Over the past few years, my birthday posts have been product release themed. I copied this from a blogger I appreciate. Thinking of a birthday as a new product release is a lovely way to think about the evolution of our thought process.

As I look back on the year that has passed, I realize that the word of the year has been gratitude.

Over and over this year, I’ve been reminded of just how privileged I am to have the choices I have every day. My response to the “how are you doing?” question over the past months has been along the lines of “All problems are first world problems. For that I’m incredibly grateful.”

We’ve had our ups and downs as we pursued what we have pursued. But, those ups and downs are the essence of the human experience. As tempting as it is to wish for fewer challenges, it is a reminder that what we wish for is often not what we’d want. That pursuit of something bigger than ourselves is what makes life worth living.

The biggest sign of our privilege is the amount of choice we have in this pursuit. That choice shows itself in the kind of problems we get to solve. And, the problems I got to solve in the past year were often challenging, sometimes difficult, and never hard.

Never hard because they didn’t involve making choices that determine if we manage to have shelter for the light, to get food on the table, or to be able to afford medical care if we need it.

The absence of these sorts of choices have afforded me the time and space to attempt to contribute in areas that I thought were worthy, build meaningful relationships, and learn along the way. All incredible privileges.

I hope to make them count in the time I have on this planet.

Thank you for being part of the journey.

(Past birthday notes: 31, 3029282726252423)