Thursday, October 8, 2015

My birthday wish: A year of service

Happy 29th birthday to me! I don’t think I really minded leaving my teens behind. If I can be honest, there are some good memories, but also a lot of really painful ones, which many of you now know about.

My 20s, on the other hand, have been pretty amazing. It is hard to believe they are almost at an end. It feels like just yesterday I was graduating college and preparing to start working for the Sun Prairie Star. And yet, more than 5 years have flashed. I am no longer a bright-eyed 23 year old, but a somewhat mature, if goofy 29-year-old.

I was 20 the first time I traveled overseas. What an amazing and educational trip to Greece and Istanbul! In the past nine years I have made it to Greece, Istanbul and Tanzania. Only four more continents to go! I have rappelled down a 13-story building, competed in my first Tough Mudder, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, assisted with disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy, was able to spend a week at Fort Leavenworth and Fort Leonard Wood with our men and women in uniform, discovered the wonders of running road races and obstacle course races in tutus (as well as the inherent danger of snagging it on barbed wire), adopted two wonderful, furry friends, and even did 3/4 of a mile of burpees. It has been a whirlwind adventure, and I look forward to many more!

Praying over the meals...
As some of you know, I recently left the wonderful state of Wisconsin to take a job as the editor of the Jordan Independent. Another huge blessing! I had to leave family and friends behind, but one of the hardest things has been leaving my martial arts family behind. It gets a little lonely, but I am foraging on and making new friends.

I do find myself becoming more and more pessimistic and cynical, and I think a large part is being away from loved ones and away from the service work I was involved with in Wisconsin.

So, it is time to find new work! Which gets me to the point of this post, just 360 words in. I am going to celebrate my 29th year by doing at least 29 good deeds a month. It might be a kind word, compassionate hug, doing a race for my I Run 4 Michael buddy, Nicholas, donating to a charity, volunteering with a charity, or something I have not thought of. But that is my goal. aAnd my goal is already off to a good start. Today I decided to return to Feed My Starving Children in Chanhassen. After a brief introduction, it was off to pack food for children in Haiti.

During my shift, we packed 90 boxes. Each box contains 36 bags of food, and each bag has enough or 6 meals. So for those of you doing the math, that is 19,440 meals, enough to feed 53 CHILDREN FOR A YEAR.

In addition to helping package meals for children in need, I also decided to purchase a box of food. One box, 216 meals, for $50. The saying is true, when you help others, you help yourself. I am planning to make volunteering at Feed My Starving Children a monthly event, perhaps more. It is a great cause and you really can make a huge impact in just a couple of hours.

Until next time...

Food for 180 meals

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