Category: General Jenerosity

The Gift of Hope

Ahhh…the spirit is in the air.  People are abuzz.  Lines at the registers are long.  If you think I am referring to the normal holiday happenings, you are mistaken.  Tonight is the Powerball drawing, delivering $550 million dollars worth of dreams.  Are we only 6 numbers away from happiness?  YES!  Here’s how…

One of my friends brilliantly suggested that I buy a couple of tickets and give them to strangers.  Upon entering Publix to purchase these tickets, my son (Brooks) asked if I would match his 50 cents to donate a full dollar to the Salvation Army.  Of course!  He knows I can’t resist supporting his Jenerous efforts.  The bellringer was very grateful to see a child digging into his own pockets.  On the way out, we gave her one of our tickets.  She was overjoyed and literally began jumping up and down, saying “This is going to be the winner!”  That $2 investment is already a winner in my book.

Then, we went across the street to another Publix (yes, they are actually that close). The bellringer there was wrapped in her thickest winter wear, shivering in the arctic 63-degree Florida cold.  Brrrrr!  When my son approached her and gave her the ticket, she stood right up and you could see her transform from cold to warm in an instant.  She was so overjoyed…at the cost of $2.

As I watch the Saturday Night Live Christmas Special tonight,  I was reminded by John Malkovich that “Hope is what we cling to when reality has left us nothing else.”  Since we are 50 times more likely to get struck by lightning than win this lottery, hope may be all we have.  Tonight I was reminded that Hope can bring Joy.  There is something exhilarating about believing in possibilities. You can give the gift of Hope, even when reality may not be in your favor.  And hope just feels GOOD!

I discussed this Jenerous act with my son as we drove away.  Here’s how the conversation went:

ME: So, how cool was that?; BROOKS: Good; ME: Good?  Is that all?; BROOKS: Well, what if they win?; ME: Wouldn’t that be cool?!?!; BROOKS: I guess, but no one at school will believe me.

I guess at age 10, peer relations trump all other life lessons.

Ahhh...the spirit is in the air.  People are abuzz.  Lines at the registers are long.  If you think I am referring to th...

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The Joy of Jenerosity

One of the greatest gifts my father ever gave me was a deep appreciation for lyrics.  Sitting on the couch, snuggled under my dad’s arm until 2am, listening to the now-classic greats of the early ’80s.  I was only seven years old and contemplating the likes of whether I would prefer to be Jesse’s Girl or have my phone number changed to 867-5309.

Since then,I have grown to love the wit of The Barenaked Ladies, in part because I can relate to so many of their lyrics.

“I’m the kind of (girl) who laughs at a funeral.  Can’t understand what I mean?  Well, you soon will. I have the tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve; I have a history of taking off my shirt.”  – One Week, Barenaked Ladies

You don’t want to sit next to me at a funeral.  The truth is…it is highly likely that at some point I will laugh and you will feel completely uncomfortable.  I remember attending a funeral as a child and having an adult tell me that if I got uncomfortable, I should just picture the deceased family member (in this case my great grandfather), having sex. Considering he had a life size poster of Charo in his closet, it struck me as amusing.  Cuchi-cuchi.

Once the laughter is out of the way, I always end up reflecting on the most common question <begin rolling eyes and chanting along with me>: “How do I want to be remembered?  What do I want people to say about me?  What is my LEGACY?  LEGACY…What a daunting word with so much expectation.”  But, over the years I have come to realize that the answer is quite simple.  Like the simple secret to losing weight is to ‘burn more calories than you consume,’ the key to true happiness is to ‘give more than you receive.’  For it is from Jenerosity that true Joy can be experienced.

I want to leave the world a little better than how I found it.  This takes conscious effort by seeking out ways to add value each day.  Welcome to my blog where I am Just Jen, striving each day to be Just Jenerous.  I invite you to follow my journey and join me in Jenerosity as I find new ways to improve the lives of those around me.  I hope that when I leave this earth, I am remembered as someone who focused a little less on themselves and a little more on others.  I am still working on that…

And, if you must laugh at my funeral, please hook me up with George Clooney.  I would appreciate your Jenerosity!   – JEN

One of the greatest gifts my father ever gave me was a deep appreciation for lyrics.  Sitting on the couch, snuggled und...

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