Week 2 of giving…

Over the last week, I have constantly wondered what I can give each day and it hasn’t felt very easy.  I read an article about giving to strangers (can’t find it now) and it talked about giving smiles and compliments. Well I tried smiling at people when out and and about and first of all, I couldn’t fully look at them and smile. I could only half smile at them, half smile at the air next to them.  Lots of them couldn’t quite smile back at me either.  Looking ahead with a vague glint in their eyes like they might be thinking about smiling…  I also couldn’t find a single situation where I could think of a compliment to give a stranger.   I think I need a bit of practise at this smiling, complimenting thing – there is a fine line between being friendly, coming across like I am cracking on to someone and just seeming plain weird, but I guess I have to start somewhere 🙂

I did manage to do some giving though and the following are things that are going to become (or already were) regular habits.

These things include:
  • Phoning my Grandma – I used to try and phone my Grandma every day as I know she appreciates my calls.  Over time though I got really busy and stopped calling so often. Now I’ve started trying to make those calls more frequent again.
  • Giving my husband shoulder massages in the evenings when I get a chance. 
  • Picking up litter – strangely this is not something I’ve really thought about doing before. I think it is because I am usually too busy telling my children not to touch things they find on the street. Yesterday though I was thinking about my giving challenge while I was walking along near Shoreham River and I started to notice all the rubbish by the side of the road. I saw a plastic bag caught up in a fence and pulled it off the fence, filled it with all the rubbish I could see along my walk (including a bottle top caught in the fence as you can see in the picture above) and chucked it in the bin at the end.  In an ideal world I would have recycled the rubbish, but one step at a time…
  • Tidying up mess when out and about.  An extension of picking up litter really, but during the holidays and on the weekends, we regularly take a packed lunch with us wherever we go. It is all unpackaged, but often bits of food end up all over the table, chairs, floor, bench, wherever we happen to be.  I usually clear up the table (if we are sitting at one), but sometimes I forget to check the floor, so I’m going to make more of an effort to clear up when out and about.
In case you are wondering how picking up litter and tidying up mess are ‘giving’ well it makes the place look nicer for everyone else, might make someones job easier and protects wildlife that may otherwise have eaten the rubbish.
I did give away some stuff as well:
  • I regifted some tea I wasn’t drinking to a friend for her birthday (she knew it was being regifted – she asked for it)
  • I left some noodles outside my house with a note saying ‘please take we didn’t like the taste’ on them. Apparently leaving food out in the rain, with a message saying you don’t like it, isn’t a brilliant way to give it away. The noodles have been there for days! 
  • We handed down some kids stuff to family members who I also cooked lunch for that day.
I do have loads more stuff to give away and I will probably be using the internet (i.e. facebook, freegle and freecycle) to give away most of it, I just need to get organised – another thing to add to my to do list!

I am currently undertaking a Year of Eco Challenges . If you have a moment I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me with an action on my DoNation page. Also if you liked this post please click like on Facebook and follow on Twitter – thanks so much!