Friday, May 8, 2015

On Giving Up and Giving Back

I shared a few days ago about how much I miss this space, but how difficult it has been to find words. My heart just wasn’t in it, I had quit. I wanted to be passionate about it, and I wasn’t anymore.

That’s hard for me to admit, because if there is anything I am not, a quitter is pretty much right there at the top of the list. I’m an adapter. A “roll with the punches” kind of person. Maybe it (whatever “it” is) isn’t going how I planned – no worries. Plan B. Or F. Or LL. I learned a long time ago that planning has value, but flexibility has MORE value. Know what your end goal is, but understand that the path to get there is NOT a straight line, no matter how hard you try.

So this “quitting” thing? It’s really not sat very well with me.

Part of my quit, I think, came from not having that end goal. There is no end goal with this space. It’s the best “roll with it” scenario I could have given myself! It’s MINE! I can do what I want to! I’m not here to make money, I don’t have a bunch of affiliate connections, I’ve got a few ads on here with the idea that maybe I’ll have a little income to cover the cost of my domain, but this isn’t a full time job or anything. I don’t promote the space because, well, it’s mine. It’s public, and sometimes I feel like I’ve written something that folks might want to read. Sometimes I write things that are important to me, and that I want others to know about. In general though? This is my space. It’s about me. It’s a place where I can share things that need more that 140 characters. I can document our lives a little, and one day the kids can look  back and share in some of the memories with me.  But there is no “end goal” – no target for hits per day. No revenue goals. Not even a posts per week goal.

With no goals, no guidelines, I didn’t have the focus to be here. To write here. I was so focused on doing other things, I lost the focus I needed to maintain this piece of me.

I’m not sad about it though. Really, this is just another step along the way, and my focus was in good places. I’ve been working, leading our elementary PTO, participating in charity events, and enjoying my family. We’ve travelled a little, visited some. I lost my grandfather, but celebrated an amazing man with people I love. I barely mentioned it, but a year ago, my 10 year old daughter and I participated in  St. Baldrick’s event and raised over $6,500 for pediatric cancer.

I’ve given. Time and again, I’ve given. I am not in a position to always give monetarily, but let me tell you something really, REALLY important.

It’s not always about the money.

More often than not, those folks you want to help? The group you want to support? They just need a little of your time. Can you work a school carnival booth? FANTASTIC. Your 30 minutes means the kids can play the games. Can you type? That group needs someone to put together some thank you letters to volunteers and donors. Clip Box Tops & such. Photocopy handouts for a teacher. Chaperone a field trip. Work a Book Fair. Read with students who are struggling readers. No kids in school? That’s ok – adopt a local elementary, they’ll likely adopt you right back.

Heart in other places? EMBRACE it. What can you do to help? Is there a family you know who is facing a challenge? Can you watch the kids for a couple hours so mom and dad get a break? Wash and vacuum the car? Come by and flip laundry, maybe sweep and mop the kitchen?

Volunteer at the food bank once a month. Offer to walk the dogs at the animal shelter. Visit the elderly – they may just need a friend.

Give back. Give of yourself. It doesn’t have to cost you a dime, but there is NOTHING that will fulfill you more.

I gave up a little here. I gave back in so many other places. I’m ok with that.

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