Christina M. Grange, PhD, is a psychologist and professor who has lived in Atlanta for the last 15 years. At 45, she loves that she’s finally learned to live as a whole human with diverse responsibilities and gifts, rather than by individual labels. She’s integrated being a professor, clinical psychologist, researcher, teacher, friend and family member into one person and has experienced life in more meaningful ways because of it.
What do you love most about being over 40?
I am enjoying the freedom that each year is affording me. I am feeling less and less attachment to the expectations placed on me, and more freedom to set new goals, serve in new ways and learn more about what wellness truly means to me.
What inspires you to get up every morning?
The possibilities of stronger and psychologically healthier communities excite me each morning. I believe that each aspect of my career is focused on contributing to community wellness— be it research regarding families, my work as a therapist or my responsibility to train future therapists and change-makers.
What impact do you hope to leave on the world?
Mental health is a spectrum from illness to wellness, and I am committed to helping people keep that scale tipped toward optimal wellness. My belief that we each have a rich and textured story that deserves to be understood, accepted and respected drives that commitment.
What have you learned to appreciate that you didn’t when you were younger?
I have learned that I actually need much less than I think I do. In my 40s, I know that having a healthy body and mind is truly part of my wealth. These things allow me to move through life with a type of freedom that I likely did not understand at younger ages.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
As I flash forward 20 years, I believe that family wellness will continue to be a strong impact on individual wellness. I hope to serve as a resource and mentor to parents managing non- traditional family structures, such as co-parenting, and know that we can thrive in diverse circumstances.
Do you have a favorite quote or mantra that you live by?
“Life is long and wide.” This mantra was born from the title of one of my favorite books. It reflects how I see hope in the possibilities of our future, the wide ranges of people we will encounter and experiences we will have. I am reminded that nothing is insignificant, but we can’t predict how an experience will be significant.