Friday, January 4, 2013

Why cul - ti - vate?


Why did I select the word “Cultivate”?
The definition of cultivate brings to mind farming more so than anything else.  I love working in a garden and I have always loved fresh veggies that were grown in our backyard - but how does this apply to a year of introspection?

Definition:  cul·ti·vate     /ˈkəltəˌvāt/  Verb
  1. Prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening.
  2. Break up (soil) in preparation for sowing or planting.
  3. To improve by labor, care or study:  refine.
  4. To seek the acquaintance or goodwill of; make friends with.
Synonyms:  better, cherish, devote oneself to, educate, encourage, forward, foster, further, help, imporve, promote, pursue, raise, rear, refine, support, teach, train.

I looked at the etymology of the word cultivate and its origin is early 17c., from Medieval Latin cultivatus, pp. of cultivare, from Late Latin cultivus "tilled," from Latin cultus (see cult). Figurative sense of "improve by training or education" is from 1680s. Related: Cultivable; cultivated; cultivating.  So as I continued my search in several different dictionaries and even a thesaurus - I came to the conclusion that its the “improve by training or education” part of the word that I’m really locked in to.  I’ve been a teacher for the past twenty years and there are always training sessions to attend, classes to take, lesson plans to retool and rework to meet the needs of my students.  So is this the  reason?  I think it goes even beyond the fact that I’m a teacher and I continually have to attend trainings and professional development classes.  I think that its because I want to “improve by training or education”.  When I review my 12 intentions, I really do want to improve and cultivate a purer relationship with others, myself, my faith, my husband, my family and revel in the day-to-day life that I can have a positive impact on anyone that I come into contact with.  I’m done with gossip - made that choice years ago, I’m done with comparing myself to others - still working on that!! I’m done with lamenting things that are not within my realm of change and most importantly, I’m done with following for the sake of following.

To me, the word “Cultivate” means to “nurture, take care of” and that is what I intend to do in this coming year.


1.  cultivate myself
I will buy running shoes - and use them for something other than walking.

2.  cultivate learning
I will read to learn not just read to read.

3.  cultivate relationships
I will be intentional and take risks - I will continue to reach out to others through cards, calls, and/or crafts.

4.  cultivate faith
I will read the Bible and not just on Sunday mornings while I am at church.

5.  cultivate being healthy
I will continue to create healthy menus for our family even when life is getting the best of us.

6.  cultivate my marriage
I will continue to tell and show my husband how much he means to me.

7.  cultivate creating
I will try new techniques in my crafting.

8.  cultivate new skills
I will continue to improve my teaching skills to include all students at all levels regardless of where they are.

9.  cultivate the day-to-day
I will live an intentional life that shows my kids what they can do with their own lives.

10.  cultivate simplicity
I will make choices in our calendars/schedules to keep family first and at the dinner table together even when life is getting the best of us.

11.  cultivate frugality
I will make choices that will foster a greater % of our income to our short-term and long-term savings.

12.  cultivate family
I will make my family my number one priority without hesitation.

1 comment:

Heather (goldiecar) said...

I love it! Your intentions are fabulous!