All is nirvana. Or at least it seems much closer to it lately. Ironically, fewer obstacles mean less to overcome, less possibility for growth. One has to learn how to grow and develop in the face of a world in which everything seems to be going well, for now at least. It helps you to notice the good things.
First you notice that nothing has gone horribly wrong for a few weeks. Then you start to wonder what it is you have failed to notice. A horrible noise coming from you car maybe? A bill you forgot to pay? A dirty look from a coworker you didn't notice? But no, another week goes by and all is still well.
Then you start to notice just how well things are. There is praise from you boss. Long evenings talking over bottles of wine. Fun lunch outings to interesting new restaurants paid for with the boss's company card. The car zips through beautiful rocky canyons with nary a hiccup, where you can lay by the river and listen to the rush without feeling at all disappointed that it is far too cold to swim in. You start to notice the wonderful weather, the flowers, good food, good people, all of them. And you can be grateful, so grateful, for everything.
Then you family comes to visit and lo and behold, things go well. They say your boyfriend is "nice" and no one threatens to toss him out of your cousin's wedding reception. No one starts an awkward discussion while trapped in the car on the way through Rocky Mountain National Park. Your parents don't grumble (too much) about your tendency to wander out of sight down tiny game trails, climb on tall boulders, or to the top of 12,000 foot tundra covered peaks where you can experience the sensation of skydiving without ever getting in an airplane. Said boyfriend is still happy with you after meeting your family and takes all their none too subtle hints about unspoken commitments in good humor. Your family finally meets the place you think of a home, complete with shrines and stupas, and men and women marching and chanting in uniformed unison. (Really, Mom, it's not a cult!) And they don't seem terribly concerned by it all. They kiss you cheek and say goodbye and head back to Nebraska secure in the knowledge they will see you again in August.
You actually look forward toward Monday and go to work every day with diligence, not begrudgingly. You look forward to going back to school, because you suddenly remember you get to write for the paper again and sit on the senate (really, four hours a week arguing with 45 other people - what could be better?). And you enjoy today because it is today. And you wonder, do I sound slightly high or something, because this is all sorta surreal in a way. And you remember the slogan card that once sat on your desk. "Regard all dharmas as dreams." It is surreal, and that's okay. It's all going to blow away on the wind, and that's okay too.
And you learn the true meaning of gratitude is living life as it comes.