Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back....

This year has been - what every year is - unpredictable in some ways - and reassuringly normal in others.

I have become "Auntie" or good friend to many, many babies born in 2006..... (Rachel, Emelia, Elizabeth, Luke, Zachary, Sophie, Dillon, Devin, Ben).
I have continued to love and spoil my most darling godson "P" to the best of my ability and he has continued to bring joy to my heart and smiles to my days.
I have found a new job which is challenging and fun and allows me to work with some very compassionate people.
My new job has allowed me to get on the road to financial solvency, finally. I am not a perpetual student with only loans as income.
I have visited good friends despite my cash flow problems and I am glad to have been there for the weddings, showers and important events that make the best memories.
My family has changed in ways that alter how we spend important moments together and I have adjusted (B's engagement).
I have watched good friends get married and I have witnessed the joy on a new mother's face.
I have seen the pain on friends' faces when marriages end.
I have witnessed the pain a parent feels when they realize their child is different.
I have done my job to the best of my ability and worked to make positive improvements in my office.
I have spent quality time with my siblings on vacation and will treasure it for years to come.
I have seen family members struggle and my heart has broken.
I have created memories with good friends the world over and done my best to be a loyal and constant friend.
I have worked to mend my heart and allow myself to see the decency in the world.
I have forgiven.
I have met new people and fostered friendships at an age where I thought making friends was difficult.
I have cultivated friendships that were weakened by distance and life and brought them to a bright blossom.
I have learned many new knitting techniques and surprised myself with the number of finished projects in my repetoire.
I have grown up at the same time that I have rediscovered some parts of my inner child.
I have traveled to FL, SKB (W.I.), NC, VA, DC, MD, VT, NH, RI and some random airports on my layovers :).
I have helped people whenever possible.

This year has been full of many things......I'm sure I've forgotten many. It has not been perfect but the second half is certainly improving my outlook on next year.
I can't wait! :)

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” - Benjamin Franklin

Monday, December 04, 2006


"Giving offers so much more than you can ever attain in a lifetime of receiving." -Kyle Lebeau

After Thanksgiving.....I start to think about giving to others, not just those who expect it. In the past few years, my holiday and giving cash has been strapped. I have tried to give my time, but I love to give in a myriad of ways. This year, I finally have enough and more. It has started me thinking about how I give - money, time, material things.

How do you decide where and how to give?

There are several places I give to for various reasons.

I give to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Jimmy Fund Dana-Farber Cancer Research because they were my grandma's favorite charities. My wonderful, sweet, loving grandma who died when I was 11, but left this giving imprint on my heart. It makes me feel like I am keeping her memory I alive.

I give to the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen because my mom (and my friends' moms) had breast cancer and I hope someday no other women will have to suffer.

I donate my time to my local Hospice at our Children's Bereavement Group throughout the year. I do this for my friend who lost her mom when she was young and never had a place like this. I also do it because helping with grief is my passion. Weird I know.

I give to Globe Santa through our local newspaper because as children my parents always expected us give to them. They were teaching us to give to those children who were not as fortunate. Your name was in the paper and, as kids, it was a tangible way to see that we were helping. The paper featured stories of the families they help and we fantasized that our $10 was helping a particular boy or girl.

I donate my clothes and things to the Boys and Girls Club or Salvation Army because they make good use of these items.

I give my time to friends who have babies and could use a night out to renew their commitment to husbands and marriage.

I give my love to family and friends.

I give kindness to strangers during the holiday season (and all year). I try to help someone struggling with packages or let someone else have that "coveted" parking space. It's amazing how little it takes for people to look shocked that you have been kind.

I give to the scholarship fund set up in my memory of a college friend killed in an innocent auto accident on a winter road.

I give to my university so that another student may receive the grants and scholarships that allowed me to attend a school way out of our price range.

I give to the organization that helps homeless families in our area. I love being in the store and just picking up a few toys and clothes to drop in the box in my local bank each week.

Giving makes us feel good, no matter whether it's monetary, material, or emotional. It is truly wonderful - you feel good about giving and you make someone else feel good when they receive. Is there anything better?

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. quotes