2016 Yearly Check-In

I know it’s been a hard year with all the bad news in the news. We lost Bowie and Prince; Brexit, the US Election, and the endless coverage of both were very draining. But I hope if you take a moment to look at your own life you’ll see all the good news that 2016 brought.


275275 Hours – Most of these hours were spent on Crisis Text Line helping people cope with all the bad news in the news. But I also got to experience my first Invictus Games, I volunteered hours giving blood and platelets, I made blankets and scarves, and a few hours here and there doing whatever I could. I can’t believe I spent an average of 45 minutes a day volunteering.



Charitable Giving


  • I’d have to go back and add up all the small donations I made this year. It wasn’t much because of the financial struggles in my life but when I gave I gave with all my heart.





Personal Kindness


  • This year I really noticed as I sat down to write the nice things I’d done for others the first things that would always pop into my mind were the nice things others had done for me. It just showed me how these easy nice things you can sneak into your week make a huge difference in people’s lives.



Self Care

  • handI ran a marathon! And I have trained for another one in the beginning of January. The challenges of running long distances and committing to myself has been endlessly rewarding. It makes me feel like I can do anything.
  • I traveled. This year marked my first volunteering vacation and also my first time back in Europe in a decade. And I followed the Dalai Lama instructions to “Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before,” with a trip to Austin.
  • I took time to be calm and quiet and pamper myself when needed.


How’d you do this year? Are you ready for 2017?

I have big plans for 2017 that I will be announcing here on January 16th. I’m excited for the new opportunities and the new lessons that the new year will bring. Thank you for reading. Happy New Year!

Q4: Charitable Giving

Now that I’ve spent time looking at Self-Care, Volunteering, and Personal Kindness, it’s time to focus a little on the obvious part of being a philanthropist – Charitable Giving. Money, donations, it seems so straight forward and simple but it’s really far from (as most straight forward and simple things usually turn out to be).

Who do you give money too? How much? Is giving things just as good? What about buying things with a “percentage of the proceeds”?  I can think of a dozen challenges that the idea of traditional giving brings up.

It’s also a challenging because money is the thing I have the least to give – I’m not Warren Buffet or Kate Middleton. But that just means I have to be even more thoughtful about it. So stay with me for the next few months as I explore this.

What are you wondering about Traditional Giving? Anything you want me to address?

Weekly Check-In

Mostly trying to keep my spirits and energy up to get to my next trip. It’s about 6-7 weeks until I head to Paris for a half marathon. It’s going to take a lot of extra work to get there both training and financially but I’m determined!

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line – I’m coming up on my 1 year mark here. Very exciting.

Charitable Giving

  • $2 I gave to a homeless man. I don’t always give money to people but it felt right this time.

Personal Kindnesses

  • I still feel like most of the personal kindnesses are directed at me. My friends are there to help me through this rough time with support and good vibes.

Self Care

  • Still on a workout kick. Working out with stress reduction as the main focus. I think I’m getting stronger but with each sit-up I know I’m getting happier.

How did you do this week?  Share in the comments!

Weekly Check-In

It’s too hot here in Southern California. That paired with the blood donation I gave – double red blood cells – which was new for me, this week has been about taking it easy and drinking lots of water.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line
  • 2 hours Double Red Blood Cell donation

Charitable Giving

  • $1 to Cancer Research. Again I was buying my winning lottery tickets and the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate… I didn’t feel like Karmically saying no was a good idea. I got to fill out one of those little things they stick on the wall with your name on it.

Personal Kindnesses

  • A co-worker has sent around a couple of emails about stray kittens and dogs that need homes. My home is currently maxed out with my sweet puppy (only 1 animal per person is my rule, no need to be outnumbered) but I responded with hopefully a helpful resource. They said their friends couldn’t take them to a shelter because they’d likely get put down. I passed along the information of the no-kill shelter in the area. Hopefully they’ll find a nice home.

