I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the absolute best way to feel good, is by doing good.
It’s something that’s easy to forget when you are feeling swamped and subsumed by your own problems, but I swear it works. Every time.
Think of it as choosing to give out, rather than giving up. Our culture encourages a lot of pampering during tough times, and while I am totally on board with this idea (having bought myself a new lipstick or two in the past few months) I also know from firsthand experience that I get way more from using $20 to help someone else, rather than indulging in a Haagen Dazs-fuelled pity party, or a pedicure for myself.
This was the thinking behind our Valentine’s day adventures. The timing of this whole thing really bit the big one – right after things went down I had to struggle through what felt like a series of blows to the head (and the heart) – Christmas, my birthday, New Year’s, Valentines Day. Boom, boom, boom, POW.
Valentine’s Day had the potential to be pretty painful, so I tried to head it off by bringing joy to the lives of others. And it worked. It was so indescribably lovely to create cards with Olive and then go out into the world and share them with strangers. Watching people’s reaction as she ran up to them, handed them a card, and wished them a happy Valentine’s Day is something I will remember forever. They were so shocked! Three of them tried to hand it back to her, thinking it was a mistake. One elderly woman drew Olive into a tight hug, kissed her cheek and then confessed how much she missed her grandkids. It was a day filled with so much love. Love, and total cheese-ball movie moments, I’m telling you it will definitely be a yearly tradition for us, regardless of who else I end up sharing my day with.
With that wonderful memory in mind, I am aiming to do something similar in this space, albeit on a much smaller scale. Basically, I’d like to share a little love with all of you guys who have been sending so much my way over the past few months, and over the past four years I’ve written this blog.
My publisher found me via this blog, and I had the once-in-a-lifetime (but hopefully not once-in-a-lifetime because I have at least three more books in me) opportunity to write a book. My editor at Earth911 found me via my writing here, and writing for them allows me to earn a small living while also staying at home with Olive, which is basically living the dream, in my books.
I have had so many opportunities offered to me because of the writing I’ve done here, and I wouldn’t have had the desire to continue if it weren’t for you guys coming back to read day after day.
I am so glad you are all here, and every time you write or email or comment or share that something I have written has affected you, it makes me feel like my words have worth. Thank you.
I wish I could send something to each of you, but supporting Olive’s cherry-tomato habit takes most of my available income right now. I can gift one of you however, so I’ve put together a little box of goodies that I’m going to run a giveaway for.
There’s no fancy entering system where you have to pin it or share it or anything, just leave a comment so I can contact you if you win – it can be anything- how you survive the March blah’s, how you found this space, how your toddler is driving you insane with her Grinch role-playing, or just a smiley face or something. I’ll count the comments and draw a random number a week from today, notify the winner and send it out!
And if that winner is YOU? Well, if you win you’ll get a package that includes a signed copy of my book, a jar of my homemade lotion in the scent of your choice, a note in my illegible handwriting, a custom-made secret gift which may or may not involve cross-stitch, and a tarot card reading (if you’re into that sort of hippie nonsense.)
It will be fabulous, I assure you, and if you already have a copy of my book, I’ll pick a favourite from my collection and send that, instead (it won’t be “Discipline and Punish”. Probably)
Happy Friday the 13th, and good luck!