My favorite part of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is entitled Debts and Lessons. I love that even a man of Aurelius’ status understood he didn’t get there on his own.
I hope to be more introspective this year, and recalling my own debts and lessons is the best way to begin. There are a thousand things to thank each of these people for, but these have had the biggest impact on who I am today.
Debts and Lessons
My Wife: For marrying me. For giving me the best children. For her honesty and openness. For giving me the confidence and encouragement to follow my own path. For making me better than I am. For her dedication. For her love.
My Daughter: For challenging me as an artist and a writer. For inspiring me with her own hard work at improving. For her hugs. For making me laugh. For her possibilities.
My Son: For energizing me as I age. For restoring the curiosity and wonder I had forgotten. For his hugs. For making me laugh. For his possibilities.
My Mother: For teaching me unconditional love. For instilling in me the determination to push forward even in the most difficult of circumstances. For showing me the joy in the world. For reading to me until I could read to myself.
My Father: For his example and his honesty: for his example in so many good ways, and his willingness to point out his failures so I could learn from them. For his greatness as a father despite the distance, and for his support even in my failures.
My Step Father: For teaching me not to judge others. For his patience. For his strength of character. For showing me love under all circumstances and remaining a part of my life when he no longer had to.
My Step Mother: For taking me to the library as much as I wanted to go. For encouraging my art and writing as a child. For her kindness to my children.
My Brothers: For challenging me to get better every step of the way. For inspiring me with their pursuits of their own passions.
My Sister: For her love from so far away. For inspiring me with her composure and compassion.