. . . .driving into work every day to a job that you look forward to doing.
. . . . watching friends moving through the phases of life together.
. . . . a really cute picture of your good friend's dog when he was a puppy.
. . . missing your advisee and then getting a text that says she misses you, too.
. . . . tasting the samples in the Sam's Club with Isaiah.
. . . .plain Greek yogurt with flavored balsamic vinegar splashed on top.
. . . . old friends.
. . . . new friends that feel like old friends.
. . . . hanging out with Zachary at basketball practice.
. . . . meeting a school bus driver at the vending machine at Grady and hugging her and thanking her on behalf of all of the bus drivers I haven't hugged or thanked for handling my precious cargo with such care.
. . . . getting a text from my nephew with a screen shot of his early acceptance into Emory University--his first choice of colleges.
. . . . sons who look very much alike but who are so very different.
. . . . nurses that you can have fun with.
. . . . the smell of stinky boys.
. . . .watching your medical students evolve before your eyes.
. . . . a bold lip for no reason whatsoever.
. . . . amazing mentors who always seem happy to see you no matter how big of a deal they become.
. . . . a mom who is genuinely helpful to you in every possible way.
. . . . a fancy hamburger in a restaurant prepared perfectly.
. . . . wearing my power color, red.
. . . .spending some quality time with an old friend and discovering that time or miles can't stop real Ruths from always being in lockstep.
. . . . these little red rubber duckies that make me think of my sorority sisters.
. . . . having a sleepover in your 40s.
. . . . still believing.
. . . . laughing out loud with your girlfriends.
. . . . seeing two of your favorite residents on the front row when you're about to give a lecture--and knowing you have them as moral support.
. . . . funny text messages from your residents that include you even when you aren't in the hospital taking call with them.
. . . . getting the news that your small group advisee that you've known since his first day of medical school in 2007 has matched into a Cardiology fellowship. . . . at Emory. (And being one of the first people he thought to call.)
. . . . brothers who get along enough to build Lego sets together.
. . . . lunch with your advisee and his lovely future wife.
. . . . your nephew telling you that he wants to be a doctor someday. . . . and you imagining the moment that he does.
. . . . Grady Hospital.
. . . friends that you admire personally and professionally.
. . . . students who you admire personally and professionally.
. . . the anticipation of watching your advisees' lives unfold.
. . . . time with three of your favorite Grady doctors.
. . . . splurging on the holiday drinks from Starbucks.
. . . . . taking a fun "ussie" after church.
. . . . when doctors from Emory and Morehouse come together for patient care and teaching. . . and simply as "Grady doctors."
. . . . .interviewing 2 medical students who look like you for residency positions in one morning . . . . and then realizing that every single award or accolade you've ever received in your career may have all been in divine preparation for the moment when those students would sit in your office and see living proof that they are enough.
. . . . watching your boy serve the guests living at a shelter. . . . and laughing at their funny jokes.
. . . sitting up late at night. . . .and taking an inventory of the happy parts of life regardless of how many not-so-happy things you hear.
Appreciating the happiness around you is. . . . .
Happy Sunday. Won't you choose to see the happiness in the world? (It pairs beautifully with kindness.)
*I modified this last part out of sensitivity to those who struggle to feel happiness every single day. Clinical depression, dysthymia, grief, and more can rear their ugly heads something ferocious. . .especially during the holiday season. I should acknowledge, particularly as a physician, that for a lot of people it just isn't in their control. I think my point is to counter so much of the ugly in the world through trying to appreciate the little slice that is my life and to rage against all of the negative images I'm seeing as of late. I pray for us all to find the peace of mind that stills our troubled waters and helps us to live our best lives.