Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Word of the year

So I fell for it...choosing a word for the year.


Merriam Webster defines it...

1 a : to hold dear : feel or show affection for <cherished her friends> b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection : nurture <cherishes his marriage>
2: to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely <still cherishes that memory>
I felt it was appropriate.  As a photographer my camera is ALWAYS handy for the big moments in our lives.  Christmas morning, the stroke of midnight for 2011, our son standing on his own for the first time, our son shoving sand in his mouth during our winter beach trip...images allowing me to cherish milestones in our lives.
But these are moments to cherish within our family.  'Cherish' can carry outside our family and into the community.  'To show affection for' is what I want to do for others.  For example, the homeless person on the side of the road.  I was once afraid.  Roll up the window, lock the doors, and make sure sunglasses are in place.  Avoid.  Scared.  Unknown.  Silly.  That's right.  I was acting silly.  It took my husband to show me how to reach out to strangers.  Without a second thought he rolls down the window and hands over whatever bill(s) he has in his moneyclip.  Wow.  He cares.  Salvation Army Kettles in the winter...without a thought he drops in cash before we go into the store.  My tax-savvy brain used to think, "If we wrote a check instead of cash we could write it off on our taxes."  Writing it off on the taxes is just a bonus...the real gift is the actual gift.  We've always wondered if the recipeients of our gifts have used them wisely.  Is it really our business?  We are just stewards of this money, it really isn't ours. 

So how can I show affection towards others?  Sure, hand out a few bills, or pack a paper sack of non-perishables and keep in the trunk of the car to hand out.  So this year I'm challenging myself to cherish and show affection for others.  I have a few ideas...we'll all just have to wait and see how these ideas pan out.  And it includes my God given gifts and talents.  :)

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