Generosity: Were you witness to or a recipient of generous action this year? What can you give back in 2012?
One of the things I learned this year is that, for the most part, people want to contribute, to help, to pitch in. I experienced a great deal of generosity this year and in many forms. My friend, Brianne, was generous with her time, talking me through and helping me to better respond to conflicts. She was also generous with her family; they all participated in our wedding and dressed up as pirates to do so.
Our wedding made noticeable the generosity of our friends and M's family members. The outpouring of love and well wishes was overwhelming. And so many of our friends contributed to making the day fun and stress-free. So many dressed as pirates and it made us feel incredibly loved. People showed up in more ways than one. I talk about this some on my grateful November/Thanksgiving post.
I feel awkward saying this, but I was also overwhelmed by the generosity of people as they bought presents, gave us gift cards and money, which enabled us to buy a new camera and laptop. I already felt lucky enough that so many people came to the wedding, sent videos and cards and texts of congratulations. Opening the cards a few days later, sent me over the edge. Writing thank you notes was easy because I deeply appreciated everyone's thoughtful and generous gifts.
What I love about generosity is that it sometimes surprises you like someone paying for your gas when you left your wallet at home or your neighbor offering to cut the grass when the boy who used to mow won't return your calls, which also happened to me this year. In 2012, as part of tending (my word for 2012) I plan to give back. Every Christmas, I contribute to the Angel Tree or Toys for Tots and I'd like to do that to round out this year. Next year, I want to think about generosity differently, giving my time, my listening ear, my shoulder and just more in general to those around me. I don't have a specific plan, yet but I'm thinking about the various ways I can be generous. I have a fantastic guide in Michelle, who is often generous to a fault. She surprises me every single day with her generosity of heart. I think simply by being aware of opportunities to be generous, I will surprise even myself with what I'm capable of.