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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We need to turn it around...

I went into the beginning of this new year full of hope and excitement. I really do think that there are going to be some wonderful things happening for me and my family this year. I was anxious to get this year started for so many positive reasons.

But then the new year started - and it didn't start well at all.

I found out on the second day of the year that one of my friends was going through a personal hell, and as a mother, it hit home for me.

On the third day, we got more devastating news that again, hit me so incredibly hard.

The Dude has been having problems with his truck. My "service engine" light was on. He has to get two teeth pulled tomorrow afternoon.

It just hasn't been a stellar start to the year. But at the same time I know that it could always be worse.

We spent part of the afternoon today working on his truck. Although we didn't get it fixed, we have now narrowed down the problem and are about 98% sure that we know what's wrong with it. He can drive it for now, for short distances, but it needs to be fixed. Of course that doesn't come for free, but we can get it taken care of in the next couple of weeks.

My "service engine" light? I had a sneaking suspicion desperate hope that it was something stupid - and it was. Turns out the gas cap wasn't on tight enough to make it happy. Stupid thing. But the light's off now, so it's good.

Tonight, however.....tonight was hard. As I mentioned the other day, a little boy who was the son of one of Sarah's mentors was killed in a horrible accident last week. As a mother, I can't even begin to imagine the impact of losing a child. I just can't wrap my head around it. After the kids got home from school and basketball practice tonight, Sarah announced that she wanted to go to the boy's viewing. I wasn't sure that it was a good idea, but she and I talked about it and she really wanted to go. I told her she would have to check with her father, since she was supposed to go to church with him tonight. He agreed that she could go, but only if I went with her. So plans quickly changed, Ex1 came and got Emily and Jared, I took Alex and Daniel over to The Dude's house, and Sarah and I went to the viewing.

It was so hard. So incredibly hard. Seeing the little boy's parents and sisters there, and the other mourners...looking at the pictures and the videos from his short little life....my heart shattered so many times tonight. Seeing the pain in his mother's eyes as she hugged me and thanked me for coming....I have tears running down my face as I'm typing this.

All I've been able to think for the past few days is "something's got to give" - there has been too much bad stuff to start off a new year. Way too much. It needs to change, and somehow we need to turn it around. So I started thinking - always dangerous for me to do.

Tomorrow, January 10, 2013 is my 2 year blogiversary. It's been 2 years since I started this crazy thing.  And Sunday, January 13, is both my 42nd birthday and the 2nd anniversary of the day that my 2nd divorce became final.

I need to celebrate. I want to celebrate. I want to be happy. While I can't forget about the bad stuff, I can't focus on it - and I don't want anyone else to focus on the bad stuff either.

So what do we do?

I know what I'm going to do. I've always been a huge fan of the "Pay it Forward" movement (as is my good friend over at Mom-troversial) and I'm going to start making a really conscious effort to pay it forward as much as I can and in as many ways as I can. I have a pile of stuff sitting by my front door already that needs to be donated - and it's going to go out this week. We have toys that the kids have outgrown or they don't like or whatever. Guess what? They're going out the door too.

I've made up my mind that I am going to do as much as I can for two of my favorite local organizations too - our homeless shelter and our women's safe house. I have my own personal reasons for choosing those two in particular, but they're going to be getting some of my time, my money, and any of my "stuff" that they can use.

So - for my blogiversary and for my birthday, this is the best gift that anyone could give to me (*cough* along with a pair of warm fuzzy slippers so that I don't have to keep wearing The Dude's that are 18 sizes too big for me *cough*). Go out and do something for someone. Donate something somewhere. Be nice to someone. Donate something that you don't need anymore instead of selling it. Volunteer your time. If you have the cash, make a donation to a local organization that needs it. There are so many ways that we can make someone else's life just a little bit easier, but we overlook those things so often in our hurry to deal with our own lives. Pay it forward, people. Please.

So go and do it, and tell me what you did. Leave it in a comment here, post it on my facebook wall, send me an email, whatever. Tell the world that you did it, and maybe you'll inspire someone else to do the same thing.

15 comments:

  1. My friend has a daughter that's 2ish years younger than mine, I've been giving her all of my daughters clothes and shoes since she was born. While some of it's very used, she's super appreciative of anything I give her. It makes me feel really good to know I'm helping her, and the clothes don't go to waste either.

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    1. That is awesome! I do a lot of this with my kids' clothes too - I just can't see going through the hassle of a yard sale when I know people that can use them.

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  2. Anytime I go through my closet, the clothes are given to the battered women's shelter. The shelter that moves every year to keep the women safe. Old toys that I come across in the attic or my friends get rid of go to the local homeless shelter. Today I went to the local thrift store and bought 20$ worth of toys just to take to the shelter. It's not much, but it's the most I can do. And I truly believe that every little bit helps for these women and the families. I will continue to pay it forward as much as often as I can. Know that there are people out there who do that...hopefully this helps your day/month/year get better.

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    1. I do truly appreciate it! Every little bit helps!

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  3. I too promise to pay it forward...but can't help with the slippers lol!! Or maybe I can hhhmmm

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    1. LOL I'm still waiting for the slippers, but that's ok! I know that they're on the way!

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  4. I've been donating clothing/toys to a battered women's shelter since my nearly 13 year old was in pre-school...it almost feels selfish at this point because it makes me feel so good to help people. I'll happily find something else to do this weekend in your honor. Happy Birthday! :)

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  5. When I was pregnant with my son, some customers of mine gave me 8 boxes of clothing from their grandson. A few years later the sister of a friend from high school had twin boys, so since someone was so kind to me, I give them all of my son's hand me downs. Clothing, toys etc. This has enabled her to stay at home with her boys. They are now 8~! We still do this. We feel like we have been blessed in so many ways that we should 'pay it forward' and help others. We donate items we are no longer using to our local thrift stores.

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    1. That is fantastic! I love to see things being passed from person to person like that!

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  6. I work for a charity organization that runs a thrift store. All of the profits go to buy school uniforms, clothes, school supplies, toilitries, shoes, books, etc. for underprivilaged children in the area. Some of the kids that come in have never had a new pair of shoes in their lives. They are so excited when they come in to 'shop'. Especially the little ones. I give every extra item I have to the store to sell for the kids.

    Look for thrift stores in your areas that belong to a charity. They need all the help they can get.

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    1. Most of my stuff has gone to a local thrift store, and I've since found out that they sell items to residents of our homeless shelter at a discount. The shelter doesn't have enough storage to take anything so it will continue to go to the thrift store.

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  7. I should have said I volunteer for the organization. None of us gets paid.

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  8. Paying it forward can be as simple as giving blood. It takes less than an hour & is relatively painless. I hate, hate HATE needles, but the benefit is HUGE! Just do it!!
    I am also paying it forward by donating a kidney to a friend that is very much in need. This is in part to honor the memory of my grandfather who had kidney disease & spent many years on dialysis, which requires being tied to a machine for 4-5 hours, 3 times a week.

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