The Year of Giving

Sometimes I check our bank account and think about how poor we are. And while it's slightly true, we live paycheck to paycheck and have to borrow money from savings to pay bills sometimes, we could be a lot more poor. We have a small amount of savings to fall back on when tough times hit. When Bruce's restaurant isn't busy and he isn't making enough. Despite money issues, we are extremely rich in the things we value- two healthy, thriving children, a solid relationship with each other, family who is supportive and there whenever we need them, and we make it work so I can stay home and raise our kids. I'm guilty of losing sight of those things and taking them for granted.

When the new year rolled around, I couldn't think of any goals I really wanted to accomplish this year and I felt a little empty. I was talking to Bruce a few weeks ago about not getting one of my closest friend's a gift for Christmas. I said something along the lines of "I was being sensible, right? I'm a giving person but I didn't want to spend money we didn't have". Then Bruce kindly reminded me that a giving person gives in spite of the fact they don't have anything. He didn't realize what he said at all, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. While we certainly didn't have the money, I could of easily given my friend something. I could of offered to watch her son while she spent time with her husband. I could of made her something. I can think of plenty of things now, but I simply chose not to do anything.

Growing up as an only child was hard because I never had to share. Not that my parent's spoiled me rotten, but there wasn't a brother or sister around that forced me into situations where I had to compromise. It feels extremely liberating to stop and think of others first, and think what would be best for everyone. It feels good to give things I have away to people who need them. It feels good to go out of my way to spend time helping somebody, no matter if it's 5 minutes or 5 hours. I'm excited about having something to focus on that isn't just me and my immediate world.

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