My answers come easily. The first, of course, is family. The second has to be friends. The third is a vocation I truly love and that never really feels like work.
It’s easy to forget all of that, though, in the blur of the next two months. My personal goal is refuse to lose the meaning of the holidays in the hectic pace of this season. When I feel myself getting too stressed to enjoy any of that good cheer we hear so much about, I will take a few moments for gratitude.
A wise mentor once told me that it’s impossible to be stressed if you practice gratitude. While I may save that topic for an actual article, there are dozens of psychological studies that show just that: Gratitude changes the chemistry of your brain. It can override anxiety and boost that incredible happiness hormone we call serotonin. Yes, gratitude is actually good for you if we just take the time to embrace it.
Hopefully, this issue filled with seasonal shortcuts (fabulous take out, anyone?), memorable events and one incredibly moving and perspective-shifting story about our city’s youngest heart transplant patient will alleviate some of your end of year stress and remind you of what matters most.