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Today is a happy day because we are celebrating our son’s graduation from high school and his departure for Ecuador next week. The house is full of bustle and comings and goings. We are cooking food, slicing bread, making drinks, setting up chairs and tables, and volleyball, and blowing up a fun inflatable swan for the pool. I am reveling in the presence of all of my kids and husband with me, including Emmett from away at college here with his new girlfriend. I love this moment where we are all together and I see the possibility of future such gatherings. Family is coming in to see us as well, and friends will join us this afternoon.

There was a time when I did not know how to do this, celebrate and appreciate what I have. There was always something not good enough, not good enough to allow me to stop and see my success, whatever it was. I told myself I didn’t deserve the happiness, or I shouldn’t spend the money, or spend time. There was a time when I did not understand the balance of life and how we must see what we have in front of us and be glad of it, as well as work hard towards a future we want even if that means failures along the way.

Today is a happy day for me because it is the future I once dreamed of, happening now.