Today is my 28th birthday, and this is my 75th post for Psychology Today. I woke up, didn’t put a touch of make-up on and drove to work with Ace of Base’s “It’s a Beautiful Life” on repeat. In just over a month, I’ll end a full decade of consecutive psychology training that tossed me all across the country from my now beloved Midwest to the Bay Area and soon my home back in the Pacific Northwest. I’m a millennial and indeed on the job market during a recession. And despite much uncertainty in the future, I find myself blessed beyond words. I believe it was Garth Brooks who said, “you aren't wealthy until you have something money can't buy.”
So as I sit here with my free Starbucks birthday drink in hand (no this is not a paid advertisement for them), having received more than one beautiful phone birthday serenade and countless warm messages, I feel incredibly wealthy. I have friends and family who have been there through thick and thin, who’ve lifted me from what Ann of Green Gables called the “depths of despair,” and also cheered me on with every small triumph. I have taught some of the most amazing students, counseled beautiful souls, and worked with inspiring colleagues. I’ve also had you, my readers, who have both supported and challenged me to think as they now say, like there is no box at all.
It is notable how what often captures our attention and passion the most is that which connects us to others. The acts for which there may be no compensation at all. In many ways this has been the essence of my existence for the last decade or so.
You may be wondering, however, what is this post all about? Gratitude and thanks. In life there are always ebbs and flows, but we are truly blessed when we stop for a moment and bear witness to the small miracles that always surround us. We so often don’t notice them as we get stuck on the negative, all the horrible luck that seems to follow us. And yet, there are those loved ones who help us to gain perspective and laugh about it all. There is also our own ability to see that life is a cycle with good and bad, where with age wisdom abounds and we are fortunate to live long enough to see these patterns. So with this, my many thanks to my readers, friends, and family, who’ve reminded me to do what we see on all those cliché signs. Live, love, laugh, dance, cry, rejoice, inspire, believe, hope, dream, breathe. It’s a tall order. Much like my unsponsored drinks. But for now I’ll go with laughter and hope the rest follows.
Note: A very special thanks to a certain mom for reading all 75 posts and responding with something to the effect of, “well, what a lovely article,” each and every time, no matter what.