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30-25-20: The Best and Most Important Decision I’ve Ever Made

April 21, 2023

In my previous blog article, I discussed why 2023 is a milestone year – 30 years as a chiropractor, my 25th wedding anniversary, and the 20th anniversary of Natural Healthcare Center. 

I reflected on the events of 30 years ago, realizing that 1994 was the most consequential year of my life. I started my first job as a chiropractor and defined my vision for what I wanted to accomplish in my career.

Of course, that pales in comparison to what a first date with Stacy in September of that year would mean in my life.

Stacy and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this past Valentine’s Day. Sitting across the table from the love of my life, I was once again reflecting on how blessed I’ve been to have found true love and have Stacy as my partner in life.

Funny thing is, when I started my career 30 years ago, filled with dreams and plans and ambition, I never thought about what it would mean to be married. It’s not like I never wanted to get married. I just didn’t understand how it would affect my life.

Then I fell in love. It just happened, like an arrow through my heart. And everything changed… for the better. 

The Newlywed Whirlwind

Stacy and I got engaged in 1997 and married on Valentine’s Day 1998. At the time, I was working 50-60 hours a week for a chiropractic practice in Milltown. Stacy is an MBA and was getting up at 4:30 every morning for an hour-and-a-half commute to work from our little townhouse in Red Bank.

I remember having a conversation with Stacy about starting a family. We discussed the possibility of Stacy becoming a full-time mom and how we would figure out a way to get by on whatever I was making. We prayed on it and agreed that God was leading us on this path.

It’s a good thing we made that choice because we had a baby in 1999, a baby in 2001, a baby in 2003, and a baby in 2005. That adds up to four kids in seven years, plus the birth of Natural Healthcare Center in the middle, plus a fifth child a few years later. Our house and hearts were full.

Those Clichés About Love Ring True

Love is a many splendored thing. Love conquers all. All you need is love. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Marrying Stacy is the best decision I’ve ever made. I thank God every day that she said “yes.” Everything I have in life is centered on the life we have for each other. My greatest joys in life are being a husband to Stacy and a father to my five kids. 

Nothing I’ve achieved in my adult life would have been possible without Stacy. As I sit back and reflect on 25 years of marriage and reminisce about where life has taken me, I’m overcome by feelings of humility and gratitude. How could I feel anything but blessed?

During this year of personal reflection, I encourage you to think about the people and things for which you’re grateful. 

It’s easy to air grievances and dwell on things that make us unhappy. As a healthcare provider whose mission is to improve and maintain the health of as many people as possible, I can say it’s much better for your body, mind, and soul when you focus on gratitude.

I encourage my patients to make lists of things that bring them joy. Keep a gratitude journal. I recommend this because it’s a healthy thing to do. I’m living proof.

In the final article of my 30-25-20 series, I’ll reflect on 20 years of Natural Healthcare Center and what I’ve learned from this journey.


Dr. Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.