Friday, December 16, 2016

41 Reasons to Be Grateful

Tomorrow, I will be 41 years old. My daughter asked me last year when I’m planning to have my mid-life crisis, and I told her that I hope to avoid one entirely.

Here’s my list of 41 reasons that I’m grateful today. (I'll go back to writing about Question of the Day on Sunday. Also, don't get used to Friday posts. I can't imagine they'll be a regular occurrence.)


  1. I married my husband. Have you ever read the story of how we met? It’s pretty good. He’s awesome. Maybe for his birthday I’ll write a list of all the reasons he’s awesome. Here’s something I wrote about him a long time ago.
  2. Lior. Man, did I luck out with this kid. First of all, she is ridiculously responsible. Seriously. I could basically move out, and it might take people a while to realize it if Lior were running things. She’s amazing. Plus, she’s incredibly kind and caring, amazingly socially responsible, and totally a bleeding-heart liberal-in-training. (Not by me.) She cares so much about people. And Harry Potter. And Hamilton. Also, she’s beautiful.
  3. Shir. Holy crap, this kid can find the bright side in ANY situation. We have a flat tire and we’re hours from civilization and about to be eaten by vultures? Hey, but look, that tree is perfect for climbing! You’ve never met anyone as happy as she is.
  4. Adi. I can’t remember, have I ever mentioned Adi on this blog? I am grateful for the many things this child has taught me. And for every moment I get to be his mom.
  5. Yoni. Wow. This boy has always just figured out how to make things work. He rolls with the punches and really never asks for more than we can give, which sometimes translates to not asking for what he actually needs. He just.. makes it work. We are very lucky to have him.
  6. Amit. Man, oh man, I am grateful that we had Amit. Because otherwise all my kids would already be in double digits, and that would just be too hard. So we have Amit, and we will do our best to enjoy the few years we have left before he, too, becomes a tween and a teen.
  7. My parents. And not only because they often pay for my Chinese food. For all the things they taught me and are still teaching me. For not dying of cancer. For being my on-call medical advisors. For being awesome.
  8. My siblings. Because they knew me then and they know me now and they have a lot of shared history with me and they make me laugh.
  9. Good friends. Like, the kind of friends who let you cry on their front lawn and still call you the next day. Or who bake you a cake and put a “20” candle in it when you turn 40. And the kind who sit with you in the waiting room when your kid has emergency surgery. And the kind who come take over for you at the hospital when you can’t spend one more second on the oncology ward and never mention that they left a wedding to be there. Yeah. Those friends.
  10. Health. Yeah, this is on most gratitude lists, but that’s for good reason. And believe me, we don’t take health for granted.
  11. Time. There is finally time. Or, there has always been time, but I have finally learned how to control it. I credit Laura Vanderkam. In fact, I would like to BE Laura Vanderkam when I grow up. Oh, really, Laura? You’re younger than I am? SHUT UP.
  12. Amazing books. I read a LOT. Like, everything that’s published. Except anything by Jodi Picoult, because I hate her stuff. But, like, everything else. And a lot of it is CRAP. But some of it is really, really good, and I am so grateful for good books.
  13. People like Gretchen Rubin and Laura Vanderkam (again) who write great books that help me make my life better all the time.
  14. Apple notes. I live in Apple notes. That they sync between my phone and my laptop is just icing on the cake. I seriously don’t know why Word even exists anymore.
  15. My house. I’m grateful that I have a house and that it is where it is and that it doesn’t leak (too much) and that it has heat in the winter and AC in the summer. In my ideal world, I would basically never leave my house.
  16. My Kindle. I might not feel such passionate love for my Kindle if I still lived in America, home of awesome public libraries, but since I don’t, I rely on my Kindle. A subset of this one is that I am grateful for Overdrive books being available via the US public library system, and all the people who let me use their library cards to check out books on my Kindle.
  17. Peanut butter. Really, I don’t think I need to explain this one. We’re all grateful for peanut butter.
  18. Shabbat. I mean, yes, it would be amazing if, like, once a year we could just get a pass and have a week withOUT shabbat, but on the whole, it is awesome to have this time each week where no one in my house is on screens. Although I am still waiting for the heter (rabbinic permission) for my Kindle.
  19. Science, and people who write about science-based nutrition and health. People like Maria Brilaki and Yoni Freedhoff and James Fell. You guys are awesome.
