Birthday joy


A sampling of joyful birthday gifts I received last weekend. How lucky am I? From top left, counterclockwise: Pantone book from Maggie, gorgeous agave from Ali and Jennie, rainbow-handled Laguiole knives from Lauren and Doug, and a close-up of the amazing, Japanese-inflected packaging from a special edition of rosé Veuve Cliquot from Mimi and Brenda.

And there were others! A game from Robert, an edelweiss from Annette (Hackley girls, doesn’t this just take you back to 3rd grade and Mrs. Ericson singing “Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greeeeeeet me!”), and these delicious cupcakes baked by Annie and lovingly shaped into the likeness of my favorite of Damien Hirst’s dot paintings. And all the friends who gave me the best gift of all – calling, writing, or being there to celebrate with me.


It was a sweet birthday. It couldn’t not be, surrounded as I am by such wonderful, kind, inspiring friends. Each birthday I find myself more grateful; each age seems better than the last, and I am better able to savor it.

Hey, Guess What?

The Aesthetics of Joy is now a book! Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness is now available.

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