The Time When Life Changed: Jan. 17, 1970

 

January 17, 1970, was a big day. Maybe it was my biggest day. It was the day I was born. My mother was at her baby shower. That was when she went into labor with me. That night, on a cold night, I came into the world. It was quite the change for me. Today does not look like it will be as big a day. I am taking my son to the dentist. We don’t have any big plans. I have not even scheduled myself to be off. (I used to get the Monday closest off for MLK day as a government employee, now if I don’t work, I don’t get paid!) There is nothing earth-shattering about one more circuit around the sun for one Bryan G. Stephens.

Still, we celebrate birthdays, and we celebrate our orbits. Each birthday I look back on how I have changed over the last year. This year things changed dramatically when, after being hired for a brand new job, 60 days in the place was shut down. After losing four jobs in less than three years due to corporate maneuvers, I had enough. In April of last year, I started my private practice as a mental health therapist. I applied to be on insurance panels and signed up for online connections. Thanks to the wuflu, teletherapy has become the new normal so I could start work immediately out of my home. I started renting office space one day a week with a local psychiatric practice. I thought I would be at more than one day a week, but the demand for face-to-face is just not there. So, for the first time in my life, I am working four days a week at home. Physically, working at home has meant too much access to the pantry, something I am working on. Mentally, it has been great. Not only can I see five or six clients in a day, I have been able to teach my daughter to drive. I see more of my teenagers than my wife does these days, something I treasure.

Daily ventures into the lives of clients have grown my sense of gratitude. I am honored to be allowed to enter into this sacred space with others. Of course, the money is not the same as running a $30 million a year company. Neither is the stress. I am as happy as I have ever been with my work. April this year will mark one year in private practice. I don’t know if I will be where I want to be by then, but I will be closer than I was.

It’s a good birthday.

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  1. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Happy birthday, Bryan.

    • #1
  2. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Happy Birthday

    • #2
  3. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Happy birthday!

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    • #4
  5. Justin Other Lawyer Coolidge
    Justin Other Lawyer
    @DouglasMyers

    Happy birthday, Bryan.  Looks like I’m exactly two years your junior.  I think sharing a birthday with Ben Franklin AND Betty White makes us especially special!

    • #5
  6. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Self employment is the best. Not financially, for sure, but ethically and emotionally there is no comparison. Congratulations!  I hope you take time off.  It’s so easy not to when there is no vacation pay or sick leave. 

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Happy Birthday, Bryan, and many happy more.

    • #7
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Justin Other Lawyer (View Comment):

    Happy birthday, Bryan. Looks like I’m exactly two years your junior. I think sharing a birthday with Ben Franklin AND Betty White makes us especially special!

    Yes it does!

    I lean more towards the former than the latter, though.

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Sandy (View Comment):

    Self employment is the best. Not financially, for sure, but ethically and emotionally there is no comparison. Congratulations! I hope you take time off. It’s so easy not to when there is no vacation pay or sick leave.

    The income in going in the right direction! 

    • #9
  10. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Bryan G. Stephens: January 17, 1970 was a big day. Maybe it was my biggest day. It was the day I born.

    Happy Birthday!  (whippersnapper . . .)

    Bryan G. Stephens: My mother was at her baby shower. That was when she went into labor with me.

    She really knew how to liven up a party!

    Bryan G. Stephens: It’s a good birthday.

    Absolutely!  You had to tumble a few times before you landed on your feet again, but what a statement you made about how your life has changed – and for the better.  Good job!

    • #10
  11. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Happy birthday, my friend!

    I think I was in 9th grade that day you were born. In the middle of social studies I seem to remember stopping and looking around for a minute, thinking “what just happened?”

    Now it all makes sense.

    Congrats on the self-employment! Have been essentially my whole life. As I have said many times, “if I hadn’t been a self-employed electrical contractor, I would have been a self-employed something else”.

    • #11
  12. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Happy Birthday kiddo

    • #12
  13. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Bryan G. Stephens: working at home has meant too much access to the pantry

    Heh.  I work a couple hours every morning at the house, blended with my morning routine.  But then I go to my office.  Ostensibly to boost my productivity (true enough), but also to avoid the pantry.  I worked from home today for the holiday, and I’ve eaten too much. /:

    • #13
  14. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Cumpleanos Senor

    Y Muchas Mas

    • #14
  15. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Cumpleanos Senor

    Y Muchas Mas

    He’s still got a couple of years to go before he’s a senior.

    • #15
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens: working at home has meant too much access to the pantry

    Heh. I work a couple hours every morning at the house, blended with my morning routine. But then I go to my office. Ostensibly to boost my productivity (true enough), but also to avoid the pantry. I worked from home today for the holiday, and I’ve eaten too much. /:

    Yes the darn thing is evil, I tell you. 

    • #16
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

    Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!

    I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be! If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

    –Dr. Seuss

    This post is part of January’s theme: “The Time When Life Changed.” Resolve to sign up and write this month.

    • #17
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

    Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am! Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!

    I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be! If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

    –Dr. Seuss

    This post is part of January’s theme: “The Time When Life Changed.” Resolve to sign up and write this month.

    Or the next. 

    These are great opportunities for our lurkers to “Join the Conversation!”

     

    • #18
  19. Sean Keegan Coolidge
    Sean Keegan
    @Anthracite

    Happy Birthday!

    • #19
  20. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    Happy birthday Bryan,

    I recall 1970 vividly, it was the year I started middle school in a Prince George’s Public which was embroiled in the initial stages of the forced bussing experiment. To say there was a lot of happiness would be bit of an understatement. The only upside was that this was an era where if you were not interested in getting an education you could “drop out” which made high school a far more pleasant experience

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Bryan G. Stephens: Daily ventures into the lives of clients have grown my sense of gratitude. I am honored to be allowed to enter into this sacred space with others.

    Good for you. It took me way too long to learn anything like that.

    Happy Birthday, youngster.

     

    • #21
  22. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Happy birthday!

    • #22
  23. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Yesterday was my birthday as well.  It was also Benjamin Franklin’s, and Betty White’s.

    Happy birthday.

    • #23
  24. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Yesterday was my birthday as well. It was also Benjamin Franklin’s, and Betty White’s.

    Happy birthday.

    Good company they have. 

    • #24
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