One of the things that I did was spend a shedload of money online! That's despite the fact that I can't really think of anything that I need at the moment now that I've used my birthday money up on a new bottle of my favourite perfume. Yes, I know I've extolled the virtues of Lidl's Madame Glamour in the past but when I'm flush, my heart and nose always return to Chanel. I've been a 19 and a Cristalle Vert girl in the past but the newish fragrance, Coco Noir, even knocks the spots off these old favourites.
What prompted me to fork out more spondoodlies was that I received notification that I'd been repaid loans that I'd made through Lend With Care. I popped a little extra money into my account to help fund these lady fishmongers, the Chaphuka Group from Malawi who join my portfolio of microbusinesses in the developing world. In theory I could claim my money back but, like a lot of the other lenders, I claw it back into the pot to help other ventures get off the ground or grow. More often than not I increase my investment a little bit each time. After all, what's there not to like?
Afterwards I remembered that I had a great big pot of money held in my Charities Aid Foundation account that was burning a hole in my pocket. So, with a glass of wine in hand I went on a spending spree and had a lovely time making donations to all sorts of charities for all sorts of reasons. The Alzheimer's Society , of course got a look in. They do so much to support my own work. And the Motor Neurone Disease Association was another beneficiary, in memory of my lovely friend Lori Salzarulo whose life was cut short by this horrible illness. For inspiration of where to direct other donations I turned to the BBC's Radio 4 Appeal Page. The archive of programmes dates back to 2007. There's all sorts there and it's a good starting place if you're stuck for ideas for causes that float your own particular boat.
I've found that birthdays and Christmas are a really great time to donate. It beats sale shopping hands down. Giving seems to magnify my appreciation of everything I have, especially what has been given freely by others to me. I'd heartily recommend it as a catalyst that sparks extra joy in life!