Friday, November 20, 2009

Original Extension

Normally come Friday morning I am in the mood to be a little silly. Because it is the end of the week, and couldn’t we all use a break? Today, however, is not my usual Friday. Today is the end of a series, and I can’t in good taste go out with silliness.

Which, I suppose, works out conveniently because there is one more subject related to originality
that I want to chat about before the series closes, and that is the practice of extending ourselves to others.

I use the words “practice” and “extension” intentionally here, because that is exactly how I feel about stretching myself to serve. It is figuratively a stretch for me--and like my sad, sad hamstrings, I’m often a bit tight and cramped up. And so I need practice. Lots of it.

This time of year we are often encouraged (or “bombarded” depending on how you look at) with opportunities to give of ourselves. And I wouldn’t be a good citizen or good human without urging all of us to take advantage of these open doors and give.

However, this year I want to dig a little deeper--make it a little more personal.
And, frankly, a little more fun. And that is the “original” part of my quest. What I want is to start with what I have, meaning my skills and talents and resources, and explore the creative ways I can use those skills and/or stuff to extend myself to others.

So, for instance, when my good friend petitioned me last week to help her knit baby items as a fundraising effort for her international adoption, I was thrilled to say yes. Not only do I have a special place in my heart for women who are pursuing unconventional families (because I am one of them), but also I love to knit. Love it. And donating my time is a perfect way to extend myself for a good cause. It’s just the kind of practice I need.

During this season, then, I want to challenge myself (and you) to consider ways to give beyond the usual food donations and Good Samaritan coin collections (but of course give to them too!) by considering ways that we can creatively and with originality extend ourselves using the gifts we have been given. Maybe your talent is for cooking or sewing or organizing or just listening. Find it and give.

Because originality may start with us as an individuals, but I’d hate for it to end there.

And with that final note, I’m signing off! Stay tuned next week for photos and anecdotes from my Thanksgiving week, and then come back for the launch of my new series on handmade holiday fun! Until then--have a great Friday!

Photo Glossary:
photos 1-2: handknit baby sweater-dress, my latest knit design (I love how it turned out, don't you!?)
photo 3: handknit bunny from Last Minute Knitted Gifts

photo 4: bunny on baby girl quilt designed by me and sewn from recycled fabrics

photos 5-6: handknit raglan from Last Minute Knitted Gifts on baby boy quilt designed by me and sewn from recycled fabrics

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