Pay It Forward

I have been given many blessings in this life — a wacky (but loveable) family, a great husband, good kids and terrific friends. And even though I’ve been laid off twice in the past year and am currently looking for a job, I believe in giving back as much as I am able.

The way I do that is by making goodies for people.  Back when I was gainfully employed, every month I would send 3 random Facebook friends a surprise shipment of homemade cookies.

There was the shipment of chocolate chip cookies that went to a high school pal who now lives in California.  Her boys REALLY loved the cookies and she posted a picture on Facebook to prove it.

My cousin in Texas had been through a rough romantic break up AND was trying to quit smoking.  So I sent her some cookies along with this note, which she posted to Facebook with the comment “I have the most awesome family”.

I have sent cookies to high school friends, college pals and former work colleagues.  It’s always a surprise, and they are always so grateful.

Now that I’m unemployed and we are watching our pennies, I no longer mail the cookies out all over the country.  But I do make goodies for people locally.  Sometimes to celebrate something they’ve done/accomplished, and sometimes for no reason at all except that I was thinking about them and needed a break from my job search. Baking and decorating gives me that welcome diversion.

The other day, the son of one of my friends learned that he was no longer going to be the starting quarterback on our JV youth football team – effective immediately.  He had stepped in when the “star” quarterback broke his hand in practice and would be out the first part of the season. Her son learned 70 new plays, lead them to high scoring averages for each game in an undefeated season so far, and helped the team defeat a team they had never beaten before.  But now that the quarterback was getting the cast off of his broken hand, my friend’s son is done at quarterback.

We’ve always told our boys to do their best.  But sometimes, even when you do your best, you won’t be on the elite team or have the elite positions, and that’s just the way life is.  It’s a tough lesson for anyone to experience, let alone an 11 year old.

So, I made him some chocolate chip cookies to let him know how appreciative I was for his job well done at quarterback.

He is being moved to Safety, so I put this picture in with the cookies I made him (the picture is of him as quarterback, using the “pencil sketch” editing tool in Picasa).

Here’s hoping the cookies help him realize that his efforts were a job well done.  And that people DO recognize that.

I can’t wait to find a job, so I can begin shipping cookies all over the country to family, friends and colleagues again.  I challenge you to use your talents to pay it forward.

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