"So, what happened to your March of Kindness project?"
Well, it's like this. After my last posing for this meme about being kind to myself, everything fell apart. My computer crashed (again), my little guy had a round of the Terrible Twos that was deafening, dinner was burnt, my oldest came home with a note from his teachers sayiong that he hadn't turned in one bit of homework for a minth, and my husband decided he needed to take a nap in the midst of it all! I went to bed that night wishing I had skipped my little bit of luxury - it wasn't worth what came after! Guess karma had it out for me that day.
Things slowly got worse for a few days, then got better. I wanted to jump back into the March of Kindness, but I feel like a hypocrite. I look at the great list of ideas posted on Code Name: Mama's site and feel as if these are things I should strive to do everyday, anyway. A few years ago, I had a complete change occurr within myself. I no longer looked out fo me and only me. I regained the empathy and compassion I had back when I was a child. It was around that time that I decided to try to be "good" to others at all times. I began trying to look for little ways to make others' lives easier, whether it was helping someone carry heavy bags of groceries to their car or finding that lost dog's home.
I feel weird posting about these little things that I do every day. It's like tooting my own horn and that's not me at all. I get embarrassed about it. I don't want to feel proud when I do these things, I just want them to be a part of who I am. So, if I don't post every day about these thing, now you know why. When I do post, it will be to share an experience that, perhaps, one of my readers may be inspired to try out, too.
With that said, here is one thing I did last week that helped me, my family, some homeless in my area, the local library, and some pregnant teens and their little ones.
I have a huge collection of books. I love browsing our local used bookstore's shelves for interesting titles and very old first editions. When these books are only a dime a dozen - literally! - I end up coming home with stacks each time I visit the store. Most of these books are the kind that I intend to read but just don't have the time. The rest are books that I think I may need someday. They line all of my walls. They collect big, thick layers of dust. About 90% of them have never been opened by me or anyone else in my family. So, I decided to swallow big and get rid of all but the essentials. It was a huge job. Since there was so much dust, and I'm highly allergic, I had to carefully remove each book from its place, vacuum it off, then wipe it with a wet rag. I made four piles: Keepers, Donate to Salvation Army's Homeless Shelter, Donate to Teen Pregnancy Charity, Donate to Library.
We live a block away from a Salvation Army homeless shelter. This is a refuge for families who have been evicted. The shelter offers private rooms for each family, meals, and help finding jobs. I put all of my "how to save money" and "how to fix your home" books into that pile along with all of my novels and the children's books my kids don't read anymore. Those kids have lost everything. And, when you're being evicted and have no place to keep your stuff, the last thing most people are going to pack up and take along are their book - they're heavy and take up a lot of space!
Finally, all of the random books I had that didn't fit the other two categories went to our public library. They have a book shelf in their foyer that hold donated books. You can buy anything you want for whatever you think it's worth. The money goes to fund after school programs in that particular library. We live in a poor area of town and our library always gets the short end of the stick when they're handing out the funds each year. It's nice to know that my books will be used to help the librarians buy craft supplies, etc. to use for their after school programs!
The few books that I kept are either used often or special to me. I managed to give away a whopping 300 books and kept about 75! My house is dust-free (for now) and I have all of this extra shelf space. So, if oyu're looking to get rid of a few books, keep local charities in mind - they don't often get book donations because it's not something we think of giving.