Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I am 39...

My Aunt Renee gave me a birthday card that read: “This is the birthday we all wish we could do over and over again, year after year.”

I have dwelled 39 years, 13,884 days in this lifetime. I amtaking 40 hard.. already.
I decided I wasn’t going to take it lying down, I am making a change. But, what am I going to do with the next half of my life? Sure, I have some lofty personal and professional goals but I needed to look beyond that. What am I going to do to make my time, this time around, valuable to others?
I try to be helpful, present and thoughtful to those who dwell in my daily life and routine. I try to reach out to people who have made a difference to me in the past and present. But how, in such a busy and self-centered world can I make a difference that is calculated and measurable? I want to see the fruits of my efforts (a bit selfish, I know). I’m not suggesting that giving to large organizations such as the Red Cross or Oxfam are bad decisions, I just want to be more of an active participant in what I am giving. So, I began my search. I opened my receptors up for projects and donation opportunities that aligned with my current mental state.
Then, it happened.
(Rewind eight months. I found an amazing site called and posted a job there for some help at the real estate company. Tyler arrived via TaskRabbit to do some very important work for us that we couldn’t quite get done without some manpower. He was cheerful, energetic and had an amazing aura. Every time I see him, or open his emails, my eyes smile at the enthusiasm and energy he holds for so many creative endeavors. People enter your life for a reason (Gary, roll your eyes here..). Some come and go without much thought, others enter serendipitously. Which brings us to November and my contemplation regarding the year leading to my 40th.)
Tyler sends an email to his sphere. It reads, “I’m not really qualified for any of this; I’m an aspiring musician with an overactive imagination and inflated sense of being able to do whatever I want, dammit.” The email tells the story of how he and a few friends he served with in the Peace Corps helped, financially and physically, install an irrigation pump in a small Nicaraguan family farm. Pumping water allows the farm to extend their growing season and in recent years of unusual draught, ensure crop maturation.
Their installation of the pumps were successful and he was now looking to install more irrigation pumps that would have huge and genuine potential to help more families escape from poverty and improve the environment. So, he created a formal platform from which these projects can grow and take shape. A non-profit called Tololamos. A non-profit that runs on a mere 10% of the funds raised. He is working to to establish three (3) large-scale drip irrigation systems, each of which can provide a huge boost in income and security to an entire family. And because his non-profit will provide the money as a long-term loan to qualified families, a single donation can go on to be a part of many projects in the future.
There it was, right in my email box from a person I have admired and enjoyed. I didn’t have to look any further for my 40thbirthday gift to the Cosmos. A good start to giving back. I know Tyler, I trust him, I like him. He is helping with little overhead. I know Nicaragua’s neighboring country, Costa Rica, and am scorned by its abusive advances on my senses and pocketbook. With the fundraising for my pop-up book underway, I can't help but think that giving of my own resources and time will hopefully ripple the Karmic pool.
I have made a personal financial commitment of installing at least one drip irrigation system with Tyler and his new organization - The pump will arrive in May and the drip system will be built through October. Ready for the November dry season. I plan to travel and see the installed irrigation system, meet the family, watch them flourish and feel better about how I spent my 39th year. Celebrating my 40th birthday in Nicaragua 2013.
What’s next? Honey bees.
May the karmic pool ripple.