Can giving change your life?

We went to the exclusive book wharehouse sale last weekend. I received an email about it but was not sure I wanted to be up at the crack of dawn to be there by 7am; Titus decided that we would be awake by 5:30am so there was plenty of time to get everyone ready. We did not get there as early as we should have and waited in rather a long queue, with 3 bored kids this was less than fun.

Anyway, one of the books I saw was called 29 Gifts – How a month of giving can change your life.
29 Gifts - how a month of giving can change your life

I did not have a chance to read much about it and as we were weighing the book becasue at the wharehouse sale you pay by weight, Yme took it out and put it on the not to take pile. I put it back and said I really wanted it. I am not sure why I just knew I wanted to see what it was about. He did a bit of eye rolling at me. I am loving reading it.

The author has MS and was in a terrible place physically and emotionally and phoned a friend to moan but rather than sympathize the friend told her to spend 29 days giving to other people. This was at a point when getting out of bed was hard for her. She said focusing all your thoughts and negative feelings about the disease inward was not helping her and focusing out on others makes us grateful for what we have and sharing love brings more love our way.She started and with amazing results for her health and mental happiness.

I decided to take on the challenge. Mondays are my bad day, weekends are great and Yme can help and we have a different routine, Monday is back to just me and the kids, we usually don’t go out, the house is a mess from the weekend and the kids feel the difference of the transision from 2 parents attention to one again. I lose my sense of humour on a Monday. I have so much to be grateful for and yet I can get bogged down with the everyday frustrations. I thought I needed a reason to look more out at the world and less in on me.

The size of the gifts are not important and they do not have to be money or bought they can be time or effort. But one has to be something you think you can’t live without. You should not force the gifts but kind of do it as it comes to you.

My list so far has been

Day 1: Monday – did not leave the house so was not able to give out to others but I did try to give within my family and cyber space. I connected with a friend on twitter who lost his dad and asked how he was doing and how life was now, people avoid talking about the person who has died and within a few months expect you to carry on as though nothing has happened. I thinking letting someone know you realize it still hurts a lot is a valuable gift. I also gave Yme my undivided attention when he spoke to me. I am usually trying to multi task and talk to him and knit or tweet or whatever else but whenever he spoke to me I stopped what I was doing and just gifted him my full attention, it may sound like a small thing but it strengthened our bond this week 😉
Day 2: Tuesday – I gave Rachel an hour of my time while I helped her play very girly horse game on the computer. It is aimed at young girls so the music is slightly twinkly and annoying and it is a bit insipid but she LOVES it and so the chance to play for a whole hour made one little girl so very very happy.
I also phoned my close friend in Pta to find out how her wedding plans were going and gave her a chance to talk about wedding stuff. When you get married all you want to do is talk about the stuff you are organizing and doing and others don’t always share the same enthusiasm, but I love weddings so it was fun to hear what she is planning.
Day 3: Wednesday – when I write for Natural Medicine Magazine I get an authors gift pack and one of the things that came in one months pack was herbal/natural love pills, like viagra for hippies I guess 😉 so I gave it to a friend who is wanting to ttc as a joke, we had a good laugh and it was a fun gift.
Day 4: Thursday – I gave a lady who’s daughter does swimming on the same day as Rachel a ball of Nurturing Fibres hand dyed yarn that my very talented friend Carle dyes. I also printed a pattern to gift to her as motivation to make a shawl/scarf for her trip to Switzerland in December. I often knit while we wait for the girls at swimming and we talk about knitting and patterns and I wanted her to try knitting with this lovely yarn. It was wonderful to see her face light up in surprise when I gave it to her and she said she really needed a gift it that day.
Day 5: Friday I gave a chocolate to the lady in the post office. They know me by name and I always have a nice chat to the Melkbos post office staff so when I went in today I took a chocolate. She joked with me at first when she saw it and said “oh thank you is that for me?” and when I said yes actually it is for you she was so surprised and delighted, it felt fun to make her day.

I am loving doing this, sometimes it is the small things that count, I am looking forward to the next few days

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