ThxFriday, All My Valentines Edition.

Vacation time from work (not only allowed but encouraged!); family trips to Mexico (Missouri, that is); the frequent happy contact, with smiles all the while; charming B&B’s and scoring the sweetest suite; finally seeing my nephew proud and in his element; getting gussied up for a Gatsby-themed event; watching the girls navigate their beautiful ways; another day’s buffer for studies and sleep (and recovering from another back outage); a quick little visit to brighten up the night; returning to work to find no fires to fight; a belated and lovely Valentine’s dinner, complete with roses, wine choices, and homemade crème brûlée (talk about swoon); open conversations about all of the things; people who show you who they really, truly are, affirming reservations and hesitations as they show their asses on the way out *punt*; powering through the readings and more 100 percents; when challenging yourself opens new and necessary doors, and when policy analysis actually sparks your interest; getting woke and staying there; warm chocolate chip cookie delivery; the freedom and willingness to speak up and out: asking clarifying questions, being receptive to the answers, and basically just saying what you need; a well-timed “TWSS” that makes a co-worker blush (and snort); the arrival of the weekend, right on time; and the excitement that comes from planning a special-made dinner for a special-made someone in return.

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