2022 was a mixed bag for many businesses and people. Looking at social media posts over the holidays as New Year’s Eve was approaching, reminded me that many people were looking forward to seeing 2022 from the rearview mirror.

Conversely, DiPiano Family Law Group, P.C. had a number of wins in 2022. I appeared in Forbes and Fortune Magazines, was selected as a SuperLawyer, and was notified that I would be listed in Best Lawyers in America for 2023. Trifecta! I planned a blog on being grateful for these accolades. I thought about what I would write. I thought about it some more. I thought I would write about being grateful for the colleagues who nominated me for excellence in the practice of family law. I am more grateful to them than I can express. I also planned on writing about how grateful I am for the clients we serve at my law firm. Without the trust they place in us, we would not have the ability to achieve the recognition we did. As with my colleagues, I am more grateful to our clients than I can express.

Yet as fulfilling and as important as all of these things are, there is a fundamental thing about which I forgot to be thankful. Something I know many of us take for granted. And, on Christmas Day, I experienced a reminder of what that thing is.

Christmas for my family is a multi-part endeavor. My parents have left us long ago, but my wife’s parents are healthy elders. They enjoy having a “Grandma & Pappa Christmas” with their children and grandchildren each year, typically a day or two before Christmas Eve. We had that celebration in New Hampshire with them as usual. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are at our house with my in-laws and family. On Christmas morning, my wife and son, and I drove to Connecticut to visit my brother and his son, my nephew, and his two young sons, who are both under the age of five. I was looking forward to this the most because it is the young children who make Christmas the most fun in my opinion.

In anticipation of the holiday dinner my nephew, Michael (who is an executive chef at a high-end restaurant), was preparing, I suddenly began to not feel too well. Skipping the gory details, by 7 p.m. that evening, I was in the hospital. I was later admitted due to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances which caused my heart rate to accelerate, and, as I was cautioned, could become a serious problem if not addressed and corrected.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to share all this in a blog post, in case it came across as melodramatic. But I really am most grateful for the reminder to pause and reflect that the most important thing—above all else—is being healthy. So, I decided to pass along the gift that was given to me of this reminder.

Understandably, many people posted on social media about 2022 being challenging and it’s their right to do so. They’re not wrong complaining about the effects of inflation, work issues, staffing, or supply chain problems. These and other similar, widespread issues can threaten to be all-consuming. Likewise, for me and so many others, we take for granted the privilege of today, forgetting that each day with good health is not guaranteed to us; instead, getting caught up in our annoyances, our losses, our wins, and our successes.

My day in the hospital was not for what I consider to be a serious health threat, compared to others. But it could have become that, so I did what I had to do and am appreciative to have had great caretakers all working on Christmas Day and Night to fix me up in short order and firing on all pistons.

So, reflecting on 2022, while I am proud of my achievements attained with the support of my colleagues, trust of my clients, and the dedication and hard work of my team, and it is appropriate to express my gratitude, if I had to pick one thing (the one thing is a conjunction) of all the things that I have to be grateful for in 2022—and there are many—it is for my good health and the people who sometimes have to spend Christmas working to keep me tuned up, so that I can do the things that bring me happiness, like being a skilled and recognized family law attorney, helping people through one of the most challenging times they may ever face.