| Angie Counios

Giving & Getting & Gratitude

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.

- Aesop

My close friends know I'm a big list maker and doer.

Doers vs wishers

I think of Owen Nolan, a student in my class, who challenged me when I confessed to wishing on a falling star the previous night.

Owen: That's dumb.
Me: Pardon?
Owen: Come on Ms. Counios are you a wisher or a doer? You can't just sit around hoping something happens. You've got to do things. Take action.

(Fingers open slowly in front of my face as I whisper, "Mind blownnnn!")

He may have referenced this from someplace but I was impressed and I put that comment on Facebook. A friend commented "Tell the mofo you're BOTH!"

I am both.

Those of you who know me well know that I'm making lists and getting them done. This year to celebrate my 48th birthday (wow, that number is stunning in the best ways) I decided to focus on Giving & Getting & Gratitude.

Among things I have done these 48 days are demonstrating with First Nations people for Standing Rock, being a Doula for someone no charge (just love), baking cookies for the maintenance staff at work, dog sitting, cat sitting, coffee for a street person, letting someone in line at the grocery store and, well, just having a good time with people all around me.

I decided to send some love over seas to a couple of unknown soldiers. I gave them a copy of the book a card and a letter. What I got was this really good feeling. And my gratitude is far deeper than I can express for all the people that do jobs like that, far from home, to keep us safe and happy in our world.

My lesson

There is s dichotomy here as well as a symbiotic relationship. We often think that getting is the opposite of giving. The truth is when I dog sit (for example) I'm helping someone out but I get to spend a weekend with a super sweet mutt. When I bake cookies and share them I don't eat them all, when I pass on a hot coffee to someone on the street the sincere thank you they give me goes right into my soul. So when I give it's for my heart.

Selfish? Maybe.

Thank you soldiers for your sacrifice. It will never be taken for granted by me. Blessings this Christmas.

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