a year of Wooden: week 13

Hi, everyone! Apologies for my extreme delay with this year of Wooden post… this week has flown by incredibly fast. My mom was in town, I had two job interviews, and last night was my final reading as part of my Steinbeck Fellowship. {More about that in tomorrow’s fabulous friday post!}

Now that we’re into April, we’re going to be focusing on a new topic for this year of learning from Coach Wooden’s philosophies and teachings.

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.

Last week, the challenge was to help someone less fortunate than you are. I dropped off a donation of clothes to a local thrift shop; books and magazines to the library; and canned goods and toiletries to a homeless shelter. In these next two weeks, I’ll also be volunteering at an event my church is holding called “Winter Nights” in which we feed and shelter homeless families from the area until Easter Sunday. I’ll be helping cook and serve dinner and leading some activities for the kids.

  • April: Build a shelter against a rainy day. 

This month’s challenge also comes from Coach Wooden’s 7-Point Creed. I thought rainy April would be an appropriate time to focus on this credo! I like to interpret “building a shelter” in a multitude of ways: family, friends, work that satisfies and sustains you — but, since we will focus on these elements in other months, I’m going to focus this month on the financial interpretation of “building a shelter against a rainy day.” In other words: save now to build a safety net!

For this week, the challenge is to create a “spare change jar.” Instead of pocketing spare change to spend somewhere else, drop it into the jar. You could continue this challenge all month — or even {as I plan to} all year long! How much spare change will you wind up with at the end?

I’ve always loved this wise sentiment from Coach Wooden:

wooden quote peaks valleys

This month, we’ll work on building a shelter to keep life’s inevitable valleys that come along from getting too low!

Questions of the evening:

  • What are your favorite tips for saving money?
  • In what ways do you “build a shelter against a rainy day” in your life?

a year of Wooden: week 12

Happy Monday, everyone! Time for this week’s year of Wooden challenge! This month we are focusing on Coach Wooden’s creed to help others.

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.

Last week, the challenge was to help a family member. Sometimes, we are so focused on helping others outside our family that we forget about the people that mean the most to us, those who do so much for us every day. I helped my grandparents with chores around the house, gave my brother a shoulder rub after his long car ride up to see me, and had a long conversation with my cousin over mugs of peppermint tea.

This week, the final week of March, the challenge is to help someone less fortunate than you are. Some ideas: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen; donate books, clothes or toiletries to a shelter; give blood or join the bone marrow registry; give a sandwich to a homeless person. What other ideas do you have?

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from my friend and mentor Wayne Bryan:

wayne bryan quote

Have a marvelous Monday, friends!

Questions of the morning:

  • Have you ever had a meaningful experience volunteering to help someone less fortunate than you are?

a year of Wooden: week 11

Good morning, friends! Hope you had a fun St. Patrick’s Day! As promised, I’m back with this week’s year of Wooden challenge! This month we are focusing on Coach Wooden’s creed to help others.

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.

Last week, the challenge was to help someone at work. I reached out to a few of my young writing mentees offering assistance and passing along information about writing contests I had heard about. I also wrote three notes to editors praising pieces by writers I admire in their latest issues.

This week, the challenge is to help a family member. Sometimes, we are so focused on helping others outside our family that we forget about the people that mean the most to us, those who do so much for us every day. This week, make a point to do acts of kindness for your family members, reaching out to help brighten their days or ease their stress levels. Do a chore without being asked, pick something up from the store they need, help with homework or help talk through a problem at work… I’d love to hear what other ideas you have!

family

I’d like to leave you with a lovely quote my friend Kelsey shared with me about Coach Wooden:

quote about Wooden

Question of the evening:

  • What is something kind a family member has done for you?

a year of Wooden: week 10

Good morning, friends! How is your week going so far?

New week = new year of Wooden challenge! This month we are focusing on Coach Wooden’s creed to help others.

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.

Last week, the challenge was to help a perfect stranger who has no way of repaying you. I corralled a few shopping carts in the parking lot when I went grocery shopping, left a big tip for my Starbucks barista, and tried to be an extra-kind driver by letting cars go ahead of me in traffic.

This week, the challenge is to help someone at work. This might range from helping a coworker fix a jammed printer, emailing words of encouragement, or praising a colleague to their supervisor. Or anything else that comes to mind — I’d love to hear your ideas!

kindness quote

Questions of the morning:

  • What is something kind a coworker has done for you?
  • What are you grateful for about your workplace?

a year of Wooden: week 9

Hi everyone! It’s March, which means it’s time for a new month of my “year of Wooden” challenge! This month we are focusing on Coach Wooden’s creed to help others.

a year of wooden

  • January: Drink deeply from good books.
  • February: Make friendship a fine art.
  • March: Help others.

Last week, the challenge was to send a thank-you note to a friend. And my fortune cookie agreed:

fortune cookie

I sent notes to some friends who especially meant a lot to me this past year, when I was going through a tough time and they went above-and-beyond to be there for me. Writing down in words how grateful I am made me even MORE grateful. Isn’t it amazing how gratitude expands the more you practice it?

Another thing I’m grateful for: my sweet cousin Julie! I had the nicest note waiting from her when I got home from Seattle. Totally out of the blue, totally made my week. I love you, JuJu!

On the dance floor at Amanda's wedding this past summer...

On the dance floor at Amanda’s wedding this past summer…

This week, to kick off our month of helping others, the challenge is to help a perfect stranger who has no way of repaying you. This might mean corralling a stranger’s shopping cart in the parking lot, leaving an especially generous tip, paying for someone else’s public transportation or paying the toll for the car behind you on your daily commute.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite-ever quotes by Coach Wooden:

recite-9136--1816980306-1wiza5s

Questions of the day:

  • What ideas do you have for helping a stranger?
  • When was the last time a stranger did something kind for you?