We are so very fortunate; I know I've said it before, but we really are. To have each other, health, family, love, home, jobs, whatever we could want. Makes me think about giving back, which we've been trying to do more. I always find it interesting that you see what's on your mind all around you, but here's another case of it. Had lunch w/my friend Jen the other day, and she's starting a volunteering group (go Jen!). Told my sis about that, and she was inspired to follow through with a first-ever food drive at her work, which has really taken off. The team I'm working most closely with at my client has adopted a rather large family for Christmas, and we've adopted a child for Christmas at Aidan's school and also participated in Toys for Tots. All of these have provided opportunities for me to feel extra grateful, and also for us to contribute here and there where we can.
A woman at work was shopping with her kids for the family we adopted, and her daughter asked, "Why don't they just ask Santa for the stuff they want?" Tricky answer, no? I don't want Aidan to get everything he wants, but I also don't want to have to explain why Santa's so good to other kids but not him, even though he's a very good boy. The thought of that is just heartbreaking. On the other hand, when I was growing up, we didn't have any money. I always had food, but rarely frills. I didn't know it, though. I was showered with ridiculous amounts of love and fun (thanks, Dad!), and I didn't realize that I was missing anything. We took camping vacations and traveled a lot--by car, mostly. One year I got a new bike that I later learned was from a junkyard that my dad painstakingly restored. I am a firm believer that you don't have to have money to be happy, and I've never had money, so to speak.
I'm still incredibly grateful, though, and I'd like to help others whenever I can. That's what I want to work on in 2009. I don't really do resolutions, per se, but I like to work on an idea. For example, one year it was being graceful (if you know me, you know that I don't mean physical gracefulness or that, if I do, I wasn't particularly successful). I think this year I'll work on giving back. I want Aidan to be grateful, too; this will be the start of it. That and showering him with ridiculous amounts of love and fun.