Self Care

  • I went to the doctor to get a checkup. I need a doctor’s approval to run in my half marathon in September so that was the main reason for the visit but I always like to keep up on those things if I can. What really stuck me as lovely was going through the questions about my life and medical history and getting to answer positively to each one – “Yes, I’m healthy”. Good health is not something to take for granted and it was nice to be reminded of how good I have it.

How did you do this week? What are your go-to self care ideas when the news is as bad as it has been lately? Share in the comments!

Weekly Check-In




I certainly am exhausted. Out of print, out of words. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones and all the hurting hearts out there.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

  • Some percentage of $1.29 – I purchased the new JLo and Lin-Manuel Miranda Song “Love Makes The World Go Round” and all proceeds from each sale of the track featured on this page will be donated to Hispanic Federation for the Somos Orlando Fund. You can buy it on iTunes here. I really enjoy the song, it’s wonderful on my runs.

Personal Kindnesses

  • There was a work event that was only for full employees. I grabbed a Popsicle for my co-worker in the office who is a contract employee. It was easy enough for me to share some of the fun.

Self Care

  • Okay so I’m currently on an exercise kick! Just 9 weeks until my half marathon and just 25 weeks until marathon weekend. My friends have sucked me in to running another one. I think in 2017 I’m going to try the Goofy Challenge which is a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. It’s a huge challenge so I’m starting now building strength and endurance so I can keep my record of running injury-free. Also running/strength training is great distraction and therapy right now.

How did you do this week? What are your go-to self care ideas when the news is as bad as it has been lately? Share in the comments!

Being Kind



We’re already halfway through the year and it feels like it’s flying. I suppose it always does. This next quarter I’m planning on focusing on Personal Kindness. When I created the four facets I thought that this one would be one of the simpler ones. Just be nice to people; seems pretty straight forward and I think I’m a pretty nice person. But having to think every week about what I’ve done to choose to be kind has proved tricky. What it has done is help me recognize how important it is when someone expresses kindness to me.


Succeeding or not, attempting to be kind and being aware of it is a great step in the right direction.


I’m excited to dive into this topic this quarter. Do you have any personal kindness or random act of kindness questions or tips?

Year in Review

This weekend I was looking back on my little New Years Resolution post-it for 2015. Overall I was pretty happy but it was a mixed bag. Some went in the opposite direction, some I did okay on and some I blew out of the water.

Let’s focus on the one I blew out of the water. I had resolved to volunteer 75 hours in 2015. This year I volunteered just over 200 hours. That’s more than a half hour per day on average. It also doesn’t feel like I’ve spent that much time volunteering, it hasn’t felt like a struggle to get those hours in.

Over the year I volunteered for –

  • Special Olympics World Games
    • The Special Olympics World Games was a life changing experience. It was wonderful to be a part of something so big and wonderful and overwhelming!
  • Crisis Text Line
    • I started volunteering for Crisis Text Line because of an article I read in a fashion magazine. It has also been life changing and I’ve learned so much about how to be a better helper, how to deal with crisis’ in my own life, and how to put empathy first. #SuperHero
  • 826 LA – SAT Prep, College Application & Scholarship Essay writing
    • I’ve been volunteering for 826 National for a few years now and always enjoy it. This year reminded me how nice it is to be older and not have to take the SATs. It was also fun to share the excitement with these young women and men as they embark on the college adventure and the rest of their lives.
  • Homeboy Industries
    • Homeboy Industries is something that I wish I could support more but I suppose everything helps.
  • American Red Cross
    • More on this a little later in this post
  • Hand-knit donations to various organizations (we have a knitting/sewing group at work that finds homes for whatever you make)
    • I only got to knit a couple of things this year but I always enjoy doing it. I have recently been tapped as a sewer since there aren’t many in the group and we have some projects on our horizon.


The other very exciting thing that happened this year didn’t start on my resolution post-it – starting this blog. The idea actually started from a job I was passed over for. I didn’t get the job but the job got to me and  I decided to make it happen for myself. The job was to think about how the company can give in a more organized and meaningful way. To take the good already being done and focus it. And after just a couple of months I feel like it’s working. I’ve been able to stick to a writing schedule and really think about how and why I give back.


