The joy of packing for someone else

I hate packing. Really, and I’m terrible at it too. I always end up with a huge overstuffed suitcase with few of the things I actually need when I arrive. This preparation is definitely my least favorite part of any journey…

So I’m starting to experience the usual angst about packing for my trip to Haiti in a couple of weeks. For this trip, though, I can set aside some of the agonizing over flip flops and bug spray, because I get to pack for someone else! That’s right, I’m packing a second bag full of goodies–first aid supplies, educational and art supplies and toys for the kids we’re going to meet in Haiti. It lightens the psychological load to think that this whole bag of “stuff” won’t come back home with me. And I’m so excited to gift it to children who are attending the schools we’ll be visiting or participating in art therapy programs we’re working with, as well as other kids we meet along the way in tent camps and orphanages.

My bag is getting full, but if you’d like to help me stuff it with some more new or gently used kid-friendly items, e-mail me at tohaitiwithlovedc@gmail.com.

Another Year Younger

It’s my birthday. There, I said it. And I’m not even ashamed to tell you how old I am (31), although my mom might wish that I hadn’t. And although, obviously, I’m getting older, I feel a bit like I’m getting younger this year.

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions, but birthday resolutions seem like a better approach. Another year of me… what will I do with it?

Here are a few things that are on my list:

  • Keep discovering my purpose and living it every day.
  • Take the time I need for self care and inner reflection, every day.  And do a better job of listening to my inner teacher.
  • Breathe.
  • Step off the ledge into something new and exciting, and know that the universe will catch me. (So I guess I’ve already started with that one… I couldn’t have timed my big transition better.)
  • Plan less, live more.
    And a brief interlude for a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson (courtesy of Tiny Buddha): “Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.”
  • Teach yoga to kids.
  • Breath some more.
  • Raise $20,000 for sustainable relief efforts in Haiti and travel there next year to put words into action.
  • Connect more with my community, those I know and those I don’t. Meet new people, every day.

So there you have it. Just a few small items to start with for my new year. It’s not surprising, though, that most of the things on this list make me feel younger just thinking about them. That’s the great thing about birthdays – you can take what you need from them. And this year, I need to know that the sky’s the limit.

Here’s to big dreams, new adventures, and starting right now.