29 Gifts: Final Reflections

May 31st, 2011

Here I am on the other side of my month of giving.  At the end of the day (or rather, month), I feel…

…a bit ambivalent, actually.  The concept of the 29 Gifts project really inspired me, and I embarked with great enthusiasm, but I must confess that as the month wore on, it started to feel a bit forced.  The idea is to approach each day with an open mind and an open heart, eager to give gifts of joyous abundance.  But some days, it just felt like one more thing I had to do in the midst of my crazy busy life.

The sense of obligation bled over into my blog life as well.  I felt internal pressure to blog each gift, which resulted in some less-than-awesome posts (in my opinion) on days when I didn’t feel motivated.  Plus, since I’m trying not to spend my whole life on the computer, I didn’t really blog anything else during the past month.

But.

But, on the other hand, aspects of the 29 Gifts challenge truly were uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging to me.  The days when I allowed gift-giving opportunities to present themselves — and then embraced those opportunities — were terrific. 

I want to be that sort of spontaneously generous person.  The person who gives birthday cards to co-workers and flowers to teachers at the kids’ daycare.  The person who surprises her husband with an unexpected gift, or writes a letter to a beloved family member.

I think I am that person.  I just sometimes forget that.  Or else I get so swamped in the day-to-day madness of being a working mother with two small children living on a tight budget that I don’t look up long enough to recognize what a big impact a small gesture can have on someone’s day. 

Reconnecting with that side of myself was a gift in itself.

2 responses to “29 Gifts: Final Reflections”

  1. Isa says:

    Yep, yep, and yep. When it's really spontaneous and there's some way to do something small that gives people joy it's wonderful to give. When you're signing over a dollar to charity at 10:30pm because you have to give something to someone and it's either that or an extra dog treat when you get home it seems a little insincere (not that the dollar isn't helpful, just that it's not coming from a place of true generosity, you know?).

  2. Kate says:

    Great example! My mom said almost exactly the same thing about the 10:30pm "gotta do my gift for the day" gift to a charity feeling less than warm and fuzzy.

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