Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happiness is. . . .

. . . .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.

. . . . former advisees-turned residents who still make an effort to see you whenever they pass through town.

. . . . 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. . . . .  

a choice. 


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. 
xo, KM


  1. This may be my favorite post of yours ever! It's all so lovely.
    That your nephew wants to be a doctor brought tears to my eyes. It gives me great hope that young people still choose medicine.

  2. You, my "Grady Doc" and this blog are one of my "favorite things", Ebony and Ivory sitting in class together are another one of my favorite things. You need to teach me how to do that split screen thing for my kids. AND I want to be a fly on the wall when your nephew graduates from med school, guaranteed ugly cry for sure. Love you and all the thoughts in your head.

  3. You inspire me...that's all

  4. Kim dear- I know you did not mean it like this but when you say "happiness is a choice" it can make a lot of us struggling with depression and anxiety and bi-polar and, and, and...
    feel as if yes, we have failed again. Especially this time of year when YES! we "should" be happy and yet are barely managing to hang on.

    1. Very, very fair feedback. Of course, you know I didn't mean to be insensitive and love that you felt comfortable saying that. Lord knows it is never my intention to add to someone's struggle. Please accept my apology for that, my friend.

      Outside of clinical causes for melancholia, I think there are times that we can dwell on negative things. That was more my point, you know? I recognize that many times it is out of someone's control. . .but there times that it is in our control. At least that's what I think.

      That said, your point is very, very well taken. I appreciate you, Sister Moon and feel thankful for you.

    2. BTW. . .actually hadn't seen Angella's post from last week until today. :/

  5. I think that it is almost impossible for those who have never had to struggle with depression or anxiety, who are just not WIRED that way, to understand how it feels to know without a doubt that life can be (and is!) so very beautiful and yet, to feel as you are drowning in darkness in a world filled with life and light. If you have never read "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness" by William Styron, you should. His description of his depression is one of the closest representations of the hell of depression I have ever read.
    I guess my whole point here is that "dwelling on the negative" is a symptom, not a cause. If one is well and mentally healthy, one CAN possibly choose to look on the bright side but if one is not, it is simply not even possible to accept that there is a bright side nor will there ever be one, no matter how illogical that sounds.
    I love you, Dear Grady Doctor, and I know that you listen to your patients and that you consider them to be your greatest teachers and that you try with all of your heart not to just be a smart doctor but a compassionate one. And you are!
    And I am not your patient but I suppose I am just trying to show you the other side of an illness that I do suffer from and which millions of us suffer from, rich and poor, black and white, blessed and cursed by life's circumstances.
    Now. I'm done.
    I am seeking the light on this gray day. May it be there for all of us. And your bright light does always shine through.

    1. 'Preciate you and receive your good word. Hugs to you. XO


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

Related Posts with Thumbnails