It's hard to pick favorites. In limited quantities, that is. And, for everything in life - not just a subtopic, like 8 of your favorite foods. For which I would say... bacon, bacon wrapped stuff, bacon in stuff, Thai Noi's Red Curry Salmon, and a short list of desserts. So, I have some favorites that are actually 2-in-1, a broad love of something, and a specific application of it in my own life. These are in no particular order, except that they correspond with the gallery of images above.
What are your favorites?
Levi. It's pretty obvious that I love this dog. He is a huge part of my family life. So, of course he's one of my favorite things ever. But, less obvious, is how Levi has made having a dog one of my favorite things ever, after spending my whole life scared of them, pretty miraculous. Our walks are my favorite part of any day - fresh air, sunshine, and time to think/listen/sense the world.
Global Intimacy. I love to travel. But one of my favorite things ever is this whole notion of global intimacy. It's the difference between going to Cancun and laying on a beach for a week and knowing the ins and outs of the resort you stayed at like the back of your hand, and going to a place and DISCOVERING it. Unfolding all the little nuances of a place and getting lost in it. Immersion into a new and different culture. Having a taste for what it would be like to be a citizen of that place. Bringing a piece of that culture back with you to implement permanently in your own life. THAT is global intimacy. Both types of travel are worthy pursuits - one is for relaxing, the other is for adventuring. Adventuring is a definite favorite.
Beauty & Decorating Stuff. I love beautiful things. Who doesn't? I truly appreciate the beauty of a velvety paint color on a wall and how it looks in the light vs. the shade. I love flowers, growing in a garden, or artfully arranged by a professional. My favorite thing is trying to create beauty myself. Paper flowers on an arch for the wedding, fresh flowers in unusual test tube vases, exploring new arts such as modern brush calligraphy and coloring.
Coffee & Routine. Most people either love or hate coffee, and it's something that, if you love it, is just second nature. I drink coffee almost every day. I do love the taste of a creamy latte. But, what I love more than the coffee itself is what it represents - a routine. Coffee is something that G and I have always done together. It's one of my many 'things'. We seek it out when we're running ourselves ragged with errands, we compare and contrast it from different countries, we have our favorite coffee shops and flavors and add-ins, we feel comforted by it, we organize socially around it. We love it, and even moreso because the other loves it.
Being Active & Sharing a Love for Fitness with Others. I definitely love fitness - it's in my blood. I've been active my whole life so without it, I'm just not me. But my favorite is helping other people FIND it and LOVE it too. It is the greatest joy that I get from teaching group fitness. Not teaching the perfect class, or even motivating an individual to get to the next level. That's great and all. But do they love it? If they love it, they will prioritize it. They will need it. They will rely on it. They will use it to cope with their life and be whole and be present and be strong.
New Zealand & Appreciating the Planet. This is #2 and #3 together, but it needs its own place in my favorites because it is simply my favorite of all of these combined. I even loved the coffee there (#4) and being active there (#5) and sharing the experience there with G (#7). The culture of this place is literally other-worldly. It's not the American standard capitalist society where everything is about working and money and keeping up with the Joneses and Hollywood and fame and fakeness. The priority there is being a good steward of nature and a good member of your tribe. Taking care of what is around you. Honoring the planet. Knowing what is truly important and what is not.
Authentic & Unconditional Love. I spent the first 30 years of my life being taught that love is conditional and that people should be abandoned at the first sign of weakness. I suppose I was a little bit like one of those pathetic rescue dogs. And now I have a family who loves me, and I have flourished under these new circumstances. It took so much personal growth to understand it, and be able to return it. I'm still learning. The only love that I should ever accept and give is of the unconditional variety.
The Hammock. Swinging back and forth with a light breeze, maybe a nap, and definitely with Levi. Favorite! The hammock represents rest, relaxation, quiet, and solitude. These are essential elements of life for me.
If you'd like to join in the #reverb17 project, we have started a facebook group where you can find all the details of each month's writing prompt. We have no requirements or expectations other than to give you a way to express yourself in writing on a regular interval. We post monthly (with some fun Instagram Challenges) from January through November, then have daily prompts in December to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the new year! Join us here!