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October 13, 2008

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Tonggu Momma

What a wonderful lesson you are teaching your children. You didn't give up - you started over. There is a huge difference there, I think.

Zen Mama Wannabe

Thanks Tonggu Momma. I like how you phrased it - not giving up, just starting over. I guess I feel like this should have been easier - it is as though I let my kids down somehow. Hopefully this time will be the charm!

callieandbatido

I would be interesed to know what was on yours and the kids giving calendars the first 10 days, which by the way, I find impressive. I think you are teaching your children a very important and valuable lesson. And if was easy, it wouldn't be a challenge! Well done ZMW!

Sheri

You are doing a wonderful thing and teaching a great lesson. Even attempting to do this is a wonderful thing, so don't feel like a loser at all. Day to day life is tough enough, it's easy for anything "extra" to get lost in the shuffle. I have to say, I firmly believe that as a mom you are giving of yourself every minute of every single day,and that should never be overlooked or dismissed. You are a great mom, give yourself alot of credit just for trying to do your best.

Zen Mama Wannabe

Sheri - you're right - moms do give all the time, every day. Sometimes even just that (the basic stuff) exhausts me and it's hard to even contemplate doing one more thing for anyone else. I guess that is where I need to stretch a bit, flex my giving muscles.


CallieandBatido - our lists of gives were none too impressive. My daughter gave help one day to a little girl who fell down and was crying at preschool. My son did a lot of going to see Grandma at the retirement home and giving big smiles and loud hellos to all the old people he walked by (talk about lighting up someone's face - he really did give a gift to most of them). I felt it was so worthwhile that I let him count that one each of days he went over there -- but then that was like his "get out of jail free card" -- that is what he wanted to do for his give most of the days. It IS a great gift - but where is the stretch?

As for me, my best gives were when I saw someone in need of help and I actually stopped and help them. You know, we see something out of the corner of our eye, but we're busy so we keep going and don't take the time to stop and help. Twice I could have so easily kept going, nobody would have thought twice, after all no one was calling out for help -- but I didn't - I made myself stop and help out. And both times I felt SO good afterward! Those opportunities don't come around every day - but they ARE out there more often than we think.

Hopefully we'll come up with some good ones this time around!

LarkLady

The "stretch" is going 10 days without missing... and then, when you DO miss, it's starting again the next day!

I'm glad you thought you'd make it through the 29 days the first try... but I'm not sure it really would have been a stretch, a life-changing new habit, if you could have made it a part of your daily lives quite that easily.

Do you read Crankshaft in the funnies? Yesterday's had a really nice quote that I put on my desk this morning, before I saw your blog today. "The possibility of failure is always there, but your faith has to be greater than your fear."

Since I'm in a quoting mood, here's another one: "One's goal should exceed one's grasp, or what's a heaven for?" If you only set goals you know you can make -- at all, much less on the first try -- then you probably aren't setting your goals high enough. Are you trying to teach your children -- and yourself -- that it's better to play safe than to risk failure? How we deal with failure is one of life's most important lessons, and consistently setting goals that don't risk failure probably isn't the better example for your kids.

And indeed, you DID set a wonderful example: when the situation got beyond you and you missed the goal, you squared your shoulders and said, Okay -- tomorrow we start again! You know now that the goal is harder than you thought when you first set out -- what have you learned from that? Obviously, one lesson you and your family came away with after your first attempt at the 29 Day Mountain was that when you go fall off the mountain, you get yourself back to the start of the path and start again.

Not bad, ZMW!

Danna

Think you did it, the giving, I mean, by teaching the kids about getting up & starting again. Owning the reality. That’s a real gift!

Got to tell you, you’re hard on yourself, most moms are. Could each of you be responsible for a different day of giving? So, if your little girl decides that it’s her day, she gives what ever she feels she can. That way you’re only responsible for every 3rd day?? You’re just the reminder in the morning, that it’s their day to decide? Just a thought.

LarkLady

I like that idea, Danna -- a family responsibilty for the 29 days, instead of each individual being responsible for something every day. Especially on the first 29 days. You could do some creative teaming, too -- two or more family members could do something together that might be bigger or better or just more fun than one individual could.

When it no longer feels like a stretch to complete 29 days of giving as a family responsibility, then you could try it for 29 days as individuals.

Giving -- whether as random acts of kindness or as planned acts of charity or goodwill -- as a way of life is a powerful thing. So anything that helps get you to the point where giving is second nature seems to me to be a great idea!

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