Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 9 - A House in Haiti

Today I made my first payment to World Relief to build a house in Haiti.  For $35 a month this money will go to local residents as wages and materials to build houses to replace the ones lost in the earthquake.  I have not contributed to big relief efforts in the past because I felt like my small contribution wouldn't make a difference.  I like the idea that by myself I can fund the cost of an entire house that will help one specific family get out of the tents and into their own home.  It makes it personal.  Here's the link that tells about the program:

Day 8 - Tips

My gift today was small, but purposeful and planned, which is supposed to be the goal.  I went to our cafeteria to get my morning latte, and I put all my change into the tip jar. In the past I haven't tipped because I felt like the price of a latte was so high already.  What I noticed when I put the change in the jar, was the look on the cashier's face.  It was more than the little bit of money, it was like an extra thank you to her for her effort in making the drink.  It felt good!

Day 7 - Listening over dinner

My son had a bad hockey game today.  After winning 6 - 1 last night, they lost 7 - 9 to the same team.  He walked in the door and the first thing out of his mouth was "I don't want to talk about it".  My gift to him was not to push.  I took him to his favorite restaurant (Olive Garden).  By the end of the meal he was feeling better and said what he needed to say.  I just listened!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 6 - Parking Money

My gift today was to my ex-husband.  We have been apart for many years, but still have trouble getting along.  The one thing we have in common is our kids and my son had a hockey game tonight, so I called him to see if he wanted to ride together to the game.  We did, and when we got there I paid $3 for the parking meter.  After the game we met my son at a restaurant for drinks to talk about the game.  My husband and I got along the whole night, and we had a great time with our son afterwards.  Now that I think about it, it was a gift for my son as well to have both of his parents at the same time focused on him instead of arguing with each other!

Day 5 - A Book

Today I was wondering about the things I gave and whether they really met the spirit of the challenge. I let two people merge in traffic, and I let two ladies cross the street.  But I decided I always do that, so maybe it doesn't really count.  I also hosted a 15 year anniversary lunch for one of my team members, but I decided that was expected of me, so it didn't count either.  So, here's what I finally did.  When I was done reading the book 29 gifts, I listed it on Amazon for sale.  Well, the book sold today and I just finished the last few pages so I can mail it tomorrow.  That's when I got a great idea...I refunded the buyer's money and I will mail the book as my real gift for the day! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 4 - Treats!

Today I invited one of my coworkers to coffee and bought him a bear claw (his favorite) to go with it.  We talked while we ate our goodies and he told me about a new puppy he was planning to buy.   I learned that he has an old dog that he is afraid won't be with him much longer, and he thinks having a new puppy will make the transition easier.  Sometime in the future, I'll understand what he is going through.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 3 - Appreciation

Every morning I stop at Starbucks for my morning latte on the way to work.  This morning I was thinking about what my gift for the day might be.  At the counter I noticed they had new gift cards and there was one that said simply THANK YOU.  I bought one preloaded with $5 and knew I would find someone at work to give it to.  Sure enough, I had a meeting with one of my team members and took a moment to thank him for his positive attitude and all that he does for others at work each day.  He was pleasantly surprised and it made me feel good to surprise him with an unexpected gift.