Yesterday was a good day. My husband told me I received a package from Amazon in the mail. This was a little strange because I hadn’t ordered anything. I finished what I was doing before checking out the mystery package. Very surprised indeed.

It works! Booksgiving, that is.
I participated in a Booksgiving “event” hosted by The Bloggess (you need to check out her blog, BTW). This is the third year for it, but the first year for me. In a nutshell, the idea is that you select a book on Amazon and add it to a special Booksgiving list separate from your usual wish list. Another blog reader may or may not fulfill that wish. You are supposed to state why you need the book, but I not everyone shared a story. There are also a few steps to follow, but Jenny (the Bloggess) has very clear instructions. Post a comment on the blog with a link to your special wish list. That’s it.

A wonderful person by the name of Leigh sent me the book on my list, which I thought would help me create a less scrambled mental reality (I’m a “thoughty” person, and not always in a good way). My thoughts often (but not always!) create a reality characterized by worry, a bit of dread, low-grade anxiety, and sometimes the feeling that life is a chore. I lay awake at night thinking about end-of-life care, nursing homes, what to do with my not-great crochet projects and old journals* (who knows when I might die), my next creative venture, the characters in the last Netflix show I watched (I hope Saul and Robert stay together!), Facebook comments that need an informed rebuttal, and so on (and on). You get the idea! So…I look forward to reading the book and letting you know if it’s helpful or not. Almost forgot: The book is “One Thought Changes Everything” by Mara Gleason.

Paying it forward.
To be honest, I had forgotten I had even posted on the blog asking for a book, so I had not picked out someone to gift a book to. Now I would. I admit to some resistance; spontaneous generosity, unfortunately, is not in my DNA. I know many good and giving people (my sisters among them), and have often wondered why this beautiful trait eludes me. It is a conscious effort for me. So, there’s that.

The beautiful thing is, it was hard to find someone who had not already been gifted a book from this generous group of blog readers (and there were more than 2,000 posts). Inspired, I persisted and eventually found Sarah who had “The Four Agreements” on her list. I hit “buy this book” before any second thoughts kicked in. Fortunately, I noticed at the last moment that I had inadvertently added things on my wish list to her shipment. This included a bag of parakeet seed, a pair of shoes, and “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield (a good book BTW). What a surprising and puzzling package she would have received!

Receiving this unexpected gift, but more importantly, being the recipient of a stranger’s generosity is a wonderful feeling. Truly made my day, and I still feel happy as I see this book on the nightstand. So, Leigh, thanks again! You’re amazing.

Give it a try, especially if you’re not naturally generous (like me). The giving muscle is one I want to strengthen.

*My many journals–which I have kept on and off for more than 30 years–contain way too many self-absorbed and embarrassing thoughts. Since I’m being cremated, just run them through with me. They’re in the duct-taped box marked “private” under the basement stairs.

If you like hearing from me, I would love for you to “like” and or follow me on Facebook–StorylineCreations. Thanks for reading!




2 thoughts on “Surprise in the Mail

  1. Susan, You gave me a book years ago when I was in crisis: my teenage daughter was pregnant. I found the book comforting, but the caring act of giving it to me was very comforting. It made me feel worthy instead of ashamed.
    Thank you!


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