Have you reflected on the people who have made 2017 memorable?
This year I could buy my own Christmas gifts for a lot of really important people in my life. It’s not that I haven’t bought gifts for people with my own money in the past, but this year was a little different. LivBits has given me A LOT of incredible opportunities, and with every job I have, I donate a percent of the money I earn. I did research to find an organization (https://gifts.rescue.org/product/education/year-school-girl) I thought reflected the spirit of my LivBit work. I feel so proud that I was able to make donations in the names of people who have helped me grow my own reading, writing, and thinking, and together, we are sending girls in Afghanistan to school.
I am not sharing any of this in a bragging sort of way. I am sharing this because my LivBit work has made me understand the world more. I am not sure I would have thought much about girls in other parts of the world, and whether they had opportunities to learn and grow before I started LivBits. Now, I wish a lot for girls everywhere and I want to help them. When my friend Cris got her gift from me, she told me that educating girls means a more peaceful world. Cris’s words made me realize LivBits helps me put a tiny bit of peace into the universe.
Can you imagine if all kids had this opportunity? Peace on earth wouldn’t be a dream; it would be a reality!
So, as the New Year approaches, and the 2nd anniversary of LivBits gets closer (it’s in February), I’ve been thinking about all the incredible people I’ve met in the last year because of my work. The most beautiful realization is many of these people have moved from digital spaces, into real life spaces with me. Recently, my friend Heather remarked that it feels impossible that we’ve only known each other for one year. Yes, impossible because when your heart meets people you were meant to know, you get heartbeeps so deep that you are changed forever.
So, thank you to everyone who made 2017 the best LivBit year ever! Thank you for the small things, like posting, liking, and sharing my work because those are like virtual hugs! I hope I have hugged you in return! And, thank you for the BIG things, like helping me write my very first keynote (Muma and Pana); throwing me the best 10th birthday party ever (Elly, Heather, and Victoria – remember we have a date for my 20th birthday too); meeting me for breakfast at my favorite place in my favorite city (Sarah); coming to my final ballet performance in NYC (Victoria); taking me to my first (I say first because I know I will dissect many more) shark dissection (Heather); taking time at a conference to have dinner and talk and laugh and love around a big table (Cris, Deb, Heather, Sarah, Bridget, Lynda, Elly, Victoria). All of these memories have made my life so much sweeter! All of these memories mean that you gave me the gift of your time! I'm so lucky!
Kids appreciate grown ups who understand who we are, understand the people we are becoming, and respect the people in our family. It’s because of my Mum LivBits exists, so I’m really grateful that she puts things on pause so I can chase my dreams. And, I am even more grateful when my people become her people or, her people become my people! Me and Muma have sooooo much people love!
So this last blog post of 2017 is one that is filled with gratitude. I’ve changed this year because people have stood by me; accepted my annoying parts; listened and assured me when I had worries; sometimes read lots and lots of texts and/or messages from me, and, loved me anyway. I am not special in very many ways, but it is special that so many people have cared about me this year all because of LivBits. I’m so thankful!
Whose changed your life this year? Whose made your year sweeter? Who has changed you in ways you’ve never imagined possible? Who makes time for you even when it seems like time might not exist? Who do you imagine will be with you for eternity? Those are the people I hope you reach out to RIGHT NOW and let them know they give you heartbeeps.
So, what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking! Before 2018 is here, let your people know they’ve made a difference in your life. I promise, if you do, you’ll start the New Year with so much love, you’ll have to pass it onto others. Thank you for all the times you’ve done that for me.
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Special shout out to my 2017 people:
Peter and Paul Reynolds; Pana Astavavatana; Alan November; Heather Lang; Cris Tovani; Victoria Coe; Elly Swartz; Booki Vivat; Hannah Cope; Holly McGhee; Cynthia Levinson; Helen MY Shark; Susan Bunch; Lindsay and Ella Currie; Susan Verde; Matt Soeth; Anne Collier; Senator Maggie Hassen (NH); Pam Allyn; Stephanie Madlinger; Jennifer Casa-Todd; Bobbi Hopkins; Jordan Matter; Meenoo Rami; Kristen Mattson; Nancy Watson; Kathy Buckley; Sarah Aronson; Marialice Curran; Jennifer Williams; Inge Wassmann; my Wonderopolis and Eduro people, and of course, Kristin Ziemke ❤️
Have you thought about words you’ve been gifted in 2017 and what you’re meant to learn from them?
When I first learned how to play the violin, my mum couldn’t wait for me to learn her favorite song, ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple.” She’d hum it all the time and when we were on our way to activities, she’d play it in the car. Sometimes, in the evening, she’d play the song while daddy was cooking dinner. I know this song by heart, so it made me happy when I finally learned to play it.
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be…
‘Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn…
This song has beautiful words about learning, love, and life.
LivBits is my simple gift for the world and it’s taught me many things. Maybe simple life words mean more to me now because of my LivBit work; words like giving, loving, fleeting, and blessings. I am so thankful for these words because they truly define my 2017.
Giving is such a beautiful word. In the last year, I’ve learned how giving the world can be. In so many instances, I’ve been the receiver of so many gifts, like encouraging words, books from authors, and opportunities that have helped me understand myself as a learner, and I’ve worked hard to be giving too! I want to give the world happy thoughts, smiles, and things to think about. I am grateful so many people care enough to be a part of my LivBt journey. Giving is definitely a defining 2017 word for me!
I’ve written before about how my mum says I love BIG. And, the best part about loving BIG is when you get love back! One of the things my LivBit work has shown me is how powerful putting love into the world FEELS. Love is like a boomerang, put it out there and it comes right back to you! I believe all people need more love, and I’m happy to give it! Loving is definitely a defining 2017 word for me!
I think when you chose to love; you have to accept some people you love aren’t meant to stay forever. This is probably the HARDEST lesson I’ve learned this year. In fact, I didn’t even know this word until this morning when I was talking about this blog post with a friend. This year, I’ve learned that some people I’ve loved BIG are just fleeting relationships. I am still unsure why that has to happen because it makes MORE sense to me when you love someone sooooo much, they should stay forever. But, I’ve learned people come and go, and I have to learn to be OK with it. I’m not going to lie; it’s not OK yet. I’m loyal and true, and fleeting seems sad and shallow. Fleeting is definitely a defining (grown up) 2017 word for me.
My biggest wish for the world is that people have blessings that help them feel connected, care for, and loved. This year, I’ve felt so many blessings, it’s hard to count them, but I hope I’ve blessed people too! Blessings are a two-way street, the more you bless, the more you’re blessed in return. I think there’s a reason this word is connected to people’s faith, it’s because feeling blessed is probably one of the most humbling feelings a person can feel; you feel like you are connected to something much, much bigger than yourself. I am so grateful I’ve felt blessings this year that these words seem too simple. But, I go back to ‘Tis a Gift’s lyrics, and I know that simple is actually really powerful. Blessing is definitely a defining 2017 word for me!
I challenge you to think about this post and decide what your defining words are for 2017. Share those words in the comments; I promise your words will seem bigger if you share them! Maybe you’ll even ask the people you love about their words, and we’ll start a 2017 word avalanche! I can’t think of a better way to end this year than with a word avalanche!
Thank you for sticking with me, encouraging me, and helping me share my thinking with the world! It’s because of all of you LivBits matters, and I promise I will keep trying to put good in the world forever and ever in my own simple ways.
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Hi, I'm Liv and I am super excited to share my thinking with you!