A Joyful Toast

By Leslie Young
[Editor's Note]

I celebrate everything: Tuesdays, pet adoption, and mango sorbet. This October, I will celebrate turning 50. Yes, I’ve checked my parents’ math and it appears to be correct. This mile marker is cause for me to extend my usual two-month birthday season over a year or so. Mom always says I can do whatever I want during birthday season. For me, that includes writing about joy.

What makes you happy? Let’s compare notes. My list is endless: playing with baby goats, savoring the perfect peach, getting upgraded to first class for no reason, feeling the splash of salt water as a scuba dive begins. And some vicarious pleasures: seeing my folks walk hand-in-hand after 50-plus years, playing with baby goats, watching my little nephews learn about cacti, laughing as my dog launches himself into a pond, and seeing my horse roll with abandon. My home here at ABMP is rich with joyful opportunity: receiving a new type of massage, teasing my amazing staff, perfecting authors’ prose, helping vendors be successful, and reading an email from an inspired reader.

I trust that each of you reading today is doing so because you love something—or everything—about this profession. Joy is where you find it. Some days you have to search a bit; other days you can reach out and touch it.

Recently, I took a call from a writer and therapist I deeply admire. She’s leaving the profession after a couple decades because her work no longer makes her happy. I sort of understand (because her specialty in hospice and elder care can be particularly draining), but my heart broke. My hope is she’ll recreate herself and rediscover the nuggets of the work that feed the mind and soul.                  

One of my creative outlets is the Massage Therapy Foundation. This is the third year I’ve served as a trustee and my volunteer work has immersed me in the profession and blessed me with insights and inspirations on so many levels. I’m honored to toast 50 with past president Diana Thompson and current president Ruth Werner (both Massage & Bodywork columnists!), as well as finance chair Karen Schiller. We’re scheming a girls’ weekend and, no worries, I’ll spare you the details.

As for my actual birthday? I’m on target to celebrate with my family and scheming a day of sunshine, laughter, and candles. I’ll save you a slice of cake!

Leslie A. Young, Editor in Chief