Sunday, February 17, 2013

Turning 40 and Paying it Forward

This post is off the beaten track of my normal posts. Last month I turned 40 (shhh..) and decided that instead of moping on about getting older, I would turn that negative energy into something much more positive. There seems to be something about birthdays that end in a zero that  present an ideal time for reflection. I have so many things to be grateful for in my life, from my marriage, my family, my job, to my home that I thought this would be an ideal time to both reflect and give back. I took the lead from a few different posts that I have read over the last year  and decided to dedicate the day of my birthday to "paying it forward". I made the attempt to accomplish 40 good deeds over the course of the day, one for each year.

It did not take me long to realize that doing 40 good deeds was a very lofty goal and not something I could get through in one day. But this exercise really did have an effect on me and I am going to make a bigger effort to pay it forward more often.

Here is the list of things that I did manage to accomplish:

Good Deed One:
Took my husband out for lunch!

Good Deed Two:
Donated toys to St. Vincent

Good Deed Three:
Made the choice to donate my Airmiles to the human society for the rest of the month
You can do this too by printing off this card Airmiles for the Humane Society

Good Deed Four:
Brought a pot a chili to a neighbor

Good Deed Five:
Purchased 3 Starbucks gift cards and hid them inside 3 books at my public library.
This one gave me the most pleasure. I may make this a regular practice. I tried to pick books that I thought would be read by people in most need of an act of kindness.

Good Deed Six:
Bought flowers for a friend

This exercise was so rewarding and I have vowed to make this an annual effort on my birthday. Pay it Forward Birthday I am also going to try and involve my family in the effort. On the official "Pay it Forward" day on April 25th I will be including my kids in the experience in hopes that they can gain a better appreciation of what it means to give and not always get.

My hopes in sharing my experience via a blog post is that I will inspire others to get involved in the "Pay it Forward" movement.( Pay it Forward Site) I think we can all agree that the world today can always use a few more random acts of kindness!

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