My family. My mom and dad who don't crowd me and don't judge my decisions. They leave me alone with my choices, offering only support or love if I need it. They taught me how to take responsibility for myself.
Mr. J's family. They accept me as I am, and they don't place expectations on me. They love me for me and they really listen when I have something to say.
My step-daughter. She taught me how to be an adult, far more than she knows. She taught me how to think about my words before I spoke them. She taught me how to love without condition, and what it means to be so proud of another person I could burst. I love her as though she were own daughter.
My employees. They teach me how to express myself honestly without losing my temper. They allow me to be wrong and make mistakes and they challenge me to do better.
My friends. Friends who are like family, they have seen the best and the worst of me and they still choose to love me.
My boss. She supports me and guides me; she helps me work through decisions and lets me find me own way. She gives me room to grow.
Ajahn Brahm. The world is a better place for him in it. I'm quite certain I owe him my sanity.
The beach. The place I escape to. The place where I am surrounded by those who protect me and love me and feed me. The place that doesn't judge me or hate me or cut me off on the motorway. The place where I see God, without having to look too hard.
My blog. It has brought me solace when I needed it, and friends I otherwise never would have the privilege of knowing. If you have ever commented on my blog, know that your words have encouraged and fortified me.
Green bean casserole. The first time I had this dish was my first Thanksgiving with my husband's family. It reminds me of his grandmother, now departed, who hugged me the first time I met her. Of the children, now grown, laughing and happy and playing. Of his parents, warm and loving, with whom I was immediately bonded.
You. I love you for making my life a better one. For your friendship, your love, and your compassion. I love you for your kindness, and for your bad attitude; for offering me advice, for flipping me off while driving, and for making such good lattes. I love you for talking during movies, and for offering me a smile on the day I needed it the most.