birthdays, family, grandparents, gratitude, travel

47 Expressions of Gratitude

So now you all know how old I am. Wow. I have no idea where the years have gone, but when I start to worry about that, or about my wrinkles, the time that is vanishing, etc., I remember that I need gratitude. There are so many things for which I can be grateful and I’m going to try an exercise of expressing them now. Here we go…

  1. I’m not dizzy today. And my body works in all of the ways that it should. What a blessing.
  2. I have a loving, healthy husband with whom I’ve built a beautiful life.
  3. I’ve got these guys. Wow.
  4. I have healthy parents who love me and have been given the honor of watching their daughter turn this many years.
  5. I have a loving brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and adorable nieces and nephews.
  6. My grandparents lived long enough that I developed lasting relationships with all of them, and three of them developed lasting relationships with my children as well.
  7. I have aunts and uncles, cousins and all sorts of fantastic family that I love seeing when I can, and hearing from on Facebook when I can’t.
  8. I have friends, near and far, who I love and who love me and support me back.
  9. I live in a thriving, beautiful community that feels like a giant hug.
  10. I have a job that I enjoy and that is filled with funny, intelligent and helpful people.
  11. I found a way to reinvent myself professionally in Israel and I continue to be employed.
  12. I own a beautiful home on land that dates back thousands of years.
  13. My home is filled (most of the time) with the laughter of children.
  14. Matan is about to graduate from a high school experience that has been rich beyond any of our wildest dreams.
  15. Matan has decided on his plans for next year (Yeshiva in Eilat, here he comes!)
  16. Yehuda loves school, loves learning and loves playing basketball.
  17. Yehuda is heading out to the States this summer as part of the national religious basketball league to play at Jewish summer camps. Awesome.
  18. Amichai is turning into an incredible artist.
  19. Amichai loves the work that he does at Chavayot, loves basketball and is surrounded by great friends.
  20. Eliav is a joy to watch play basketball, as he dominates the court and has a grace about him.
  21. Eliav is thoughtful and fun to be around.
  22. Zeli offers me the answers to quiz questions that I review with him before I’ve even finished the review questions. All. The. Time.
  23. Zeli is a joy to have in class and all of the teachers tell me so.
  24. Yakir is a constant surprise of energy, enthusiasm and love for life.
  25. Yakir is a lefty, which gives me great joy for some reason. (It’s so appropriate that he’s the only one.)
  26. My sons love each other and genuinely seem to enjoy being together (most of the time).
  27. I actually enjoy exercising and can get myself to do it most days.
  28. I’m well enough to exercise most days.
  29. I live near Derech Avot, where Avraham Avenu walked from Beer Sheva to get to Jerusalem and where so many of our other ancestors walked as well.
  30. On a Sunday morning, I can watch young soldiers pouring from their homes and heading back to their bases after a Shabbat with their families. I am so grateful for their service.
  31. I love the Pinat Chama and the chance that I have each week to do a mitzvah by bringing food to the soldiers who serve us.
  32. The view from my dining room, family room and even laundry room is of beautiful rolling hills and greenery.
  33. I’ve watched three of my boys achieve the age of becoming a bar mitzvah and reading from the Torah.
  34. We have cars that work and that get us where we need to go. (This is an incredible blessing.)
  35. I’ve been able to travel to some amazing places around the world and to experience and enjoy some of life’s mysteries and different cultural perspectives.
  36. I still get a smile out of the kids when I bring Ben & Jerry’s home. And I love sharing the pints with them.
  37. I love singing at the top of my lungs with the kids and dancing around the house.
  38. I love waking up and wondering which friends Matan or Yehuda has brought home, and checking to see just how many boys are sleeping in our guest room.
  39. I love that we are able to have a guest room to accommodate all of these dynamic boys.
  40. I love that most of my evenings are spent watching the boys play in their basketball leagues, or watching Hapoel. How many basketball games can one mom watch a week?
  41. I love the rhythm of the week, anticipating and cooking for Shabbat, enjoying the break that Shabbat offers, and then picking up for another week ahead before doing it again.
  42. I appreciate (or at least I try to) my wrinkles and the map of a life well lived that they indicate.
  43. I’m grateful to have enough spending money to enjoy browsing at Zulily and other clothing sites, and to buy things that strike my fancy.
  44. I’m grateful that I love to write and that I can use my writing to express myself, share my journey and connect with others.
  45. I’m grateful for my love of reading and for the places books allow me to explore.
  46. I love my book group with my dad and am so grateful that I have the ability to connect with him in this way.
  47. I appreciate my involvement in various organizations within Neve Daniel & Orot Etzion where I can give back to those that give to me. I appreciate, as well, the ability to give tzedakah to organizations that touch me and that do great work.

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