I got a really nice letter last Sunday. I don't always look for affirmations that I am doing things well. That's a little lie. I do. I look for affirmations in my exercise and in my parenting and a little bit in my friendships. But they are simple and I do not dwell on them:
exercise: can I make it a mile without cursing?
parenting: can my Punks work out a conflict without my help?
friends: do people seem to want to be with me?
When my answers are "yes" then I can affirm that I am doing a'ight.
I don't look for affirmations like the one I got on Sunday. It was a lovely letter written in blue crayon from a dear friend. It was unexpected and heartfelt. I cried as I read it and for a good while after. I felt this huge washing sigh go straight through my bones.
It's really nice to know that you are living your life well. That you love your family and your friends and they know it and return it. That even without grand gestures, but simply making the efforts that feel right and come naturally you are being good. (Good parent, good family member, good friend).
I will cherish this letter. I will keep it where I can see it as a reminder to live right, and to acknowledge when other folks are livin' right. I am so thankful. I have an immediate family that I not only love but also like. I have an extended family I love and (often) like. I have a chosen family of friends that I love and I like.
I want to go on record that that letter, written in blue crayon on lined notebook paper was the best gift I've received in a really long time. The iPod Nano that came with it blew me away. Unspeakably generous. Thoroughly excessive. Just... I don't know what to say about it.