, yes, I did give to the shelter animals through Freekibble.com.
3 things I'm grateful for this day:
* Won't bore you with dental details, but dental work/insurance/plan for dental care for the year all dovetailed nicely & I am relieved that some tough work is done.
* That I had been wise enough to take the rest of the day off... 3 hours in the dental chair left me pretty wiped out & I was very grateful to just roll into the little cafe for lunch, get myself home & make a couple business calls with part of the afternoon, then into my jammies & early to bed.
* Having one of the families on the block invite me to the birthday party Saturday for one of the kids. I won't be going due to another commitment, but that was a new one... and I think it may be coming from one of my Big Gives in a past round this spring when I gave all the neighbor kids flowerpots to make friends with the neighbors (remember that one?). Smile.
Day Four (Thurs 8/24/12):
* Keeping up the Freekibble.com commitment so the shelter dogs got some kibble today. I said up front for the month that could be enough some days & I know I did other things today (making the effort to be friendly & happy etc instead of just anonymous or hiding out around work or out in the world) but just the Freekibble.com was enough to fulfill the commitment per my Intentions this month & I will let that be that for today.
3 things I am grateful for today:
* My dental insurance actually sent me a preauthorization & estimate of benefits on my dental work tomorrow. I have had nothing go smoothly with them since my company changed insurance arriers last year & to have a simple statement with clear facts and figures a day ahead of the appointment so there's no wondering... boy, I was surprised how happy that made me for the whole day.
* A wonderful coffee-&-breakfast-burrito breakfast after physical therapy that kept me going the whole day
* A wonderful play time with my dog after work today & I am grateful for letting our relationship build & letting myself love him as I see different parts of his personality and even just facial expressions emerge as we do new things together.
Day Three (Wed 8/23/12):
* Dropped off 1 sweater at the Goodwill as a donation. It's beautiful, that's why I bought it (at a Goodwill I think to start with) but it's not beautiful on me... design, shape, or color... and I've never even worn it. I think that still I bought it & held on to it because it was colorful and sparkly and artistic and happy--and I am now willing to let the right beautiful new sweater *for my body* come along now that I have let go of something close but not quite right.
* Sent a "best wishes to you" email to a coworker in another area whose last day with our company was today, when I didn't realize she'd even given notice, a very short notice at best, I guess. She is very talented & ambitious & has contributed a lot to our company; at the same time, while we never worked closely together, I did get the feeling that no, she never really had much use for me, she's close friends with a person who did find a way recently to make it very clear how much she herself does very much dislike me, and the departing coworker may or may not care whether I said goodbye or not. But I found to my surprise that it was the choice of my best self to rise to the occasion & do it for the sake of being the person *I* want to be, not for the person that I may imagine *her* (correctly or incorrectly) to be.
3 things I am grateful for this day:
* Being free to leave my dog at a doggie day care so that I could work later than usual to make up some time...
* ... and still have time to stop off at the rec center & stretch in the pool 30 minutes before it closed.
* Liking one of my coworkers enough that I missed her when she took the day off
Day Two (Tues 8/22/12)
* Helped out one of the tellers at the bank by being cheerful & outgoing & that ended up getting her some help she needed. She was excited to have a customer because otherwise she was stuck reading a safety manual that wasn't the most exciting thing in the world, so we were laughing about all that. But then it turned out she didn't quite understand all about the fire extinguisher anyway (what is this pin you are supposed to pull out!!! But who you gonna ask???). Then her computer system shut down & she couldn't print out my receipt, so she had to call a coworker & her manager for help & we were joking about how it wasn't going to let her move forward until she had finished reading her safety manual HaHaHa. But as we were finishing up, I did tell her manager, "Hey, now what she does need some help with is figuring out where the pin is on the fire extinguisher so she can use it if she needs to" and we were all still laughing, so he says to her right there, "Sure, come here, I'll show you right now" and off they went & I told her, "Hey, the life we save may be your own."
3 things I am grateful for:
* Had a great team-building art exercise outside the office that our manager took us to
* Did the exercise routine that was best for me yesterday...
* Got my hair colored & cut by a new stylist at a price that's better than my previous salon
Day One--or so it seems (Mon 8/21/12):
I think I may have started again today, as often happens, when my body knows it's ready to go again before my conscious mind does. I don't "feel" quite ready, but I have found between Rounds that often if I go too long, it starts getting all about MeMeMe again & I lose the momentum on being on the lookout to giving.
Selfish Part: I gave a nice gift today & I want it to "count"... a coworker who is leaving today to move out of state for a new job also had her dog die recently & I made a donation to the animal shelter where she volunteers in memory of her dog and found a small token of remembrance for her dog that would not be a large item to move as part of her "Good Luck to You" going-away card and package. I am really satisfied that I found the right thing for the circumstance (for me, at least; I hope for her too).
And I guess it's still part of the "to do" list I mentioned from last round: so many people recently with losses that I'd like to give attention to... just to be caring... and yet the 'planned' Gives didn't get done, and didn't necessarily feel too great.
However (light bulb dawning): This is also a tough time for me every year... 3 weeks in between the anniversaries of the 2 toughest deaths in my life. So I'd probably be better off just getting attention off myself for that reason too.
Unless I just would prefer to roll around in self-pity and sadness a few more days.
Actually: I think I started yesterday w/ the giving to Prevent the Self-Pity & Sadness... I kept back some flowers from a bunch I bought to leave at a grave, but I found over the weekend that having them in the house was pushing me into Self-Pity and Sadness rather than bridging the gap of sadness... so I gave them away to someone else who could enjoy them as just flowers.
And so I guess Life seems to have already led me by the hand off into another Round.
* Keep the focus off self when Self-Pity & Sadness tend to raise their ugly heads this time of year
* Give attention as I'm able to those facing their own losses recently
* At a minimum, keep up the freekibble.com online if I can't handle anything else
* Or on another front, find 1 thing from around the house I can donate to a charity if I can't handle anything else... I have way too much Stuff & it must be sent out into the world to help others instead of cluttering me up here