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.