The word I’m thinking most about right now as I release version 31 is focus.

I hesitate to call it a learning because it isn’t yet a part of how I operate – at least not to the degree I’d like for it to be. And, since to know and not to do is not to learn, I still think of my notes on focus as reminders to myself.

As the years pass, I’ve become more aware of the fact that the time and energy I have on this planet are finite. And, with that awareness comes the real need to thoughtfully spend time on the things that matter. That’s where learning to focus is a game changer – by pushing me to be aware of the priorities at any given moment, it elevates the signal and dulls the noise.

The second word I’m thinking about is gratitude. In this very disruptive and turbulent time, my heart goes out to the many many incredible people who are on the front lines in hospitals and grocery stores risking illness to ensure we’re able to deal effectively with a global pandemic.

Many of these folks are forced to do so because the lack of pay check would affect their sustenance.

Thanks to large doses of luck at critical moments and a lot of privilege, I am able to spend time on my work and family without worrying about my health, getting food on the table, or having money in the bank. Instead, I get to deal with all sorts of first world problems while working in a job that was the stuff of dreams not too long ago.

I also have the privilege of writing on this blog – and sharing in this journey with you.

A friend asked me recently as to who I speak to when I need a pep talk.

“I write” – I wrote back.

That’s not entirely true. Thanks to you, these notes often become conversations. And, as I’ve gotten to exchange notes with many of you over the course of many years, there’s a sense of friendship and community that comes with many association of writing here.

So, I just want to say thank you. For being there. I hope you are staying safe.. and well.

I also want to express my gratitude to the many many people who helped me learn, grow, love, and laugh over the years. And, also to the universe for working its magic along the way.

In sum, much to do – with more focus. :-) Much to be grateful for.

Here’s to making it meaningful, making it count.

(Past birthday notes: 30, 29282726252423)