The Giving Tree
Like my money tree, the last leaves seem to be falling off my giving tree. I truly love giving – I do. I experience immense satisfaction and inner peace when I feel like I can actually help someone else experience happiness. One of the few lovelies that comes with being in your forties is that you realize that some of the most important things you do in life will get you nothing in return. You do them solely for the benefit of someone else with no expectations – and its wonderful. Divorced or single – It takes a village. Our families and our friends need us! But what happens when we literally and figuratively have nothing left to give? How do we allocate our precious and limited time and energy when everyone wants a piece of us!? If you ever feel like that (I know I do), here is my list of 10 ways to give back to the person who needs you the most – you:
- Choose the people who choose you to spend your time and energy on.
- Beware of the energy vampires – you know who they are.
- Redefine ‘obligation’ – its ok not to attend every networking session, school commitment, and book club (you never read it anyway).
- Save some time every day for whatever the hell you feel like doing: sleeping, running, reading, pampering, playing, loving or lazy-ing.
- Take a mental health day once in a while and check out from work or from life. They will miss you but appreciate you more when you return.
- Be grateful to the people to who give to you, but give without any expectations.
- Stay in bed once in a while. Hide under the covers. Alone or with company – it’s a delicious treat.
- Slow down. Drive slower, eat slower, talk slower, live slower. You will last longer.
- Say “No” more. No, I can’t stay late; No I can’t give him/her a ride; No I can’t volunteer…
- Say “Yes” more. Yes you can jump in the puddles; Yes you can snuggle in my bed; Yes I’d love to come over; Yes I’d like a cookie; Yes a back rub sounds lovely.
Try to follow those ten steps and you may just find a little more to give and even have some left over for yourself. Expect nothing and you will receive everything.