19 July 2013

My Life 201 Days Ago

200! Today is my 200th post. If this blog were years, it would be my bicentennial. 

It’s hitting me kind of hard that I’m at 200. It feels like the next 165 days are going to fly by. I still remember writing the first blog post on Jan. 1. Now I know what my friends who have kids are talking about when they say “they grow up so fast!”

It’s been such a wild ride. Here’s what I know for sure from the first 200 days....

*I am a happier person than I was 201 days ago. Everything we read about giving making the donor happier and more appreciative has happened to me. I’m so aware of my blessings. The other day, I was in a really crappy mood. I was bummed about some stuff going on personally and I felt sad and alone. Then I realized how few days I’ve had this year feeling that way. It’s not because any of the issues I was dealing with before the blog started have gone away, I just don't dwell on them anymore. 

*I’m a better person that I was 201 days ago. I know that’s a hard one to gauge and a pretty arrogant one to self determine, but I’m less self-absorbed and much more aware of how a little effort on my part can make a lot of difference.

*I worry less than I did 201 days ago. Part of that is because I’m not thinking about myself so much and what could go wrong in my life. Part of every day is spent thinking about whose life I can make better by donating money and spreading the word about a very worthwhile cause.

*I’m better informed than I was 201 days ago. Unintentionally, the blog has, in many ways, been a chronicle of major current events, whether it was the Boston Marathon bombing, the Texas fertilizer explosion, the Moore tornado... or smaller, yet no less catastrophic for those affected, events, like a shooting in Chicago. It’s also been a log of celebrations, such as the Supreme Court’s overturn of DOMA. Often, I comb the headlines when I’m trying to decide who to give to and, therefore, I'm more aware of what’s going on. 

*I feel more connected to the world than I did 201 days ago. Homeboy Industries’ founder Father Greg Boyle quotes Mother Teresa in his speeches, saying “The problem in the world is we’ve just forgotten that we belong to each other.”  I love that. We are all connected, but it’s so much deeper than that. Living on this earth means being deeply interconnected with those around you. Even those you will never meet. All our fortunes are tied to each other. Politics will have you not believe it, but it’s true. 

I got interviewed a while back for an article about my blog. The story has yet to run, but one of the interviewer’s questions has stuck in my mind. She asked me how do I think I will feel on day 366. I think I’m going to feel a little relieved, but a lot sad. In fact, I may keep the blog going and keep giving daily, but regardless, I know that I will continue to give at a more substantial level than I had 201 days ago.

Today, I’m giving to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Reading is one of the great joy’s in my life and I hate that budget cuts have caused library closures and it’s gotten harder for people to read for free.

Wonderful author Walter Mosley says this about libraries in Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ website: "The library is our shelter and refuge; it is the place where you can always sit at a desk, pull down just any old book, sit back and wonder how life was for a citizen under the rule of ancient Rome. You can express yourself there and the librarian will not turn you in."

According to its website, the Library Foundation partners with the LA Public Library “to support, supplement, and strengthen programs and technology not funded by the City.” Among the areas the Foundation funds is “investing in new readers” and building a virtual library, as well as various cultural programs. 

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