A Few of My Favorite Things

25618679925_818626d5aeAs you may or, more likely, may not have noticed, I’ve stepped away from my blog for the last few weeks. Life can just be so damn time-consuming sometimes. And the more wrapped up in my life I get, the less I seem to be able to appreciate what’s good about it–even if I’m busy with great big wonderful things (which is not always the case), I don’t leave myself time to enjoy it.

Generally speaking I’m not one for gratitude lists. I find them hokey and a little self-deceptive–in my mind, gratitude is like modesty or being cool: once you’re talking about it, you probably ain’t got it. Having said that, for someone like me who tends to fall on the darker side of things, a gratitude list every now and then is not a bad thing. As writer I needed a blog post and as a human I needed to shift my focus. Two birds and all that. I’ve tried to keep the hokeyness to a minimum. Please to enjoy my gratitude list:

  • Grandma pizza from Coppola’s in New Providence, N.J. (Truly one of the joys in my life.)
  • The Mr. Miyagi-like calm that I feel while painting the walls in my apartment.
  • My little watercolor painting that I bought for $5 in Vietnam, for which I chose the perfect frame.
  • My 2 nieces and nephew who took me to school for “Special Person’s Day.”
  • The timing of that day: when I was beside myself with fear and sadness, and absolutely needed an auditorium full of grade-schoolers who were given access to microphones and instruments, to drown out the noise in my head.
  • A meeting with a journalist last week that gave new direction to my writing.
  • Soft serve vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. (Some say boring, I say classic.)
  • The knowledge that there’s a difference between being needy and letting yourself need someone.
  • That I don’t try to write poetry anymore.
  • A best friend who makes me laugh until I literally can’t breathe, while creating the perfect collage of all my artwork over the couch in my living room.
  • My new perfect pixie cut.
  • Walking into my quiet apartment after a long, loud day of life, knowing that everything is just as I left it.
  • That Jon Snow rises from the dead naked.
  • The fact that as of right now, I am not permanently responsible for any children.
  • My Sally.
  • That sometimes I do know when to walk away.
  • The faith that surrendering to that which is stronger than me is not the same thing as being defeated.
  • That I got to swim in the Gulf of Thailand and see this:

    phu quoc sunset
    Sunset as seen from Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam.
  • The editor at The Classical who helped shape the essay about my father and the Knicks that I had wanted to write for 20 years.
  • That there was no social media when I was in high school.
  • 2nd chances.
  • 3rd chances.
  • Bob Odenkirk

  • The pain it takes to grow.
  • Don’t be ridiculous–that last one was just to see if you were paying attention.
  • White lilies.
  • That in between all the regret and grief, I can come back to the truth: that I’m better and more and further because of all the things that have broken me.
  • That moment just before you drift off into a late afternoon nap after a draining holiday dinner, and you see the cold fall sun through sheer white drapes, and everything is dim and blurry and quiet, and you catch yourself thinking, “maybe everything’s gonna be ok.”
  • Changes that I never could have seen coming.
  • Sarcasm.
  • Eye rolling.
  • Pop Tarts.
  • My great thaw: the process by which I am becoming willing to be vulnerable and bear discomfort and accept my own humanity.
  • My freckles.
  • Costco frozen yogurt.
  • A day a few years ago: walking to my sister’s house from the train station just after it had rained, and noticing how beautiful it was–the metallic trees, the smell of fresh earth and mint and change. It was a time when I was desperately trying to change, but it was hard and grueling and I wasn’t sure if I could, and I certainly wasn’t in the habit of noticing beauty around me. But that day I did. I noticed it and then it occurred to me later that night that the noticing meant that I was, in fact, changing.


photo credit: Claudia via photopin (license)

photo credit: Bob Odenkirk via photopin (license)




make me good god, but not yet. -st. augustine

i’ll be honest–my creative juices weren’t really flowing this week. i started and abandoned several pieces that i thought might make good blog posts.  as the week wore on and i was becoming more and more frustrated, i was also being inundated with more and more displays of gratitude on social media.  it’s that time of year.

gratitude. ugh.

it’s not that i don’t think gratitude is important or that i’m not grateful for a lot of things.  i do and i am.  i suppose ultimately i think of gratitude the same way i think of humility and coolness—if you’re talking about it, you ain’t got it. look’it me, look’it me! look at how grateful i am? aren’t you grateful you know such a grateful person?? Continue reading