Weekly Wins: Reading, Cooking, and Giving

I choose to end every week with a simple joy habit: pause, remember, and write down my 3 biggest wins.

It only takes 10-15 minutes and it’s a powerful ritual that helps me to close the week, shift my energy, and walk into my weekend with a joyful spirit. And it’s far better than allowing my perfectionism to run unchecked, ruminating over everything that went wrong, and beating myself up over incomplete tasks.

Win #1: I Found A Local Bookstore!

It’s no secret, reading is my favorite hobby! I certainly utilize my library’s electronic collection to download books on my Kindle, but there’s nothing quite like puttering around a locally-owned bookstore, talking about books with local bibliophiles, or running into an unexpected find.

When I’m in Detroit, I live around the corner from Source Booksellers where I can stop in anytime. But I hadn’t found a nearby bookstore here in Venice: until this week! I stumbled upon Small World Books. It’s the most delightful old-school bookstore, with people splayed out on the floor reading between the stacks, stools scattered about so you can climb the super-high shelves, a gigantic cat roaming the space, and little handwritten notes tucked into books to encourage you to read something you wouldn’t normally pick up. I lost track of time but eventually emerged with an armful of books, brain on fire, and big plans for my weekend!

Win #2: Cooking Up A Storm

I finished the second week of my cooking class and we cooked up a storm! I learned about kitchen hygiene, knife skills and where to buy the best chicken in LA. We cooked: 1) Moroccan Braised Chicken with Orange Scented Couscous, 2) Turkey Ricotta Meatballs with Sage and Roasted Sweet Potatoes, 3) Grainy Mustard Chicken Gratin with Roasted Broccoli.

I consider this a win because Monday was a train-wreck of a day and I didn’t feel like going to class. But I went anyway. And somehow, ending a challenging day with 3 hours of learning was just what I needed to pull myself back to basics: learn, focus, eat, repeat….

And I must confess, we didn’t make the bread pictured here, but it inspired me to plan my next class!

Win #3: Supporting Bennett College

My favorite win of the week was supporting Bennett College in meeting a fundraising goal that will allow them to keep their accreditation. Bennett is one of only two HBCU’s for women in the U.S. and I cannot imagine a world without the Bennett Belles in it. I didn’t go to school there, but I believe in the mission of the institution.

It was an honor to be among the 11,000 donors whose collective donations helped the college exceed its fundraising goal. But I’m also counting it as a personal win because in order to make an unplanned gift, I had to rethink how and when I use my DAF.

I want to give a special shout out to Laura at Triple Bottom Line FI. She recently posted a thoughtful piece on The Dissonance of FI Philanthropy. I’ve been thinking about her blog post since it was published — particularly her criticisms of DAFs. Acting on her advice to NOT leave money sitting in a DAF, I cracked mine open to support Bennett College.

Ahhhh…… it always feels so good to pause, reflect, and end the week with wins.

I don’t know about you, but every week in my life has ups and downs. And I get to choose whether I end it by focusing on the problems or the wins.

How about you?

What were your three biggest wins this week?

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