Takin' it to the max... Appreciation style!
I have known since I was very young that there was a common denominator in all of my (healthy) relationships. With those people, I feel appreciated. Feeling appreciated is a big deal for me. It is not something that a person can fake. They either do or don't. I either feel it or I do not. No one can fake making me feel genuinely important to them.
When I love. I love hard. I love unconditionally.
Go ahead and ask my friends of more than 20 years (and a few nearly 30... What? When did I get that old?)
When I can feel the gratitude for my actions and for my presence and friendship, that makes me want to be present more often. To do more and as much as I can.
I enjoy expressing my thanks to people. Whether it is a loved one or a stranger on the street, "Thank you" may be in the top 5 most repeated phrases I say in a day. (Side Note: My sister and I were out to eat at a restaurant. We ordered our drinks and our food. Our waiter lingered for a moment. Turned to walk away, but then came back to tell Ashlee and I, "You two are the most polite people I have ever met." Ashlee and I responded, in unison, with genuine honor, "Thank you!" We know that it wasn't that we are just "polite" anyone can go through the motions. It was that he BELIEVED our politeness.) It is completely selfish, by the way. Saying thank you, feeling this way, expressing appreciation... it makes me feel good!
I have required myself to up my Gratitude Game. Focus on what I have and not what I lack. Because when I express real thankfulness it brings even more to express joy over. And then I get to have more reasons to say "Thank you."