  20. Wifi. We don’t even think about wifi anymore, except when it isn’t working, and then we’re like, “OH MY GOD THE WIFI ISN’T WORKING.” Let’s take a moment and appreciate the wifi. I still remember the olden days when I had to go to where the computer was located, plugged into the router, and use it while sitting at a desk like an animal, instead of on the couch, where God intended us to use our computers.
  21. My Fitbit. It’s like someone looked right into my ridiculously competitive brain and said, HERE YOU GO!!!
  22. My car. It is a grown-up car, NOT A MINIVAN, and it has lovely leather seats, and I rarely take the kids in it, so it’s pretty clean. I love it. The bluetooth works the way it’s supposed to and it plays my music when I turn the car on. This was one of my three criteria.
  23. Not having pain in my hip. I had pain in my hip a couple of years ago, and it was terrible. I can’t even explain to you how much it hurt all the time. I got a cortisone shot and it was like magic for a couple of weeks, and then when the pain came back I got a course of high-dose NSAIDs, and now it’s three years later and I don’t have pain, and I think about that A LOT, because pain HURTS.
  24. Hershey’s chocolate. I grew up in Pennsylvania, and Hershey’s will always be my favorite chocolate. Give me a bag of dark chocolate Hershey Kisses, and I will pretty much be your friend forever.
  25. Coffee. Coffee is life. That is all.
  26. Rainy days. Rain is great, especially because I work from home and don’t have to go out in it. I love to be inside my house and see the rain through the windows and hear it falling on the roof and hopefully not leaking into my house.
  27. Sunny days when I can go for a walk around the neighborhood first thing in the morning, and then maybe again later on. Getting outside and breathing fresh air is amazing. Really.
  28. The sound of leaves crunching under my feet. Because apparently I am still six years old.
  29. Tweezers. So none of you ever see the little chin hairs…
  30. Birth control. Yes, I would still like to build my family, because we believe we have more love to give, but there are many ways to add children to a family, and I would like to explore the ones that do not involve children shooting out of my hoo-ha.
  31. The Walking Dead. Because everyone needs an escape, and that show is mine.
  32. The background noise of my family. The news that Guy always has turned up too loud; the sound of Lior pacing back and forth and back and forth and back and forth downstairs all night long; the way Shir bursts out laughing at something on her phone; Adi talking to himself in his room as he plays; Yoni, narrating his video game play; Amit singing songs he makes up as he goes about his day.
  33. My phone. No, really! I love that I have nine million pictures of my kids that I can look at whenever I want, and that I can always play my turn in Words With Friends and write something in Apple Notes, and access the Perets Family Calendar and send WhatsApps to my friends and family. And talk to people. Duh.
  34. Friday mornings. Sometimes I go to the shuk, sometimes I just cook. But Friday mornings are always great.
  35. The pictures of my grandparents in my office. Because they remind me where I came from. Every day.
  36. Facetime. Because my kids and my parents can speak daily.
  37. Eyeliner and mascara. I’ve recently discovered the existence of these magical tools. Yes, I am kind of an idiot about these things.
  38. Restaurants. It’s awesome to go out and let all the people order exactly what they want.
  39. Dessert. Always be grateful for dessert.
  40. Birthdays, because they often involve presents, and I really like presents.
  41. Comments. They make me feel loved.

7 comments:

Yoni Freedhoff said...

Thanks Abbi! Nice list! Hope that secular New Year 2017 only brings goodness.

isf said...

Beautifully composed, as always. I agree with much of what you have written but I've never seen The Walking Dead, do not want music in my car, like reading Jodi Picoult, love my Kindle even though I live in the USA, and recommend grandchildren. If you hadn't had Lior when you did I might have taken a position at a nursery school or day care. Children for whom you aren't responsible 24/7/365 and whose homework you don't have to check are easier as you age.

eff said...

Broken record [do you even know what a "broken record" is?]: I love your writing! I'm so glad you didn't write about whether you're grateful for vegetables and fruits, but found 41 really good things for which you're grateful :-)

Mara said...

Happy birthday, dear Abbi! xxoo

Eileen Vandenberg said...

Love it! Happy birthday lady!! :)

Eileen Vandenberg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marnie said...

I'm grateful that you're grateful :) I am all about the gratitude, as you know. Happy birthday, sis.