As I was on my way to work the Friday before Christmas-weekend, I received a text.
“Kristin, call me when you get the chance!!!!! :D”
The five exclamation points and that wide-grinned emoticon gave it away. One of my dear friends had gotten accepted into medical school.
Often times during the holiday season, we get wrapped-up (ha ha, you see that pun there?) in the hustle-bustle, in the-where-the-heck-is-a-parking-space-at-the-mall?, in finding the “perfect” gift for a loved one, in planning vacations, in wondering why people turn into crazy drivers at this time of year, in preparing the best family dinner, that we forget about everything else. We forget about everything we already have.
I’ve got everything I need this Christmas.
I am financially secure. Sure, I always complain that I am underpaid at my job (which I am,) but I am able to pay my monthly rent. I am able to afford groceries. I can pay for the gas in my tank to get from point A (S-dale) to point B (Seattle!) and back again. And, I still have some money left over for “fun things” like going out with friends or playing at an ultimate tourney in Hawaii — or running marathons. While many people my age may be in the same situation as me (and I know others that are less fortunate,) what differentiates me is that since I was lucky enough to have parents who paid for my four-year undergraduate education — can I at least give a shout-out that I had some partial academic scholarship? — I am not paying off any students loans. I never had to take any to begin with.
I have a supportive, understanding, motivational family. Sure, the family that I wish I could see this Christmas are either two states south of me, or are divided away by the Pacific Ocean, but I can’t complain. I see them enough on Facebook (just kidding). We’ve shared great vacations together in the past, and I know we will have great ones sometime in the future. And, my immediate family here — my mom, dad and brother. They’re alright enough to spend Christmas with. After all, they put up with my constant complaining (note “supportive, understanding” in the first sentence of this graph). I love my family.
I have the best friends ever. Yes, I know you think your friends are the best ever (which they may be, if you are my friend), but mine truly are the best. They listen to my problems, stories, daily frustrations of a source not returning my calls, monthly toils with job rejections. They run with me — and some of these runs have been more than two hours long. They visit me in West Sound — that’s a ferry ride away! They send me news article links that they think I may have missed to read online. They send me motivational text messages. Their good news — hello! read above, Phyllis got into med school! — is just about enough to keep me going. Because, they all work just as hard as I do. And I work darn hard. They are caring, fun(ny) and simply the best. Sure, there are some friends that I haven’t seen in a few years because they are busy saving the world elsewhere, but they’ll have to come back again eventually to see me (or their families).
I am fully employed. As much as I dislike my job, I can’t complain on being unemployed. Been there, done that. I have a full-time job with medical (which includes dental and vision). Did I tell you I have a company 401(k) too? Full-time employment is supposed to make you more marketable for other jobs, so I’ve heard. My job may not be in the best location. It may not be in the best industry to be in at this moment in time — journalism! I may not enjoy working with all the people that I do. But, just the other day someone brought in little hand-made Christmas goodie-bags for each person filled with chocolate and other goodness, and even though I do not like chocolate that much, I’ll give these people (continued) chances. I have a job in “something” that I majored in — how many people my age can say that?
I am healthy. Sometimes people may doubt that I am emotionally/mentally healthy from reading the “depressing” posts about my job. But I swear, I am not depressed. Emotions aside, I am physically healthy. I am able-bodied. I can freakin’ run marathons. Sure, I feel and look like death afterward, but I can still do them. Maybe this week I haven’t run because I am having mid-back pain from who knows what and my left foot still hurts from wearing death heels last week, but these things will pass. Very soon I’ll be out there on the road/trails, doing what I love. Running.
I’ve got everything I need this Christmas. What’s your everything?
And, this is not to say that gifts will not be accepted this Christmas, because they will. But, good luck finding something I’ll need. I’ve got everything.