Archive for the ‘Generosity’ Category

#1 – Make a Significant Difference

If you’re catching up, a brief recap…

On Tuesday I revealed that I am suffering from the Feeling of UN…a general sense of being UNcertain…UNappreciated…UNinspired…and so on.  I also vowed to beat the Feeling of UN in ways that will be chronicled here on The Chameleon’s Backbone over the next 12 weeks.

Based on your suggestions…


Make a Significant Difference in the Life of Someone Else (per Judith, it must be a person who I am not related to and outside of my circle of friends).


Dress up and go out on a date with me, via e-mail from Mr. Backbone.  Sweet!


Go with the flow and let life happen, by SuziCate, and seconded by Ron and Penny.

#4, 5, 6



Courtesy of Mike, do a shot of Jack Daniels.  Now we’re talking!  I’m going to build an entire weekend around this one.


Travel, and make it worthwhile, suggested by Jo.

#9, 10, 11, 12


There’s still time to submit your suggestions, so suggest away!  If I don’t get all 12 spots filled by next week, I’ll fill them in myself.

#1 – Make a Significant Difference in the Life of Someone Else.

Before revealing #1, I thought long and hard about what I would do, because making a significant difference cannot happen by a single act, unless I saved someone’s life…and I simply don’t have the patience to wait on a Pittsburgh bridge for a jumper to scream for help.  I could be there for months. 

For many years, I’ve been interested in being a BIG, and now I finally have the time to do it.

If you’re not familiar with the program, it matches adults to children who need role models in their lives.  It’s a one-to-one match for a minimum of one year, where the BIG and LITTLE do about two activities together each month. 

I’m currently in stage 3 of the screening process, and will likely be matched sometime this summer.  The screening interviews have been intense, where I’ve had to talk a lot about myself, my own childhood, what kinds of situations I’m comfortable and UNcomfortable with, and why I think an underprivileged child would benefit from my involvement in their life.  It’s forced me to be introspective and think once again about how not having kids has shaped my life.  If you missed my post on that topic, it’s here at I’m Not KIDding.

Stay tuned over the summer, as I’ll be sure to be posting about my LITTLE and how it’s going.  I’m super excited! 

Have YOU ever made a significant difference in someone else’s life.  If so, how?

Also, if you have suggestions for spots #4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, or 12, above, remember to leave a suggestion.  If I’ll agree to do a shot of whisky for Mike, I might agree to almost anything.

Have a great weekend!  I’ll be back on Tuesday.

Penguins, Alligators, and Shrek…Oh My!

Whew, did I ever have a busy weekend! 

Once a year I volunteer at a charity festival.  I’m in charge of game booths – about 20 of them.  Umph!  If I don’t see another plush animal or fish pond novelty for the next 362 days, that will be a-okay with me. 

All and all, about 400 volunteers are needed for the 3-day festival. 

Look how happy these people are – who said volunteering can’t be fun and spirit-lifting!?!

The festival was fun and brought in a good sum of money for the charity!  I was running around making sure all the games were running smoothly and not shut down due to malfunctions or lack of volunteers, cause time is money ya-know. 

While we’re on that subject, let’s talk about the value of time and money.  It seems like every week my mailbox is full of requests for donations.   Red Cross, Cancer Society, Food Bank, Fire Department, Animal Shelter.  The list is endless.  Once I even got a request to fund a dog’s campaign for GovernorHuh? 

I’ve always felt that giving my time is worth more than any amount of money.  Other people feel differently – they would rather get out the checkbook.  Or, do nothing. 

Personally, it makes me feel super great to volunteer, particularly in a day and age when we are all incredibly crunched for time.  If you’re like me, at the end of most work days all you want to do is go home, pour a glass of wine, and decompress in front of your favorite TV show. 

Dinner?  Laundry?  Housework?  Open the Mail?  Yeah, Right. 

Once in a while I will actually open my mail and donate money to a worthy cause.  But, I’ve never found much satisfaction in writing that check or licking that envelope.  Sharing by giving my time and heart (and sometimes sweat) instead of my wallet brings me much more peace and joy.  What about you?

Have you ever given your time or money to a worthy cause? 

If you liked this post, you may also like Put the Dress(ing) on Generosity.

Put the Dress(ing) on Generosity

With the Chelsea Clinton wedding behind us (yes America…  “the” wedding is over and we can now get back to regular programming), every tabloid and style magazine on the planet has a picture of the dress.  Do we want to know if the couple is actually in love, if they could be soul mates, or about their long-term plans?  I didn’t see much about those things in the press.  The press was all about the dress.  It was a Vera Wang, dont-cha-know.
But oh how we love our virgin white dresses.  Mine is neatly folded in a box on the top shelf of my guest room closet.  The box has a see-thru window so I can lift the lid and visit my dress anytime I wish. 

  “Hi Dress!  It’s me, Tracy…remember me?  Remember that one magical night we spent together?” 

I should pay my dress a visit….it’s been years since we’ve seen each other. 

So, what happens when a marriage doesn’t work out, what happens to all of the boxes with the see-thru lids holding silky, lacey, beaded contents of relationships gone south? 

  • Keep them?
  • Burn them? 
  • Sell them on Craig’s List? 
  • Bury them in unmarked graves never to be seen again? 

A change in relationship status is never easy, especially divorce.  Keep in mind that your BACKBONE cannot be changed by a relationship.  You will continue to be who you are regardless if you are single, partnered, or somewhere in between. 

Reminders of old relationships can be painful.  Especially the dress.  If marriage repair is not an option, the divorce is done, and you are ready to move on, I say ditch the dress.  Wait — Not so fast! — Don’t go running for your scissors and start making a Bride of Frankenstein costume for the next Halloween party!  Try doing something positive, like giving the dress a second chance for someone in need. 

My friend Amy did just that.  She was a beautiful bride.  And oh! The dress!  The beautiful dress!  She donated it to a church and it was worn by a stunning bride in her fairy-tale wedding.  The generosity of this act brought a tear to many eyes.  Way to go Amy!


A note from Amy

I donated my wedding dress to the church in hopes someone in need would benefit.  It was bitter sweet, but I wanted some good to come from everything.  My church had started a Latino ministry and so I took the dress out of the box, shed a tear, had it professionally pressed again, and dropped it off at the church’s front office a few months ago.  They found a great home for it last week, and sent pictures to me of a beautiful young couple on their wedding day.  I was overjoyed.  
My brother happened to be with me when I opened the e-mail containing the photos.  Sensing my emotions, he cracked a joke and called it the “Traveling Dress,”a pun taken from the movie “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”  That made me laugh, and I thought, he’s right!  If this girl passes it on to another bride or maybe a 15 year-old for a quinceanera, well then, not only have we all gotten our money’s worth, but a special warmth and good will is passed on too.  I thought that was awesome. 
Are you a generous person?  Have you ever donated something that changed someone’s day, or even their life?
If you missed Monday’s post on Body Image in honor of “Change The Way You See Not The Way You Look” week, check out Funny Mirrors.  Come back for the next post on Friday for tips about how to cope with aging and milestone birthdays, courtesy of my grandma who has 88 years of birthdays under her belt!  See you then!