Last year I started "couponing." Not the "clip it out of the newspaper and go to the grocery store" kinda of thing...no, the all out, get multiple papers every Sunday, fire up 4 computers, clip till your hand hurts, hours organizing big stuffed binders, buying coupons on Ebay kinda couponing. The kind that makes the other shoppers in the checkout line want to hit you in the face.
And yes, I had one of those "stockpiles" that required additional shelving and storage.
But as I mentioned, to my credit, I did not "hoard" all this stuff. My family and neighbors would come to my house to shop and the biggest majority of it was donated to the elementary schools. Before Christmas last year the kids and I went to Kaitlyn's 1st grade class and her kids "shopped" and made gift bags stuffed with all kinds of goodies for their families.
As much as I enjoyed the challenge of getting shampoo and razors for free and the thrill of donating, I have just enough OCD in me to NOT be able to tolerate the storage nightmare hoarding creates. I couldn't build enough shelving in my garage and the boxes stacked in my laundry room and closets filled with shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. was driving me nuts.
That and I am staying busy with other things....this is what happens to "old moms" who spent the majority of their parenting years going non-stop. We find it impossible to stop running full tilt 18 hours a day and throw ourselves into madness with other projects!
Last year it was couponing....this year projecting and organizing...who knows what I will get into next year.
But I don't think one important factor will change...my desire to "give". I have always enjoyed building, decorating and remodeling for my friends and family. I gave away most of the coupon stuff and now I am giving most of my "project" stuff to people who need them...I just love sharing whatever it is I am obsessing about at that moment.
When I started this post, I wanted to share with you how you can still save money without all the big binders and piles of coupon inserts. And you can...the best advice I can give is start out by following two websites... totallytarget.com and wildforwags.com. Just follow them and they will tell you exactly what you need to do to save money! And use your Sunday insert coupons when you grocery shop...every penny helps!
But as I type this post, I realize it is about more than just couponing. It is about the need we all have to GIVE and SHARE. Watch a baby learning to feed itself...they always want to "give" a piece of their mushy cookie to whomever is feeding them. Our preschools want to share their artwork and of course there is the never-ending "sharing" of their every thought, action and observation. And in our final days, even if our minds and bodies are feeble, we still yearn to "share."
And regardless of how many hours we work or how little money we have, there is always some small "thing" we can give...even if it is just a tiny bit of our time or talent.
I believe the key to happiness is your attitude because I believe your attitude is the one thing you have complete control over and is the reflection of your true spirit. Expressing a spirit of kindness, generosity, care, love with our attitude and by our actions is a choice...one you make every day...even when you don't FEEL like being kind or generous or loving...you choose to be INSPITE of....
So give a little bit of yourself. Buy a few little school supply items and donate it to your child's school. Go spend your lunch break reading to your child's class so their teacher can have a quiet lunch. Help your elderly neighbor in their yard for a few hours on the weekend. Make a choice...every day...to give and share...expecting nothing in return!
I can promise you this....the day will come when YOU will need something. Your deeds and efforts may appear to go "unrewarded" or "unnoticed" now, but someday...I promise the seeds of kindness and generosity you have sown will be harvested....