Warning: many run on sentences, and I am okay with that.
Do I fail today if I can't find a way to give? Who can't find a way to give in an entire day? Did I even try hard enough? Was I looking in all the wrong places? Should I force myself to give five dollars to a fund that I am not excited about, simply to adhere to my give every day goal? Giving can't be all about money. Would I be giving just to give? Will it pay off in the end and begin to cultivate the lifestyle that I am looking for, or will they just be random empty acts?
Today, unsure of what to give or who to give to, I posted an update on Facebook that went something like this: "Does anyone need help today? I've got a lil extra time on my hands to give if you do!" I excitedly waited for all the thousands of people who needed me to pour in their requests. I fought with myself about how people might view a post like that. Were they wondering if I would expect payment? Did they think I was doing it to try and look good? I'm sure there were some who turned their noses or thought ill, but please, who cares. All I can say is that the intent of my heart was right. People can think what they want.
So I sat and waited. Nothing. There was the person who did question what I was doing and call me a goodern? the person who called me an angel, the one who asked if this included babysitting, but didn't really need a babysitter. The one who asked if I had experience with custom picture framing? Sadly, no. Another, jokingly asking if I clean house?
I'm actually quite sad that an opportunity didn't easily announce itself. A shining light that led me toward it. At first I didn't like the comments on Facebook that painted me in an altruistic light, I don't need to be seen as an angel or patted on the back for "good" behavior. But then I started watching how many likes the post got, and then I wondered why there weren't more? and then I started questioning my motives all over again. This whole thinking thing really gets in the way sometimes.
I think breastfeeding is gross, but, it seems a perfect analogy for how I am feeling today. I have this milk that is being produced (desire to give), but the baby won't eat (no obvious outlet for giving), and thus it causes pain to the mother (i'm heartbroken that i wanted to help someone and feel I didn't find a way), so the mother must either stop producing and wait for the milk to go away, or try an alternate option like pumping (i can stop trying, or I can find a different outlet for giving today). That may or may not be a good analogy. I could erase it, but eh, I'll leave it.
So I'm left to contemplate what if anything I gave today. I gave several smiles. I shared stories today that inspired some and brought smiles to others. I gave gratitude. I gave to the environment I suppose, by walking instead of driving at least once, and by pulling my roommates milk carton out of the trash to recycle. (does that even count?) I wonder to myself aloud, what are the parameters for this year of intentional giving? I am sure they are destined to change and grow and shape themselves and me.
Lesson: breastfeeding is gross but good for the baby.