Sunday, November 30, 2008

Doing good this holiday season

This holiday season I've decided to focus on doing good (as opposed to doing well). Given my recent feelings of defeat, I'm hoping that this project will help me feel better while at the same time helping other people.

I'm commiting right now (and I hope you'll all help me stick to it) to one good deed every day. I know everyone is busy, so these may not be huge or time-consuming actions, but I just want to know that I'm doing something.

Today, I'm focusing on things I can do in my pajamas without getting up from my computer, so here's a few:

Go to Give and follow the links, and Geoffrey Beene will donate between 5 and $10 to domestic violence charities.

Sign up at Stouffer's Diner Club and you will get 100 free points, plus points for any Stouffer's meals you've bought. Right now, you can donate your points to Feeding America. Every 20 points gives one meal.

Sign up at Uncle Ben's and sign his petition and the company will donate to Feeding Hunger's Kid's cafe program.

I'll hopefully find more online donation programs over the next couple weeks. I also plan to dig into my stockpile and make donations to my local food bank and domestic violence shelter and to look for Random acts of kindness I can do throughout my days. Hopefully I'll be able to do some good deeds that involve more time commitment in volunteering or more substantial donations as well, but I'm giving myself credit for any good that I add to the world.

Any suggestions on good deeds I can do are more than welcome!

See also
Free and Easy Ways to Help Charities
More Ways to help charities
Click to donate

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving, I had several grad students over for what I intended to be a simple Thanksgiving dinner. It wasn't. Once we started talking to people, everyone wanted something particular, and my husband kept promising them we'd make it. So much for simple. Oh well. At least we have plenty of leftovers to eat this week, and I was able to send everyone home with some food as well. Feeding people really does make me happy.

So, despite my exhaustion (and my dread of Monday and returning to work), I really do have a lot to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that we have good friends to spend holidays with when our families are far away.

I'm thankful for a family that loves me and laughs at my jokes (Even when they're not funny).

I'm thankful for the food in my fridge and freezer.

I'm thankful that I have a good enough job that I can afford this.

I'm thankful for my grocery and HBA stockpile because it lets me give to the foodbank without hurting my budget.

I'm thankful for all the deals bloggers that help me acquire food cheaply and the green bloggers that inspire me to make good choices in my life.

I'm thankful for my CSA baskets every week.

I'm thankful for the (artificial) Christmas tree my husband insisted we buy after Christmas last year, even though I resisted.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feeling defeated

Okay, please forgive me for whining more.

When I posted about my busy day, it was a really lame excuse for not posting. Everyone has busy days, everyone has responsibilities, everyone makes choices. I think the real reason that I haven't posted lately is just that I have been feeling so unbelievably defeated, so completely boring and whiney and vulnerable all in one, that I didn't feel like sharing it with the world. I don't mind working hard and being busy if it's making a difference, if it's changing things, but it seems lately like so much of what I'm doing is just completely futile. I'm drowning in laundry, in dishes, in ungraded papers, and no matter how much time I devote to it, it demands more. In everything, my housework, my professional work, my financial life, I just can't seem to get ahead. I can't even seem to stand still.

I have this image of myself as a domestic goddess, baking pies and ironing shirts, of a coupon queen with a stockpile the size of Big Ben, of a teacher of the year, of an internationally recognized advocate and philanthropist. And instead I'm spending my days folding laundry and grading quizzes, or worse NOT folding laundry and grading quizzes and instead just watching TV and whining about the laundry and the TV. I need to do something that matters.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pink Dish

Let's Dish, a company who sells prepared meals, has started a project called the Pink Dish campaign, where they provide free meals to families affected by Breast Cancer. If you write a note about it on your blog, and email them with the details, they will donate an additional $5 to the campaign in your honor. Please consider taking part. Thanks!