One little word: GIVE in February

Rather than making resolutions this year, I chose one little word for 2013 - a way to set my broad intention and create a guide for my path as I meander through a new year.  I chose the word GIVE, and you can read more about that process here.  At the beginning of each month I'll look back on the previous month and share with you how the one little word has been working in my life.

During February, I've spent a lot of time thinking about who my giving role models are.  Whenever I'm trying to get better at things, I always find myself focusing in on people who inspire me with their skill - whether it's knitting or writing or painting or decorating my house.  So it's no surprise that I've done the same thing with my one little word - GIVE.

As I've thought about it, I've realized that there are an incredible number of people in my life who show me incredible examples of giving all the time - my wife, who cared for me endlessly while I was laid up with a hurt knee; my stepmother, who delights in sending thoughtful little packages for no reason at all; my friends who email videos and articles to brighten my days; and there are so many more.  

But there are a few that really stand out.

My friend Beth

Not only is she a delightfully fun person - kind and generous.  But she is the only person I know who sends cards for no reason except that she wants to say hello.  And she does that on a regular basis. Opening my mailbox to find a little card or postcard from Beth is a day brightener every time.  I'm hoping to beef up my own card-sending activities with some inspiration from my dear friend.

Fellow blogger Alexandra 

I met Alexandra just briefly at BlogHer outside the elevator bank, and she was delightful. But the reason that she's an inspiration to me is her behavior online.  I've mentioned before that I can be a bit neglectful about saying thank you.  And I can be guilty of the same thing on the computer. Not Alexandra.  When I comment on her blog, she doesn't just reply back to me.  She emails me.  She hops over to my blog, reads my latest post and comments on that.  Then she sends me a tweet saying hi and thanking me for visiting.  Every time. Her behavior has encouraged me to work on creating better connections online, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

My sister Hannah

Hannah is giving in that way that I could never hope to be.  Her desire to be of service to the world has been the primary impetus for every career decision she's ever made.  But if you try to praise her for it, she'll shoot you down immediately and explain that she's only doing what she wants to do.  And while my personal desires don't send me flying across the ocean to help the most impoverished populations, knowing her does inspire me to look around, to pay better attention to what's going on in the world and to find a place where my particular gifts might be of service.  

Who inspires you?

You can find my thoughts on my one little word in January here.