This week turned out to be as much about getting as it was giving. I had given myself permission to take it slow, to do even small acts of kindness as a part of the spirt of giving this holiday season. Some days it was hard to even do the small things. I would come home from a ten hour work day that drained my soul only to face cooking a meal, keeping my teenagers on track and cleaning up our home...falling onto the couch exhausted before it was even eight o'clock. My one day off? Spent in bed for the most part...recovering. It simply begged the question, is this how I want to live my life? Am I really LIVING MY LIFE...or have the "musts" taken over? Again.
Practicing patience with myself, I worked these two goals of mine into one big project this past week. I did something every day to bring spots of holiday love into other people's hearts but I also made sure each day that I took a step toward bringing my life closer to the level of lovely I desire. It was a symbiotic thing...the more grounded, settled, happy, fulfilled and purposeful I felt, the easier it was to give to others. The more I gave to others, the easier it was to make lists, make plans, have targeted conversations with people who could and would help me get back on track. By Friday there was a tickle at the edges of my life that felt suspiciously like hope.
My giving this week was simple. This week I was a kind driver. I slowed or stopped to let people merge into "first of the month traffic" here in the county seat. I gave up great parking spots by waving others into them ahead of me or by passing up the empty really great ones. I smiled at other drivers and waved if they smiled back. They were small things and small connections, but they felt real and they didn't feel so small. It was what I could do given where I was mentally and emotionally. Each connection seemed to feed some starving part of me...giving me courage to take the steps I need to in order to become a more energetic person capable of giving even more.
This past week was rough and taught me to be patient and kind to myself...to remember who I am instead of who my paycheck dictates that I be. I'm still part of the equation! I realized that there can be compromise, and once I put it out there, the compromise began and the rough edges of my days began to soften. I look forward to this next week of small ways to make a difference this holiday season and I wonder what the next great eye opener will be...if the difference is in the giving or the getting...and if it really matters as long as the interconnectedness of each of our experiences continues to be honored in the process.