Who in your life brings out the best in you?
Just prior to stopping full time work, a colleague introduced me to a couple who were opening a stable specializing in therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. At the outset, my involvement in their venture was as a member of the Board of Trustees. But after visiting the farm and witnessing the work being done, I quickly became a regular volunteer. I've since written several posts about my experiences there.
A large part of my enjoyment at the stables is directly related to how the husband of this unselfish team brings out the best in me. Few Fridays go by without me recording something in my journal about this.
* Last week: Reminiscing about our childhoods in Chicago and Irvington, he helped remind me how stifling political correctness can sometimes be.
* A few weeks before that, when I fouled up a purchase of hay, he put me at ease by saying I probably "...saved money..." with my error. What a great way for me to stay mindful about blaming.
* He consistently makes fun of his own quirks. In my experience, modeling that behavior can never be reinforced enough.
In addition, I admire the way this gentle and generous man speaks and relates to his wife. That might be the best gift he's given me since my wife is the person who most often brings out the best in me. I watch and learn from his example, then I'm better with her, then she brings out more good stuff in me.