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12 Days for Good

Today marks the beginning of a special project that I am undertaking with the House of Friendship in Kitchener-Waterloo called the Twelve Days for Good. 

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Alongside 11 other “do-gooders” in the KW community, I have committed to putting aside the hustle and bustle of the season and focus on the needs of my neighbours.

The premise is simple – do one kind and unexpected act every day. This is not just a random act of kindness, although it could be part of it, but it is an intentional and deliberate choice to give up time, resources and love for others.

Each day has a simple theme that the deed is focused around.

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It is not something that is isolated to the 12 do-gooders but extends across the community to anyone who wants to be involved in the event. Simply visit the website, click the button and begin sharing your acts of good over the next 12 days.

Giving back has been something that has been sorely lacking for me in 2013. It has been a bit of a journey, manoeuvring a lot of new, difficult and adult problems that can leave me focused on my own needs and wants.

I am claiming 2014 the year of giving back and I want to start it now. I have a lot of exciting plans in motion for the new year that help develop the spirit of giving, uncomfortably with other’s suffering and gratefulness for what I have.

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House of Friendship is a beautiful place to serve as they annually serve over 42,000 women, men, youth and children living on low income. They also give addiction, housing, family, community and residential services.

I am excited to be coming alongside such a passionate group of people who are making such a beautiful and lasting impact on our community.

Join me over the next 12 days and DO GOOD in your community. Follow my journey on the blog, twitter and Facebook and share what you are doing as well! Follow all the other do-gooders on the 12 Days For Good website and House of Friendship’s twitter feed.

Let’s do good!

Day 1: Today, I am spending lunch break delivering food hampers to the hungry and needy neighbours in our community. Although I am not sharing a meal with them, I am spending the time I would spend eating, sharing food with them, creating a spirit of equality. 

What was your good deed today? 

The fur child and I

March Goals

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine consisted of a bit of work, a bit of reading and a lot of good food.

The fur child and I

The fur child and I

Light lunch and heavy reading. [or is it the other way around?]

Light lunch and heavy reading. [or is it the other way around?]

                       (Sorry. Dad joke)

I just had an exciting career move and I went in for heels and came out with these...go figure.

I just had an exciting career move and I went in for heels and came out with these…go figure.

It is the beginning of March which means I am taking a look at what I tried to do in February and make some goals for March.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

In the beginning of February, I said I wanted to:

1. Finish Midnights Children. 

a

4 gruelling months, people. I get an A + on this one.  I actually had friends sending me reminder emails. I couldn’t even ask them for coffee unless I had read my daily quota of the book.

But I guess that is why we are friends.

It was a struggle to get through, not because it isn’t well written and full of amazing literary tricks and techniques, but because I took too long to read it. I was lost, confused and a tad frusterated. Which aligned me perfectly with the main character of the book. More later.

2. Carve out time for myself.

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Let’s just say it is a work in progress. However, it wasn’t an utter fail as my parents have been in Florida for the latter bit of February and I have been home to look after my youngest sister which allowed me a little more down time then usual. (Hence, the triumphant finished of Midnight’s Children.)
I also have made some pretty huge decisions that will help in making life a little bit less cluttered and a little more awesome.

3. Take a course in career development.

a

I guess this one hardly counts because I made it a goal to do something I was planning on doing anyway. But it has been a very rewarding course. It is taught by Christian Aagaard, who was a reporter and editor of a medium newspaper for his entire career. We are learning the ins and outs of journalism from a pro as well as learning how to create film narratives. February focused on story: how to tell it well and how to make sure your audience stays with you. March will focus on translating that to media, especially video.

4. Start juicing regularly.

d

This one flopped. It wasn’t because I didn’t try. But I wanted to do about 3-5 times a week, and my most regular juice week was three times. Juicing is fabulous and makes me feel wonderful, but it can be messy and takes a lot of time. Will I keep on it? Absolutely. I will cover my juice adventures in another post. (I can see some of you praying that I get a hobby. Unfortunately – you are looking at it!) My favourite ingredients so far have been carrots, lemons and apples. Also, the juice tasted much better than I was expecting. I find it is a fabulous way to take down my morning fish oils and apple cider vinegar.

5. Cut out all fried foods.

d

This went really well. I even ordered steamed broccoli at The Works one night. Until I went out for sushi with my coworkers and forgot that tempera is deep fried. So really, I should get an F. But I didn’t want to upload another photo…

So. With a slightly under average score for February, we foray into March with a fresh batch of dreams, goals and ambitions. Here is what I am thinking for March.

1. Make this reading thing a regular deal.

gilead

This month’s book is the Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I have been told by many close friends that this is a must-read. And it is 300 pages shorter than Midnight’s Children so I think we have a winner.

2. Survive a month long detox.

You heard me right. It sounds crazier than it is. The other day, my health coach saw me reach into the corner and pull out my lunch which had been sitting out all morning and tuck into a cold plastic container of leftovers. She pursed her lips, left the room, and returned with a couple sheets of paper and said “Do this.” So I am. I want to be in tip-top shape for racing season, which for me, starts in April! I will be filling in details throughout the month, but for now, some of the things that are not appearing in my diet for the next 30 days are:

  • sweets
  • fried foods. (no tempura for me!)
  • wheat
  • dairy
  • yeast
  • etc.

Yay.

3. Devote some extra time to community service.

This month, I am partnering with REEP and Greening Sacred Spaces to head up the first KW region-wide rain barrel fundraiser. It will be a lot of work with promoting and distributing, but I spend a lot of time on ME with work and commuting and family and friends and not a lot of volunteering any more. I am excited to roll up my sleeves and make it happen!

4. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

This is one area where I have really slipped in the new year. People who are close me know that if I am sleep deprived or hungry, I only feel one emotion – anger. Which is not a great emotion to have at the best of times, much less when you are at work trying to sell advertising.

5. Organize my gym bag.

Sounds like a quick, insignificant task, but when your gym bag has swallowed your loufa, favourite perfume and probably (you can only hope) the beautiful gloves your boyfriend gave you for your anniversary last month, it is time to take action.

What are your March goals?