This year has been one in which I have made a conscious effort to acknowledge the good in my life and to be thankful for all that goodness. One way I’ve done that is through my photo a day, where I capture an image that either makes me smile or reminds me of my blessings. It’s good to look back and reflect.
Another way I express my gratitude is by giving of my time, talents and riches. I contribute to several organizations by writing a check. In the past year I’ve been involved with the Education Fund of the National Federation of Press Women. Through the fund, we are able to provide opportunities for members to learn and grow as communicators. It feels good to be able to do that.
As someone who has taught – and continues to serve as a guest lecturer – at my local university, I realize how important education is to a young mind, which is why this Thanksgiving I decided to pledge $500 to the Virginia Press Women Foundation’s capital campaign. I’ve already sent the first installment.
I’m also walking to raise money for the Foundation. Each time Louise Seals, who is the president of the Foundation, and I meet to walk, we record the miles. We have pledged $1/mile. Unfortunately, our schedules haven’t allowed for the distances we want, but I suspect we’ll keep walking and pledging more funds.
Louise also gives of her time and talent. She’s quite active with the Richmond Tree Stewards. Not only does she get more exercise and fresh air, but she is helping to care for and advocate for street and park trees. Most weekends she is pruning so people can walk in their neighborhood without dodging branches or so drivers can see stop signs clearly. You’ll also find her watering newly planted trees and planting trees.
It’s a joy to do something for others. This holiday season I put together a gift bag for a resident of a senior home. Her wishes were simple and, I couldn’t resist putting some extras in the bag. I hope it brightens her holiday. I know it brightened mine.
It’s easy to get frustrated by long work days and too many errands and chores. Taking time to be thankful for what I have is always something I welcome at the holidays. Giving back is even better.