It’s just a couple more days before it’s 2016 so it’s time to reset the resolutions.


  • 200 Volunteer Hours
  • Give Blood/Platelets/Plasma on a regular basis
    • I gave blood this year and other than the prick on your finger that hurts really bad for days it’s easy and painless. But so far I’ve taken a very passive approach to donating blood, waiting for drives to come my way.
  • Read 12 books a year (last year this was 24 and I missed it by kind of a lot).
    • I was an English major in college and have always loved reading. It’s just been so hard to find time for it in recent years so I really need to make the time.
  • Keep and grow this blog and reach more people.
    • I’m planning on focusing on each of my four giving facets quarterly. Q1 Self Care. Q2 Traditional Volunteering. Q3 Personal Kindness. Q4 Charitable Giving.

I hope you’ll join me in my resolutions or share your own here. 2016 is going to be amazing, I can feel it!!!


Happy New Year!







Weekly Check-In

I’m starting to feel that holiday chaos.


  • Traditional Volunteerism
    • 5 hours Great Los Angeles Personal Statement Weekend with 826LA. This is my second year doing this event and it’s fantastic. We get to sit one-on-one with a student working on their personal statements for college applications. I think the best part is that they get to sit for a long time with an adult and talk about their future. This year I had another superstar student who was just a pleasure to talk to.
    • 4 hour Crisis Text Line Shift


  • Charitable Giving
    • I used the “Charity Miles” app. Still hard to remember to turn on and slightly inaccurate but I raised $2.30 on two runs I was going to do anyway. http://www.charitymiles.org/


  • Personal Kindnesses
    • A coworker of mine was having a difficult family situation. I did whatever I could to make it easy for them and to check on them once they got home to deal with it. Hopefully I made their day even a little easier.


  • Self Care
    • This has been hard this week. There were more opportunities to volunteer this past weekend (I could have done the 826 Personal Statement event on Sunday as well plus the SoCal Special Olympics fall games were going on at several locations in Orange County) but I chose to rest and work on being okay with only volunteering a little over 8 hours this week. It’s too easy to feel guilty when it comes to self-care. But it isn’t selfish – it’s necessary!
    • I’m continuing my running training and bought the fabric for my marathon costume. Lots of planning and daydreaming go into running a marathon. Just 50 days to go.


Please share in the comments how you’re doing this week!

First Week Check-In

I believe there are four facets to the Being Goode Challenge –

  • Traditional Volunteerism
    • What it sounds like, helping in soup kitchens, tutoring, etc.
  • Charitable Giving
    • Giving or raising money to donate to a charity.
  • Personal Kindnesses
    • Little or big gestures to put smiles on the faces of others.
  • Self Care
    • Kindnesses directed at myself. More important than people realize.

I want to share with you here the progress I’m making in those categories each week. More than likely the charitable giving category is going to be on the lighter side and the others will have off weeks but it’s good to check in and see how I’m doing.

This week I’ve had a head cold, which has been more annoying than anything else. I have a standing shift with Crisis Text Line where I’m a counselor on Wednesday nights and as you saw me tweet I almost called in sick to my shift and happened to see the article about Jimmy Carter who is in his nineties and has cancer still being a hard core humanitarian and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

  • Traditional Volunteerism
    • 4 hour Crisis Text Line Shift
    • I track my volunteer hours through my company in order to earn a bonus charitable donation at the end of the year. This week I hit the top level at over 150 hours this calendar year. That’s about a half hour of volunteer a day. It feels great to hit this milestone.
  • Personal Kindnesses
    • One of my co-workers went on a job interview and as I struggle to get ahead in my career I made sure to support her. I checked in with her before and after her interview and made sure to keep her in my thoughts.
  • Self Care
    • This week mostly consisted of spending all my free time sleeping and drinking orange juice.
    • But I also started this blog, which is bringing me a great amount of joy after only a week.

Please share in the comments how you’re doing this week!