I Have 5 Years to Reach Enlightenment

Today is my friend Liz's 40th birthday. I don't think she will mind me telling you that, but she will be embarrassed by what I am about to say. Oh well.

Liz is my hero, and she has been since I was, oh, about 10 years old. She is deadly funny, a natural storyteller that could make you laugh your ass off while she described something as mundane as the weather. She is an amazing mother — raising with "love and logic" two kids of her own, the hundreds of others that become hers for a few weeks at a time each summer and advising the rest of us along the way. She's a great friend, the just-knows-you're-having-a-bad-day-using-her-powers-of-ESP kind of friend. But those aren't the reasons she's my hero.

Liz is a right person. She approaches the world with humor, humility, compassion and curiosity. When I think about the kind of person I want to be, it's somebody like Liz. Happy birthday, Mrs. G.