I always forget how simple it is to make myself happy. All I need is to spend time with the people I love. That’s it. Throw in some board games, a plate of good food, and a hoppy beer, and it just feels like cheating. How can I not be happy with all of that, and all those smiling, hugging people around me?
But the reality of work beckons again, at least for a little while. And the possibility of an early retirement seems pretty sweet on Mondays like this, coming back from a too-short vacation.
Still, I’m feeling nothing but gratitude right now. Even for the things that are hard, even for having to wake up on a Monday with a sore throat, even when I’d rather stay in bed. I’m way too lucky to feel too bad.
Last week, I realized I needed to give more, if I’m going to show some gratitude instead of just feeling it. And as someone who gives very little, I’m a novice who doesn’t know a lot about it.
There’s lots to learn.
For example, it turns out that the state of Arizona gives a dollar for dollar credit, up to eight hundred dollars (per married couple), if you give to a qualifying charity that meets these requirements:
“Is exempt from federal income taxes under Section a 501(c)(3) or is a designated community action agency that receives community services block grant program monies pursuant to 42 United States Code Section 9901.Provide services that meet immediate basic needs.Serves Arizona residents who receive temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefits, are low income residents whose household income is less than 150% of the federal poverty level, or are chronically ill or physically disabled children.Spends at least 50% of its budget on qualified services to