I am thankful for:
- Two healthy kids. They know that they need to finish dinner all gone before getting any dessert. Fruit is a dessert in our family. They eat their greens because they know it’s good for them. They are fine with drinking water when thirsty. They know to brush their teeth and tongue every night, or else they’ll get bad teeth. They feel shame when they do something wrong. They have the desire to do the right thing, and they think the world of us. This might change a few years from now when I write another Thanksgiving post.
- A patient and supportive wife. When people learn that Irene and I work together, we get a lot of “I can’t imagine working with my wife” or “I would never work with my husband,” etc. Maybe it’s cultural difference, but to me, I can’t imagine NOT working with my spouse. We love each other. We want to spend time together. We want to share experiences together. I enjoy working with Irene a lot, both in the clinic and at home raising our kids. I can’t imagine the alternative – us being apart 8-10 hours a day working different jobs and coming home not understanding what each other did.
- A career. There are people I know who have not been able to match into a residency program, year after year. There are also people I know who do match into residency, but do not make it through. That could have easily been me. Looking back, I am thankful for all those seemingly dreadful sleepless nights with back-to-back admissions and 24 hour shifts during residency, as they were opportunities to further my career and do what I was trained to do.
- A healthy work environment. Work takes up at least 8 hours of the day for most (a third of our lives!). Thus, it’s important we make sure it’s at least tolerable (and if possible, enjoyable). I’m thankful that we have a great staff at our clinic. I enjoy working with each and every one of them – our receptionist, our phlebotomist, our practice administrator, our housekeeper, and our physician assistant (and wife). At this time, there aren’t any workplace drama, no toxic personalities, or bad attitudes. We come home much happier now. I hope this can continue.
- Health. As evidenced by my ever-receding hairline, I am aging. While age is not something I can control, I am nevertheless thankful that I can maintain my health. My BMI is normal. My blood pressure is normal. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol, and I hardly even drink any caffeine. I haven’t needed any meds. I continue to exercise a few times a week, and I cook most of my meals.
- Hobbies. Some people have nothing to do and are bored all the time. I can’t imagine what that’s like. Irene and I always have something to do – there’s work, there are notes to write and things to look up. There’s grocery shopping, preparing meals, laundry, and cleaning. There is bathing and dressing the kids, and putting them to sleep. And if this doesn’t take up the whole day, there’s hobbies. Irene got her Yoga instructor license this year and started teaching yoga classes in her spare time. For me, if I’m not working out or trying to figure out how to cook something new, I may be putting together a new family travel video, or learning a new piano piece. This year I have learned: Chopin Nocturne Opus 9 No 1, La Valse d’Amelie by Yann Tiersen, and Pirates of the Caribbean piano solo by Jarrod Radnich. I may also be reading, or learning a language, or checking updates on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.
- Family. This year’s Thanksgiving broke tradition. For as long as I remember, my parents have always hosted a big Thanksgiving dinner at their home in Macon, Georgia. My aunt, uncle, cousins, and their kids would come down from Atlanta, my big brother and his family would drive up from Florida and my younger brothers would fly in from California to come celebrate. This year, my parents traveled to Europe to celebrate their retirement, thus could not host Thanksgiving this year. Irene and I decided to have our own little Thanksgiving, with just our little family, plus my sister-in-law Emily and my niece Sylvia, who is about Lyra’s age. It was great to reconnect with them. This year, we also reconnected with reconnected with Irene’s cousin Alice Chan and her family. Lyra met her new favorite second cousin, Vincent.