I’ve sat down to write a blog post a few times recently when I stopped and thought, Oh, I’ve already told that story to like four people. It occurs to me that this is sort of a new problem to have, a problem that’s not really a problem at all but is actually very cool. I’ve been engaged in enough real-life conversations lately that I’ve already told my stories to the point where I feel like I’m repeating myself. That’s kind of … awesome.

Everything is pretty awesome, lately. Yes, I’m singing the song in my head now too, I’m sorry. If the only way to fix one bad earworm is to replace it with another, let’s go ahead and think of that “Too Many Cooks” theme song.

Well that’s a thousand times worse. Fuck.

Here are some of the things that are making me happy, aside from the fact that I’m now chirping “Too many cooks! Too many cooks!” in a psychotic mental loop that’s physically carving giant bleeding chunks of cerebellum from the confines of my skull:

• The kids are blooming. They’re growing in leaps and bounds and their teachers had insanely positive things to say about them at last week’s parent/teacher conferences and I could not be more proud of how they’re doing in school and in life.

• My health is blooming. I’m so contented and upbeat lately that I’ve basically dropped all my diet-sabotaging eating habits (like eating, say, an entire bag of chips at night with an ice cream chaser) without even really thinking about it. I find myself naturally reaching for whole, healthy foods because I know they taste good and they make my body feel good. I’ve been doing a lot of Barre3 workouts via their website and despite the fact that I discarded that style of workout a year ago for being “too boring” it seems to be exactly what my body craves right now — peaceful, self-affirming, with a strong focus on flexibility and functional strength. I feel alive and lean and capable and amazing.

• I feel deeply rewarded in my career and my volunteering. My work with KidsFIRST continues to blow me away and I have a LOT to say about how that is going but for now I’ll just say it’s filling me up in all sorts of powerful ways I hadn’t expected. One thing that I’ve been marveling over is how everyone that works there is there because they have a passion for it. No one’s just doing it to earn a paycheck while bitterly snarking about the dysfunctional management. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been before and that aspect alone is pretty mind-blowing. Over in the freelance world, I feel like my writing has really improved lately and I’ve been rewarded for my efforts and I’m hugely grateful and pleased.

• My social life is blooming. I had a really great visit with my sister-in-law recently, I went to a wonderful baby shower for a relative and caught up with lots of people I hadn’t seen in a long time, I met a longtime Internet friend and had the best visit ever, I’m planning a trip to meet more Internet friends in February. I’m actively pursuing a social life for the first time maybe EVER and it feels so incredibly good.

• My marriage is blooming. I feel like I’ve connected more with JB lately and that we’re really putting some energy into spending time in deep conversations with each other despite all the chaos and noise of our home life. I love it.

Just … so much good stuff going on. My smart pal Lisa who writes the super-rad newsletter So What, Who Cares (you should subscribe! It’s free!) wrote about generosity in a recent newsletter, and included a link to a fascinating article about how long-term contentment is strongly linked to feeling as if one’s life has purpose and meaning. She writes, “Being generous — having empathy and acting under the idea that your contributions will make the world a better place — can boost your mood and the quality of your life.” Yes. Yes, this, a thousand times this. I truly believe my volunteer work has fundamentally changed me as a person, has helped bring me to the emotional place I’ve been longing for for years. I am satisfied, peaceful, filled with joy. The happiness is singing out from every cell in my body and it’s made me more confident, less anxious, less prone to self doubt.

I am — and I realize how cheesy this sounds — living in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It doesn’t get better than this. I have arrived, and while the journey does not end, I am fully present and cannot wait to see where it goes next.

party girl
(No, it wasn’t anyone’s birthday. This was my Halloween costume: I dressed as a party.)

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