Tonight, a dear friend took me out for an early birthday dinner. My husband sent me on my way with this request: “I’m not sure how to phrase this correctly, but I want you to go out and take for yourself tonight. Take a break from giving, and just take.” I knew that my evening would be a perfect give-and-take with my close friend, but I, as the perpetual giver, was definitely somewhat taken aback by his request. What would it look like to just take – could I even do that, ever? It turns out I am receiving similar messages from other confidants in my life. I am being asked to look at all of the giving I partake in each day and approach it from a new angle: What if I were [insert giving activity] just for me? Out of pure self-interest? For my own enrichment and entertainment? And I’m being challenged to apply this to some of the least take-oriented activities, such as coaching, counseling, child care, family support. I have to say, it has shifted my perception from depletion to abundance. Instead of fearing a loss of energy from giving, I’m finding ways to have it energize me in return.