I have been participating in the 29 Day Giving Challenge for 11 days now and here I am to report back about my experience. So how have I been doing with it? Honestly, it’s been a great part of my daily life so far.
What have I given? Well, it depends. Here are some examples:
- Babysitting for neighbors
- Small donations to the Houston Red Cross
- A surprise ice cream cone for my son after school
- Helping a friend with her resume
- Making muffins for my playgroup
- Doing work for my son’s teacher
- Offering my friendship to that mom I always see and never introduce myself to
The list goes on. And it’s small things too. Not just getting glasses of milk for just my kids, but all the kids in the room. Making sure my husband can get a morning or two to sleep in as much as possible. Letting someone else have that parking space, I can walk a few more steps. For me, its been so much about remembering not to be the opportunist all the time, watching only my back, looking out for only myself. I get exactly what I need without butting to the front of the line every time and grabbing what I need.
Also, when I began this challenge, I was sort of hard on myself. I thought I would have to come up with things I wouldn’t normally do, and really go out of my way. But then I stood back and reminded myself about the spirit of this challenge. We have to just remember to give, in any way that we know how. It’s about being in the habit of giving and thinking of others. And I surprised myself when I realized how much giving I normally do anyway. But now I am keeping track of it all and just making sure something happens everyday. It really feels good and I have kind of become obsessive about it. In fact, friends joke “Oh! that can be one of your giving things!” If they haven’t joined themselves, they are having fun watching me participate.
Just one other note. Being a mother is entirely about giving. To work yourself up to a challenge like this as a mother can be hard. After spending your entire day caring for and giving to someone else, to think about giving even further is exhausting. I think we all crave time to be selfish and give to ourselves. But I would also challenge ourselves to reach beyond that level of giving we are already competent at. We can stretch ourselves to give just that small bit more, it is always possible.
And I would also argue that we mothers forget to give to ourselves a lot. In fact, taking care of yourself might be one of your lower priorities. Whose to say that you shouldn’t try giving to yourself on one day if you never ever take the chance to do that? It’s just a thought.
Finally, for the 29 Giving Challenge team to reach their goal of 2,000 members participating in the challenge by September 29th, they simply need 270 more “givers”. If you haven’t joined, consider it. It’s a fascinating journey to be on and satisfying to realise how much giving we do and can incorporate in our lives.
Have a wonderful weekend.