29 Days of Giving: Days 10–12Jun 14th, 2010 | By Rachel Elliott | Category: 29 Days of Giving, Personal Growth
Upon arriving home from outdoor school, I realized just how tired four days in the great outdoors can actually make a person! When we got back to the school, we were all entirely wiped off our feet but there was still work to be done. My gift today was to resist the urge to run from the school site and crawl into bed! I stayed to help the teachers sort their things back into classrooms and help students find their luggage in a big mass of sleeping bags, backpacks, and suitcases. It didn’t take long because there were about five of us who stayed to help. It was the end of a long and tiring week, and giving was the last thing on my mind but I am glad that I found a way to make it happen.
My very dear friend Erin (yes I have already given to her numerous times) had her year-end choir concert tonight and my gift was to give my sister and her husband a night off by taking my nieces to the concert. So, actually many of people benefited from this gift! The girls and I started the evening with a fancy dinner out at a local fast food joint—they are 4 and 7 and their idea of gourmet is different from mine, but we had fun all the same. Then we went to the store to pick out flowers for Erin after the concert—the girls were concerned that at the end of the concert, no one would have flowers for Erin.
The concert was amazing: a musical montage of popular songs from the last six decades. The girls had fun, their parents had a nice night out, and I got to see Erin sing for the first time—an all around success.
When giving is this fun, it hardly feels like giving at all; it makes me feel like I am taking more than I give but I think that might be the point of this whole challenge!
Today’s gift might not seem entirely appropriate for my challenge, but it was very necessary. My gift today was to myself: a day of guilt-free rest and relaxation. The perfectionist tendency is to push myself too hard and to do so much that I often find myself with nothing left to give to others. Four days at outdoor school topped off with an outing with the nieces put me at the edge. I know my edge: I feel sick and tired and a little cranky. Normally I would plow through, but it seemed appropriate that today’s gift was to give myself a much needed break.
I tend to give so much of myself to others that there is little left for me at the end of the day. I am fairly proud that I made the decision to take a break from grad school, work, and all the other distractions in my world to just enjoy a day relaxing and refreshing for the busy weeks to come.
Read about Rachel’s previous challenge days: