by Nancy Casey
For today’s writing you will need a couple of sheets of paper, so be sure to have them handy.
On one of the sheets, write the letters of the alphabet, A to Z, down the left-hand side of the page. If they don’t all quite fit, start a second column on that same page.
Next to each letter, write down the names of things and people that you admire which also begin with that letter. If you think up more than one thing for a letter, include them all. Try to get at least one thing for every letter, even if you have to stretch spelling rules a little bit. You can even make up words, as long as you know what they mean.
The word ad-mire is made up of two parts. The “ad-“ part shows up in a lot of English words that have something to do with bringing two things together, such as admit, advance, and adhere. The “-mire” part comes from an ancient word that means “smile.” Therefore, something that you admire is something that brings you a smile. The feeling you get as that smile comes to you is called “admiration.”
Asking yourself what you admire is much the same as asking, “What makes me smile?”
Are there things or people that always make you smile? What have you smiled at so far today? When has a smile struck you by surprise? Are some smiles more inward than outward? Does every smile involve admiration? Let these questions run around in your mind as you keep adding things to your alphabetical list of what you admire.
After you have collected yourself a nice list of words, stop and admire it! Then give some thought to the kinds of things or people you admire and why that is so. Write a few paragraphs about that on a second sheet of paper.
Is admiring things the same as admiring people? What did you write down that you admire about yourself? Has what you admire changed over time?
Here is something else you can think about. Not only is the word admire connected to the word smile, it is also related to the word mirror. That means that when you smile at someone or something that you admire, there is some reflecting going on. What you admire out in the world also exists inside yourself. How is this true for the things on your list?
After you have had a chance to think about all these things and write down your thoughts, be sure to write the date on both pages and give each one a title. Here is an example of what a person could write.
Throughout the week, continue to observe yourself smiling and admiring. Notice when others smile at you. They are admiring something, too.
Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays. Check the calendar for classes and times, or just drop in. All are welcome. She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow, Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers. Call the Recovery Center 208-883-1045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.