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January is the time I take stock of what I want to accomplish in my life. This year I am committed to figuring out better how I want to offer my abilities and capabilities to others. Disappointment met me last Christmas, a month ago, because I hadn’t a fine place to take myself to be useful in a way that felt right. I can give money and even time to others and it is good, but feeling excited about my giving is important to me. It’s more meaningful if there is passion and joy behind it. So January, for me, is for starting to figure that out.

My daughter and I accepted an invitation to attend a meeting of teen moms this week, to babysit their babes while the girls had a dinner and listened to a speaker talk about literacy. I saw generous, understanding and supportive women offering their help, and I saw a place for myself. The messages I have to share about engaging with children, about investing in the relationship between parent and child, and about being conscious of our ability to change and be who we want are well suited for young mothers potentially surprised by the requirements of parenthood.

This might be the dovetail of my interests in relationships, and change, with my interest in giving with passion.