I truly think that now is the best time in my life so far. I am so greatly, greatly blessed.
My family loves me, as I love them, and I am looking forward to seeing everybody this summer during a family reunion. My church family is a great support and encouragement to me, I really enjoy my Friday night bible study and dinner each week. My academic career is going really well, I'm on track for a PhD with a good handful of publications in the next three years.
I have few (or none) ties to any place or time or person, I am free to follow my own path wherever I choose. I have time to follow the hobbies that interest me at the moment (hello science fiction books, crafty projects, and snorkeling/scuba diving), and money to enjoy the things I want (three concerts this year, tickets to basketball games, baseball games, trips on vacation).
After two years here in grad school, I finally have a good network of friends. It was truly astonishing to see the number of people who have made it a point to call me or send me a note, or stop me in the hall and tell me congratulations on graduating and passing quals. Weekends are so much more enjoyable when you have plans with friends - I've been bowling, to a baseball game, to a birthday party, and just out for a random cups of coffee. I've been able to spend time helping labmates move, and volunteering to help serve food.
I get to do extracurriculars as well. I've joined the Scuba Club, taken an archery class, and serve as Treasurer for a student club. I go to the gym for aerobics classes, and I play basketball once a week with labmates (well, they play, I run around trying to be somewhat helpful to my team).
I am happy and healthy, and I could hardly ask for anything more.
I realize this whole thing is a bit narcissistic, but I'm putting this down for two reasons: one, as an encouragement to those stuck in a "down" phase that yes, it does get better. And second, so I can look back later and say, yes, life is good. I realize that life has its ups and downs, and man while mine is on an "up" I plan to enjoy it to the fullest!
So a toast, to life and to joy -