Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Tuesday

So today was "Giving Tuesday". Is this new? Did we have Giving Tuesday last year? Have I just been too unobservant to notice? I guess I'm just late to the party.

I like the idea of Giving Tuesday so much better than the idea of Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I think it embodies the spirit of the season so much more than the other days. And aside from the approximately 10,000 emails I received to day asking for donations, nothing could ruin my mood.

While going about my business, I pondered exactly which charity I should donate to. My bank account certainly took a hit this year, what with me taking 6 months off to hike and now working sporadically. I'd have to think about it, since my funds are limited.

The obvious choice this year, of course, is the Red Cross Philippines Fund, after the devastating typhoon earlier this year. But then again, there are those causes near and dear to my heart, like the Empower SCI program, which puts on a 2 week residential camp each summer for newly spinal cord injured persons. Or the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which was so much a part of my life this year.

Then again, why does giving have to be limited to this day, this Giving Tuesday, each year? Shouldn't the spirit of giving be alive and well all year round? (Especially when I can spare it a bit more?) Perhaps I should start my own Giving Tuesdays, spread strategically throughout the year and written down on my calendar so I can make donations all year round.

And then....as I was driving around doing errands with these thoughts chasing each other around in my head....the answer presented itself before me. By the side of the road was a disheveled looking guy, early 20's, long beard, dirty, holding a sign. "Broke. Hungry. Anything would help."

I remember years ago while visiting a friend in southern California, we went out to eat at a wonderful restaurant and had a lot of leftovers. While strolling along after dinner, carrying our bags of leftover food, we passed a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk. I placed my leftover food next to him and continued on with the group.

Then one person in the group told me that it was irresponsible of me to give my food to the homeless guy, since it will just "encourage him to remain homeless". Plus, she added, he could sue me if he got food poisoning. (How he'd ever find me to sue me, much less employ the services of an attorney while homeless was left unanswered)

There are many reasons a person can become homeless: addiction, mental illness, physical or sexual abuse, parents kicking you out of the house because you are gay, post traumatic stress disorder. I'm pretty sure that the perks of free food is not one of them. I'm even more confident that being kind to another fellow human being, sharing my good fortune with somebody less fortunate, feeding somebody who is hungry is a good thing. I'm sure that being kind does not contribute to social problems.

I still feel that way.

Today, the question of where, oh where, can I be charitable was answered very simply. Right in my own backyard. I came out of Costco with a hotdog, chips, a soda, an apple, and a bag of nuts. Some for now, some for later. The disheveled looking guy accepted it all with a smile, put his sign away in his backpack, and sat down to eat.

Happy Giving Tuesday.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Accountability Monday

They say misery loves company. But who are "they"?

I always thought that FUN attracts a bigger crowd, any day. And as such, I have joined a couple fun holiday fitness challenges. Oh, sure, I'm positive there are those who would say a  holiday fitness challenge fits in with the first statement. But I'm not one of them. I'm having the time of my life!

And to make it seem more like a party, I've joined Amanda's link up party:



NOVEMBER 25: Run -- 4 mile intervals
                              Lift -- Legs and abs
                              Stretching -- 15 min

NOVEMBER 26: Swim -- 45 min steady state
                              Lift -- Chest and Back
                              Stretching -- 15 min

NOVEMBER 27: Eliptical 30 min
                              Flow Yoga

NOVEMBER 28: Thanksgiving Bootcamp!! (60 min)

NOVEMBER 29: Bike -- 45 min steady state
                              Lift -- Arms and Shoulders
                              Stretch -- 15 minutes

NOVEMBER 30: Bike -- 30 min intervals
                              Lift -- Legs and Abs
                              Stretch -- 15 minutes

DECEMBER 1:  Yoga  75 minutes

And today, we had the official weight in at the gym's fitness challenge. (its so hard to transition from eating like a hiker to eating like a normal person!)

Today's JOY:  The smile on a patient's face when he walked without a cane for the first time in a month.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Goals

Doesn't December always seem like a whirlwind?  I'm hoping to actually enjoy the holiday season this year, as I have changed my work situation and am no longer working myself into the ground. But here it is, December 1, and I already feel like I'm behind!

Fortunately, I am an avid goal setter, which always (sometimes) keeps me on track!


1)  Two to three training clients. As I said, I have cut my work hours down, which gives me time to explore other areas of life. Like the personal training certification I have, which I haven't actually USED in 6 years or more. So, I'm hoping to branch out and dust off and have fun!

2) Participate in the Holiday Fitness Challenge! In addition to the online fitness challenge that I'm doing (courtesy of this gal) there is a real life fitness challenge at the gym I go to, which looks like fun. I like fun. And I like exercise. So it's right up my ally.

3) Do the Christmas Lights Run. Another fun activity. Everyone dresses up like elves or trees or snowflakes or Santa. And it gives me an excuse to use my headlamp again.

4) Finish The Artist's Way program. (and maybe post about it!)

5) Get Xmas cards sent out by December 15th.

6) Movie night with the girls.

7) Take my niece to Body World. I'm so glad she's liking science now. A few years ago she said "I hate science!" And it was like she had stabbed me right in the chest. Repeatedly. With a sharpened femur.

8) Find suitable apartment and move. Before I kill somebody. With a sharpened femur. (That would put a damper on the holiday season.)

9) Clean eating. Again.

10) Have a great Xmas and New Year!

December is the month for JOY! 
Today's Joy: Cute little girl I saw today singing.