When you give to someone, be very clear on your reasoning. Be up front on your expectations. Be aware of your intentions……remember, it’s a gift! What is your connection with your gift? We are not discussing business deals and loans here; those are completely different and not the subject of this message. We are talking about when we give of our time, talent, or money as a gift. Your relationship with your gift will definitely set you up for success or failure in the gift-giving department……if you have “strings attached” to your gift……you really never gave it away. I’ll give you a moment to digest this. Gifts with attachments aren’t gifts at all……they are issues waiting for you down the road. One day, my dad gave his faithful car (I loved that car, but it was an extra car no one was driving at the time) to a family friend who was in need. Meanwhile, before the family friend ever registered the car in his name, he parked it on the street and somehow left it there too long……and it was towed and impounded. When my Dad finally got the call, they told him the bill was way more than the car was worth, and not to worry……they’d call it a wash. When I came home and asked where my Dad’s car was, he proceeded to tell me the story of what happened. I was furious!……and asked him “Dad aren’t you mad, aren’t you angry they took your favorite car (my favorite car) and just left it on the street to be towed away and sold???” And my Dad was so patient with me as he explained……Teresa, when you give a gift……ANY gift, no matter how big or small, give it with a pure heart and no strings attached……if they throw it in the garbage, smile because they got to do exactly what THEY wanted with your gift. When you give without any attachment, you really have no “buy in” to care HOW they use it!! Giving isn’t always about money, in fact, the best gifts are not. Giving of your time and talent are things you can’t even put a price on……nothing wrong with money at all. But I warn you, DON’T GET IT TWISTED! I invite you to explore and marinate on the FREE GIFTS in life…..my friend Sandy, I call her “Sammy” always has shared this nugget of truth……”People spell love……T-I-M-E……and it’s true! I find my time waaaay more precious than any money or things I possess. So giving my time away means a great deal to me……it’s something I am centering on as we approach 2023. “Focused Time Management” is my gift to myself in 2023! What are you focusing on in the new year?