Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful


I sit here at my desk on this regular Tuesday morning. It's a pretty unremarkable day outside. A little too warm for November, a little overcast. The streets of midtown are overflowing with the performers who will do their thing during Thursday's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the tourists who have come to watch. The tree at Rockefeller Center stands, unlit, surrounded by scaffolding and the workers who are preparing it for its big moment in just over a week. The leaves are falling off of the trees on my street and the orange and yellow lights that decorated the houses in my neighborhood are being replaced by the white lights that hail December's impending arrival. We are working on some home improvement projects and we ordered a snowblower. Tonight when I get home we will pack up for tomorrow's road trip to Pittsburgh to be with my family for Thanksgiving, and maybe we'll build a fire and celebrate tomorrow's first snowfall of the year, all the while hoping it doesn't get in the way of our travels. I have lists upon lists in my head of things to pack, things to bring, things I need to remember. I'm considering having a Chanukah party.

Everything is normal. Everything is exactly as it should be.

And yet.

And yet, I find myself feeling glued to this ordinary moment on this ordinary day two days before Thanksgiving. I find myself filled to the brim with a heaping dose of happiness and gratitude for these moments and these days. For whatever twist of fate led me to this place, and for the divine hands that guide me through. And coming off of a rough and tumble year, this is nothing except miraculous.

November has flown by and December is just around the corner. And these days, these middle days, where fall is almost over and winter is just over the horizon, have always been my favorite. These days of cold air, red noses and holiday Starbucks cups. Of snows big enough to be pretty but not so big that they ruin plans and require shovels. Of happiness and of gratitude. These days of giving thanks. Because I have so damn much to be thankful for.

For family.




For parents.


For sisters.


For brothers where there were once only sisters.


For the kiddos my sisters keep giving me to love.




For this guy.


For friends. The ones I have known all my life and the ones who are new and the ones I met here in this strange and wonderful world of blogging.

For strength and resilience, because it turns out that I possess these qualities in abundance and they found me exactly when I needed them most.

For the place I call home and the place I used to call home. For the fact that I can have both of them - the quiet and the noise.

For the gift of writing. Of being able to put my thoughts into words on a page and to publish them to be read. It's not always easy and it's not always pretty, but for better or worse, it's my way.

For the incredible ways that life can still surprise.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 14, 2014

".....think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive"


"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege
it is to be alive - to breathe, to enjoy, to think, to love."

-Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Blind Date

Ever wonder how David and I met?

Yes? Well, let me tell you. It was the end of my second year of law school and I was deep into studying for finals, sure that if I did well it would push my ranking straight to the top of the class. The only thing standing between me and greatness, I was also sure, was a pesky blind date that I couldn't say no to since my sister was the one who set it up.

So I put down my books, got dressed, and went out, against my better judgment.

It was the last first date I ever went on and I wrote about it a couple of years ago.

For today's throwback Thursday post, here is that story.

**************************************************

Blind Date

Rascal Flatts was rocking in the background as I stared at my reflection in the mirror and wondered what, exactly, I was thinking when I agreed to go on this blind date.

I hated blind dates. My middle sister had gotten married almost a year before, and ever since then, countless friends of my mom had tried to set me up with a revolving door of single Jewish boys. They felt sorry for me because my younger sister was married, and I was still single. The horror.

Forget about the fact that I was a 24 year old, second year law student living in Manhattan with my best friends. And that I had positively zero interest in getting married just then. I was a single Jewish girl living in New York City, and my younger sister was already married. It just disturbed the natural order.

I generally tried to avoid these painful outings, if at all possible. I had any number of excuses. I was overwhelmed with school work - I was a second year law student after all. I was tired. I already had plans. Maybe some other time (maybe never). And when none of these excuses worked, I lied, often and without a qualm. I was already dating someone. I just got out of a complicated relationship. And once, memorably, I don't want to get married. Ever.

But this was a blind date I couldn't avoid.

I had been hearing about this boy for the better part of a year. He was the older brother of my youngest sister's best friend. The girls were seventeen, and they and their friends decided it would be just so awesome if L's sister married A's brother. It was my sister, and I couldn't really say no.

Which was why, on a late April night, with my federal income tax final exam a mere week away, I was putting on makeup, when I really wanted to be in sweatpants memorizing facts about cost basis and depreciation. I had a real shot at Dean's List: High Honors that semester, and I wanted it more than anything.

I wanted it more than I wanted to be choosing between brown and light purple eye shadow. I wanted it more than I wanted to be deciding whether to wear light or dark jeans, and whether I needed a coat for the unpredictable April weather.

We were meeting for dessert, but were we sitting outside or inside? Would there be a walk afterwards? Should I wear comfortable shoes, or the far cuter heels I could barely walk ten feet in?

These were not the kinds of questions I wanted to be dealing with in late April.

For three years of my life late April was for dirty clothes, unwashed hair, and dark-circled eyes. For pens, highlighters and textbooks. For ungodly amounts of caffeine, and junk food when I remembered to eat at all. For cramming thousands of arcane facts and figures into my head and regurgitating the information on command in service of the law school gods.

No, late April was not for blind dates.

Yet here I was, dressed for the first time in a week, and fighting a losing battle with concealer on the aforementioned dark circles.

Screw it, I thought. I'm tired. He'll just have to deal with the circles.

Grabbing my coat and a bag I hoped contained all the necessities, I rushed downstairs to catch the bus that should have been pulling up to the curb outside my building in exactly a minute.

The bus was late. As I stood under a darkening sky, two minutes from being late myself, I mentally cursed my sister, and swore that this would be the last blind date I ever went on for the rest of my life.

It was.

That blind date?

Is now my husband.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Fall Color


Finally, some color on a street that has been far too 
green so far this seasons for my fall-loving tastes