An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where one journey ends...another begins.

I can't believe it has been May since I posted. May 14th to be exact  which was my 500th day of giving.  I could not predict that just 22 days later my giving journey would end.  I shouldn't say end, just the consecutive days of giving, the tracking and the focus of giving a daily gift came to an abrupt halt.

I was in Washington DC on business, okay Herndon, VA which is just outside of DC be many don't know where Herndon is so DC is easier.  I didn't know where Herndon was until I had to start traveling there for work...sorry I digress. On Monday June 4th, with travel, I had put in a 21 hour day.  I got several hours of sleep that night and on June 5th and 6th I would put in 18+ hours days.  On June 6th I was sitting in the lobby of the hotel, with my laptop, working with my boss when it hit me that I hadn't given a gift for the day.  I was panicked. I looked down at the clock on my computer and  it said 12:18. I yelled...NOOOOOOOO.  My boss looked at me and I stated, "I didn't give my gift today!"  My consecutive gift giving journey had ended. 

Gift giving had been such a big part of my life for over a year that I wondered how could I go an entire day and not remember.  I was exhausted, had been in the office all day, took a break for dinner and continued to work through the evening.  Still no excuse.  I had always thought of the gift and found a way to give.

I had a flurry of emotion.  My first was disappointment.  I couldn't believe that after 522 days it ended by me forgetting and not making a choice to end.  Then, and I hate to admit it, but I was a bit relieved.  Don't misinterpret this emotion because I loved everyday of this journey.  I met so many great people, wonderful organizations, and most importantly I hope I made a difference and inspired others to do so.  But I was relieved because along with this journey came great pressure.  The pressure of getting to 11:50 p.m. and I hadn't given the gift.  The pressure of "what if I forgot to give for a day, or record the gift.  The tracking, which doesn't seem like a big deal was sometimes consuming. 

After I have had time to reflect on then ending of this particular journey, I know it happened at the perfect time.  That day was the day that my journey needed to end and a new one would begin.    I have enjoyed my summer and it has been filled with spending tons of time with friends and family, having fun and enjoying life.

Even though my consecutive gift giving tracking and journey has ended I can honestly say I have probably given gifts 90-95% of days since.  It has become a part of me, of who I am and wanting to make a difference didn't  leave my heart the day this particular journey ended.

If you have been following this blog you know I didn't post about every gift.  It is my goal to go back to some of my favorite gifts and blog about those days.  How they impacted me and made a difference in my life and hopefully the life of others.

I am not sure what my new journey will be or where it will lead me but I can guarantee you this...I will still be 1 Making a Difference.



  1. I loved reading your 500+ days of giving. I have challenged our All4One group at church (a group of women pulled together by drawing names out of a hat) to read your blog and think of a project our group can do next month as a way to Make a Difference. Thank you, Stephanie!! You are awesome!

    1. Deanna-Thank you for taking the time to read. What an awesome challenge for the women of this group. The power of one multiplies to the works of many! Keep me updated on what they do next month. It was so great to catch up. Talk to you soon!