I am terrible at reporting in each day, but I did keep track offline and today I finished the challenge for the first time! I'm proud of myself. I love giving, but I've never tried giving every single day without fail. It was nice to be aware and acknowledge each gift as I gave it. I've got the full write-up on my blog: http://just-the-things.livejournal.com/145835.html
Thing 66 just-the-things.livejournal.com
66. Participate in the 29 Gifts Movement After a long time thinking about when to do this, I decided I didn't know how to do it. Unfortunately, the site seems to have gone away! But then I discovered it wasn't gone, just relocated to: https://follr.com/Communities/29Gif ts And I found out that…
Does anyone have rules for themselves for the way they give? So far, I've told myself gifts must be given out of a place of gratitude. I want to be in touch with my feelings as I give the thing I'm giving. I want it to come from the heart. I also want each gift to be something I wouldn't give otherwise--something I create out of nowhere or something new that I wouldn't normally give. I know a gift can be anything... but for this project, I wanted each gift to mean something to me and wanted to be aware of each one.
Kate, I love that you are giving mindfully and with intention, which is really the only requirement of the challenge. What you'll likely find as you progress, especially if you repeat the giving challenge (many of us have completed so many 'rounds' that we've lost count), is that giving will start occurring without thought. The opportunities simply appear. As you continue to journal at the end of each day, you will be pleasantly surprised at how often you were in the right place at the right time to help someone in need. The giving seed that was planted has taken root and is now a part of you.
Day 7 (today)- I am super busy at work and at home and every second of my day is precious to me. (I'm not sure I'm going to meet several huge deadlines). But I still took a few hours out of my night and stayed up until 1:30 to write and finish a story for my friend whose birthday is today. I was exhausted but glad to sacrifice some sleep in order to write her something with one of her favorite characters for her birthday.
Day 6- I woke up half an hour early and made a Happy Birthday sign for my previous boss, whose birthday was last week (this was her first day back in the office after her vacation). Last week, when she was gone, we put up a gallery of framed magazine covers from the past year of our magazine and I wrapped them in red streamers like ribbons. But I wanted to make a sign for her door to welcome her back and wanted it up before she got into work. I beat her by about 15 minutes as she came in early as well. Thank goodness I sacrificed a bit of sleep. The surprise was worth it and I'm glad I got to see her reaction to the surprise gift :-)
Day 5- An online friend's husband saw I make Artist Trading cards. So he kindly sent me two of his own! This day I sat down and hand-drew two for him. I don't usually draw mine, but I really enjoyed spending so much time drawing and putting part of myself into them as well as showing my style. I included a postcard for swap-bot where I swap my ATCs and have recently been named an ambassador. I also included an AnySoldier.com postcard as my friend has been thinking of participating in that and I've enjoyed sending packages there in the past. I put all these in an envelope and mailed them.
Day 4- Went to a Harry Potter birthday party my meetup group puts together each year (read: the event organizer and I, as assistant organizer put together each year). There, I gave her a card I'd written from the heart, thanking her for supporting me during my recent health problems and reaffirming my commitment to the group. I felt like I was slacking off or taking it too easy when I was sick for 10 months. I wanted her to know that now that I'm starting to feel better, I want to put more energy into the group. I am glad to have gotten the chance to share my feelings with her and feel good about following through with my passion for the group, its members, and our fun activities and discussions.
Day 3- I'm not sure what to count for this day. My friend was heading out of town, so I quickly wrote up a story for her to read before she left (a short sequel to a story I wrote based on a prompt of hers last week). But the real gift was more to myself. My coworker had an oracle book she brought to work and I asked it a question about money, which is tight for me right now. I concentrated on the question and the answer the book gave me was much more positive than I'd have thought. It made me think maybe I should apply my talents to the problem and approach it in other ways in order to succeed. A few hours later, I was at the store and a quarter someone had dropped rolled over to me. I stopped it with my foot and picked it up for the guy who came over to retrieve it. I don't know if that was a sign, but I'm taking it as one. So the permission to believe in myself was the bigger gift this day.
Day 2- Donating when asked. During breakfast, I got an email from Catster asking me to vote for a kitty. A litter company was going to give money to the shelter/rescue group that won the vote. So I voted. Later, as I was checking out at a store, I had the option to donate a school supply to needy kids. I don't usually do that, but I did this time.
Okay.. I decided that this project is much like NaNoWriMo. I just need to DO IT. I'm still reading Cami's book, but I went ahead and started. I didn't want to post until I was sure I was going to give it a proper try. Day 1- I saw a license plate I loved on a car around town for the second time. This time, it was parked in front of a doctor's office. So I parked next to it, wrote a note of "I LOVE your license place!" with a heart and left the note on their car under a windshield wiper. I'm a big Harry Potter fan and the license plate is MUGGL and then the handicapped symbol standing in for the E in MUGGLE. I've been wanting to leave notes on cars with great license plates ever since I started doing a monthly post on my blog about the best vanity plates. So it was great to finally get a chance to leave a note and let these owners know (I've featured their license plate on my blog before... oh man, maybe I should have said that in the note? DOH! Maybe I'll see them again some day.) I hope it made them smile when they came out of the doctor's office.
I just wanted to share a sweet story from today (I hope it's not too off topic). You know that Random Act of Kindness where you buy the next person's coffee/fast food at a drive through? Well, my coworker told me that today his parents back home are putting down the family dog (he is old and has been in pain for a while). As one last treat, they took him on a car ride and went to a fast food drive through to get him a few small cheeseburgers: his favorite. The person ahead of them in line apparently paid for their order (not knowing of course what it was for). So on a very tough day for his family, this kindness was done for them. So many times little gestures mean more than you think they will or ever know they will.