My meditation today started with, "Today I give with joy." I wanted to do something that would not only make the recipients bursting with happiness, but myself as well.
My daughter and I started off the day with going for a walk up a small local mountain. Actually, we started off the day at my friends' kennel and cleaning up a lot of doggie poo and THEN took our beautiful hike. I was surprised at how out-of-shape I had become. There was a point not even half-way up the mountain that I wanted to turn around. I started experiencing cramps that eminated from the right side of my torso all the way up into my shoulder and neck. I asked Girly if she wanted to turn back, thinking that it would be a way out, but she said, "No way." There was no way I was getting out of it. I sat for a while and let the cramp work itself out and then started back up again. It took a total of 84 minutes to get up and down that 2.5 mile round trip hike. There were stops and starts all along the way, but I reminded myself that it's been a while since I was able to pound up this mountain without even stopping and so I needed to be gentle with myself.
I am so glad I didn't stop and that I made it all the way to top. It was such a feeling of accomplishment. The view at the top was well worth it.
It was wonderful to be able to spend that time hiking with my daughter and my two girl-dogs. Girly and I got to talk about some things that were on her heart and mind and I am continually impressed by how mature she has become. She still acts like the kid she is most of the time, but at 13 years old, she has a good head on her shoulders and has the ability to be wise beyond her years. That one-on-one time with her was a gift in itself that I was happy to be on the receiving end of.
After our hike, we went to the grocery store for a few needed items and I had also promised Girly that I would get her some Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought B&Js ice cream. I also let her get some pistachios and dried kiwis. That kid definitely has refined tastes! Those were my gifts to her and I gave them with happiness knowing that they also made her very happy.
On our way out to the parking lot, Girly went to see what was new at the Redbox. While she was looking, I could hear a baby screaming and crying in a van with an adult. It looked like they were waiting for whoever had gone into the store. I've been in that place before when my babies wouldn't stop crying and screaming and remember how overwhelming that could get. I immediately thought of something that I give with joy that would possibly bring someone else joy. I walked into the drug store (next door to the grocery store) and picked out a bouquet of flowers. I had originally wanted to buy a single rose because I didn't want to spend too much money, but there were no singles left. It didn't take too much contemplation to decide that I should just go for the $8 bouquet because it would allow me to make more than one person happy. I immediately thought back to Cami's book, "29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change your Life," and the story about the flowers she bought and how she gave out single flowers along her walk home to strangers.
When I came out of the drug store with the flowers, Girly asked, "Who are those for?" I told her, "I don't know yet." Shortly after, a woman came walking out of the drug store and I handed her a carnation and said, "Happy Sunday!" She said, "Thank you! You must have been able to tell I really needed this today."
As Girly and I walked back to our truck to load up our groceries, I looked for people to hand the flowers out to and gifted them along the way. Everyone's smiles and joy as they received their flowers brought me excitement and joy, as well.
I still had a small bouquet left in the pretty pink paper they came wrapped up in and as we were heading out of the parking lot, one of my friends was driving in. We both waved and I yelled out to her to come see me. She parked her car and quickly ran over and I handed her the rest of the bouquet. She told me that she was going to give it to a mutual friend who is having surgery tomorrow. It was such a wonderful feeling to know that my gift made someone happy and it was going to be regifted to make someone else happy.
Later this evening, I took another 3.1 mile walk with the dogs to the creek down the road from our house. It was nice to get out again and spend quiet reflective time and watch the dogs play in the creek for a while. Another gift for myself and my health.
A dear friend came by this afternoon and dropped off 3 lawn chairs that she knew we could use. She has graciously supplied all of the lawn chairs we have in our yard now and at a perfect time of year. The chairs are a great gift, but her friendship is one of the best gifts ever.