Re-working 29-Day Challenge. “Giving is three fold: Give you time, your talent and your money.”
(I wrote this on 11.5.14) I have decided to re-work how I am approaching this challenge after an experience I had and after listening to the Giving Talk in this Podcast: Mosaic There are a lot of fine lines for me to walk during this challenge, I want to keep from stepping into my Co-dependent self and start giving more than I can afford/handle but the “Giving Talk” has inspired me to make some changes:
- For one I am going to do my giving for the day but not say what all of them are. Some anonymously giving and such.
- I looked to the world wide web for some “giving” suggestions and found some really good ones (like www.29gifts.org) most of the time I will share my deed but otherwise I will simply state that a deed was done.
- I will include some ideas I have found from what others have done and my feelings/thoughts/the after effects of said giving event.
This decision also involved an experience I had two days ago (11/3). I have a bit of a confession. We are doing a fundraiser at work for the Food Bank and cashiers are to ask every customer if they want to donate ($1, round up their change etc.). Awesome, it is a great cause, I am one of the Leads for the campaign and want to support the cashiers.
Well, I was ready to pay for my dinner…approaching the registers…and I didn’t go through one of our cashiers line because I knew he would ask me to donate (he’s very dedicated!). I also would have had to wait an extra 30 seconds had I gone through his line as he was finishing up with a customer. I passed his line and went to a different register. I immediately felt surprised at myself. Whaaaaat Karen? I start a “giving challenge” and then purposely side-step an opportunity TO GIVE to a good cause when someone I want to support asks me!
…Obviously I am missing something here!
Now, I’m not beating myself up. I KNOW this hesitation stemmed from my fear of not having enough of both time – a 30 minute lunch break goes by so quickly – and money. Primarily money. I thought of allllllll the money I may part with as I go through the registers as we are doing the campaign for two-months and I make a lot of transactions. And .17 cents, $1 really adds up everyday blah blah blah.
It was just suggested to me to “give away the last thing you would want to give away.” Which, of course, is money. I will say – please work with my psyche here- while giving my time is my first preference a very close second is to give money, and I typically do, because it can be used where it is needed most. Usually organizations have bulk discounts or contracts that will get them better prices than if I were to donate an item myself (and I love to support a good bargain!) I still do not want to part with my money which is all the more reason to give it away. I already give it away but apparently my message here is to give more of it away AND to do so without an ounce of fear.
This, of course, is against my nature. But don’t get me wrong, I (usually) do donate when a cashier asks me; I tip well, I donate to public radio etc. but obviously I am still operating with fear-based thinking. This is not an opportunity to get down on myself! This is an opportunity to recognize what I am already doing well and to re-think my feelings surrounding it and to give a bit more!
So, this morning when the cashier asked me to donate I rounded up that 17 cents! Last night I stood their waiting at the Credit Card machine (and made some awkward hint hint gestures) until the cashier asked me and I donated. And I will do so at least once a day everyday when I am asked. When I am asked to or I am compelled to give in other situations I am going to give more than my conservative self feels “safe” giving.
My co-worker and the gentleman who did the Giving Podcast just texted me that:
“I think giving as a part of a community is more life giving than doing it alone.”
Maybe I will organize a group giving event of sorts? It could be at work for the Food Bank? Or it could be done in a pair or a group with a completely different organization/project/etc. TBA.
So while I certainly have much to work with here I am glad I have a good starting point. I want to give and I do give. When I decided to do this I told myself not to *expect* a spiritual, life-changing experience. At worst I giving away 29 things! But at this point I am reminded that a major point of this experience is to work on my under-lying fears. To expand my idea of giving and to involve others in my efforts.
Lastly, I found this quote on a website. It is short and sweet and the absolute truth. It makes me laugh a little, it’s as if I do have this specific fear and reading this quote is to assure me to keep doing what I am doing but to caaaaalm down, lighten up and to NOT WORRY. Anne Frank was wise beyond her years.