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29 Gifts: Days 22- 26

Part of this process was journaling - both about what I'm giving and the giving's affect on me AND about what I'm getting because you are supposed to recognized giving/getting as a circle or a flow or something. I didn't quite understand that bit and the further from the book I get the more hazy I become. But I do recognize you have to learn how to ACCEPT a gift because if I'm trying to give people things and they rejected my gifts how would I feel? So I need to learn to gracefully accept from others so that they have the opportunity to give, as well. That I understand. One gift we received last week was a surprise visit from a friend whose brother passed away earlier this year. My husband and his brother had bonded over cooking and would talk about it for hours and occasionally get together to play with receipts. I've known both of them since about 1992. Anyway, he brought over some of his brother's cookbooks, a Monty Python book, and an Xbox to give to us because they were his brothers and related to experiences or hobbies we shared. If I write more about that I might cry. Another gift I received this past week was Toaster doing my toes. I have always hated my toes. I thought they were funny shaped nails and never looked nice painted like my choir mates. She spent an hour or more trimming, shaping, filing, tweaking, etc. and got them into great shape! She also bought all the supplies to do that and some glitter polish for me, so that when I painted them afterwards they looked like my choir mates and really professional. I felt so guilty because to me it seemed like yucky work to be that close to someone's feet - but she swore she liked doing nails. Still, it was really hard at first for me to accept this gift gracefully because I felt like I was taking major advantage of her and make her do something yucky. She did such a beautiful job, and I felt so special. I wore open toed shoes for the first time to work - I wore them every day that week. I even picked out clothes around the polish color.

Okay - sadly, this may not be right gift on the right day, but this is the best I can do. Maybe I do need to start over!

Wed/May 2, Day 22
I wrote six letters - one to a friend in jail who really appreciates any mail. In fact, I just got a letter back from him thanking me as most of our crew and even some of his family doesn't write to him. He keeps asking for pictures - I really need to get on the ball and send pictures. :)

Thurs/May 3, Day 23
I gave one of my favorite rings to Bree. It no longer fits my thumb. I've known that for a year and kept holding on to it for maybe it'll get so hot my thumb will expand, but no luck. I bought it at a music festival with dear friends, so it's the ring and the memories. But the ring is super cool - celtic pattern and the middle band spins, so when you are anxious you can spin it or fiddle with it. Anyway, Bree loved it. So I'm glad it went to a person who will wear it and cherish it almost as much as I do.

Fri/May 4, Day 24
Assistance and support on things that were "not my job" - on Friday (and on Saturday) I did everything I could to help Bree with getting ready for the graduation ceremony. Even if I wasn't physically doing something, I was a venting board or cheering squad or something. Honestly, I don't think I did enough and felt like I was getting off too easy, but despite how I have assessed my contribution, I must be offbase, because she thanked me sincerely a couple of times and commented on what a help I was.

Sat/May 5, Day 25
Encouragement - when lining up grads I made sure to be extra friendly, extra excited, extra encouraging, extra funny, etc. I applauded and sang and high-fived. I even meant it, after a while. :) Plus I jumped in with any coworker that needed a hand whenever I had a free moment. The return was immediate - the students responded with as much friendliness, excitement, and humor as I gave out - one even came up to me after the ceremony and told me how much he appreciated our college staff and what all we do for the students. :) And another coworker came up to me and Karyn and commented on how incredibly helpful we had been that night.

Sun/May 6, Day 26
Helping a friend move and my donation in the collection plate at church today, although I should have donated more. Also, this is a lame gift but for me it's a pretty big one - since I wasn't able to drive to FWB in time to see John & MJ in person, I spoke to them on the phone. I don't like phones - I'm sure I was stupid on the phone, but I did it because I wanted to make sure they knew I loved them.

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