1. I was born in the United States in the latter half of the 20th Century. While hardly utopian, particularly for non-white, straight, cisgendered people, I have known greater security and stability than most people have known throughout human history, with continual advances in health and technology that make life easier seemingly every day.

2. I was born into a family that values learning and where reading was a way of life, which has made me open to new ideas, willing to explore alternative points of view, and never stop growing as a human.

3. I have lived in California most of my life. Again, there are drawbacks, but the landscape of the Golden State is magnificent, and the culture is by-and-large forward-thinking and socially mindful. Plus, Disneyland is practically in my backyard.

4. My own children are smart, kind and (mostly) healthy.

5. I am skilled at something I really enjoy doing — writing — and have managed to build a career where that’s what I get to do most of the time.

6. The internet exploded at just the right time to help me build that career, but more importantly it has helped me make and maintain friendships across vast distances. I’m so thankful for the many people I have been able to know that I wouldn’t have even met without the internet.

7. I’m old enough to remember seeing “Star Wars” for the first time in the theater.

8. I have an abundance of wavy, thick hair, even if I don’t know what to do with it most of the time. I also think I have a pretty cute nose.

9. I met my soul mate recently. OK, he may be a cat, but surely it still counts.

10. I myself have been mostly healthy for most of my life. I’ve only had to stay overnight in the hospital when I gave birth, and I’ve never had to have any kind of surgery or long-term medical treatment.1

11. Indoor plumbing, water heaters and air conditioners. I don’t think I need to explain that one!

12. The endless number of magical stories in the world — there’s no end to the adventures I can take through books, television and movies.

13. The way the keyboard on this lights up with different colors. It just makes me happy!

  1. Knocking on wood like crazy!

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