Today I am celebrating the midway point of this My Daily Giveaway project. 6 months down, 6 more months to go. This seems to be a good point to reflect upon how the project has affected the last half a year of my life.
First, as I had imagined, I have lots of stuff to give away. So do the rest of my family members – my husband David, son Theo and even our two cats, Sonic and Mystic. And they (David and Theo, that is – the cats have been mostly useless) have also contributed in many ways to the project, sometimes by suggesting things to give away, occasionally by actually doing the giving for me, and on quite a few evenings just by being ok with me taking the time to write my blog instead of spending time with them. I had also already known that I have a lot of wonderful people in my life to whom it’s a pleasure to give something I don’t need anymore or something that would suit them better or resonate with them somehow. In addition, I am discovering more and more organizations out there that can make better use of some of our possessions than we can.
What I didn’t expect to discover is that even when we are in bad shape, we can always find a way to give. I spent several days in hospital in March, scared but receiving good medical care for my breathing. Thanks to a bit of planning and the help of my family, I was able to keep the giving and the blogging going from the hospital room. Related to this discovery is the realization that by giving mindfully on a daily basis, I have less need to “get.” I used to treat myself fairly regularly to things – typically clothes, shoes and other goodies, usually from the thrift store – but I don’t do this nearly as often now. I don’t need to because I get a lot of satisfaction from giving. That has become my treat to myself. (I still do enjoy receiving gifts from others and buying myself the occasional treat though – I’m not completely cured!)
Finally, I am enjoying the writing part more than I expected. Some days, I end up writing late at night and it can be a struggle, both mentally and physically, but most of the time it’s fun writing this blog, taking the time to think about what is so special and unique and lovable about my friends and family, or admirable and impressive about a particular organization. The process is a daily reminder of how full my life is of impressive, inspiring, loving and creative people. Ironically, as I gradually divest myself of my material possessions, I am feeling richer and richer. As of today, I have been giving for 181 things and I am looking forward to the next 184 days.
Today, I gave my friend Jane one of our spare phone rechargers for her mum, Jenny, who has been visiting for a few weeks and is returning to the UK tomorrow. Like us, she uses a Samsung phone rather than an iPhone, and she needs to recharge her phone before she heads home, a long distance that I feel very acutely too. I had originally lent it to her, but I decided to give it to Jenny instead because, as I write today’s blog, I realize that there is nothing more important than maintaining and recharging our connections with others, be it over a cup of tea or coffee, a walk along a lake, a good, strong hug, or with a phone call saying you’ve landed safely…