The gift of giving
It goes without saying that this has been a year beyond measure – and in so many ways.
What I find particularly fascinating is not so much what has happened but how we have responded; how we have pulled together to adapt to, and get through, what has happened.
In our own way this year each of us has discovered that we are tougher than we thought we were, more flexible than we thought we were, more patient than we thought we were, more vulnerable than we thought we were, and more resilient than we thought we were.
Yes, there have been moments when we felt confined, exhausted, lonely, fed up, frustrated, stressed, sleepless, or worried about finances – but we didn’t let this consume us.
Slowly, inevitably many of us have found ways to cope – ways to cut back, reduce, reuse, repurpose, rebalance, and redistribute to the point that life is more or less continuing on an even keel.
For some of us, each day continues to be a struggle just to put one foot in front of the next, but we maintain a brave face and do what we must because others are counting on us to the point that no one even realises that we are struggling.
For others, however, employment is a distant memory, and it is all we can do to hang on and pray for better days.
So this month, regardless of your religious beliefs, I would like to suggest that you push your own troubles aside for a moment and instead consider what others might be going through, and then take a look around to see what you can do to help.
If you are wondering where to start, perhaps the following list will provide an idea or two. Keep in mind that some of the best gifts don’t cost money, they are just simple gestures that let the recipient know that someone cares:
• Is there a toy drive that you can donate to?
• Is there a food hamper collection that you can support?
• Is there a charity that you can donate to?
• Is there a neighbour who needs a screen door repaired?
• Is there a child you can play “secret Santa” for?
• Is there a senior you can make a casserole for?
• Is there someone you can mail a grocery gift card to anonymously?
• Is there a relative you can pay a utility bill for?
• Is there a bike you can fix?
• Is there someone’s grass you can mow?
• Is there a dog you can groom?
• Is there a car you can wash?
• Is there a boat you can bail?
• Is there a closet you can organise?
• Are there windows you can clean?
• Are there family photos you can organise?
Yes, your contribution might be small but, believe me, this year even a small gesture will definitely help and doing something nice for someone else might just provide the lift your own spirits have been needing.
Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at www.linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or firstname.lastname@example.org