Totally burned out, my schedule had me up at 4:00am pounding away at a computer until 1:00am. My health deteriorated day after day. 

The madness that had been created by my boss around doing more, more, and still more led to multiple complete breakdowns.

I'd sit at my computer and cry, as I didn't know what to do or how to get myself out of the situation.

The corporate world sucked the life out of me and what kept me going was the almighty dollar. My paycheck had more than doubled since my days as a police officer and working in state government.

My soul slowly withered away. And yet a glimmer of light began to appear.

Almost four months into my giving journey, I became the receiver and it clicked with me how important it is to show up for people, to notice their pain, and struggles and be stretched in your giving.

I felt the power of giving and the difference it can make in one's life.

When I do Q&A after a talk, people often ask, "What's the best gift you have received?"

Hands down, it's the day my doorbell rang and haggard, still in my pjs, dazed and confused, I opened the door to see my five-year old niece. 

"Surprise! I took the bus!" She stated.

I probably scared her when I immediately started sobbing. The weight of my exhaustion seeped out my eyes, and down my face.

I peeked out the door and there were my mom and sister. 

They knew I needed a break, but I wouldn't give myself one. An intervention of sorts.

I showered, got ready, and we headed out for a fabulous girl's day.

Even after all these years, I'll never forget the sacrifice of time they made (I'm four hours away) and they gift they gave. 

Take an inventory of the people in your life. Who needs a break? Who can you show up for and give a bit of your time? You'll never know the difference you'll make. Go out and give the gift of time today!

Stephanie L. Jones

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"

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