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It's the Small Gratefuls that Add Up to a Rich Life

Despite the magnitude, each adds a quality to my days.

Every day I email my Grateful List to my niece Jill and she, in turn, sends hers to me. We rarely comment on each other’s lists, but we store them in our heartstrings, acknowledging the gift of appreciation for all things big and small. With each entry, we hold ourselves accountable to announce, that despite any hardships we experience, we are also filled with gratitude for what we do have.

This year, I assume like most of us, I am grateful for my health, my family (my three grandchildren!), my dear friends. However, unlike previous years, my list of Gratefuls are somewhat different. Assuming that we are all aware of the essentials, which we hold so dear, I am listing other areas of my life for which I greatly appreciate. Some seem small and unimportant, but each adds a quality and depth to my days.

1) Medical research that has been helping my best friend and sister-in-law in her fight with lung cancer

2) FaceTime so I can see my grandkids when I can’t see my grandkids

3) My daughter-in-law inviting me to her OB appointments

4) My daughter-in-law who says, “What happens in Nana’s house, stays in Nana’s house.”

5) My daughter-in-law agreeing 100% of the time that I can see the kids whenever I want

6) Slippers, which I was required to wear when I was a little girl, and very much need now as an older woman. They provide both emotional and physical comfort and so many memories.

7) An amazing book, which is on my shelf now, waiting to be read

A small portion of the author's delicious books
Source: bjaffe/blogger

8) My Kindle, so I can read at night in bed, in the dark, without disturbing my husband

9) My legs that still work so I can take walks and be outside with nature, and most important, so I can run with my grandchildren

10) Trees that ask so little of me and give me so much just by standing tall and strong and thick

Some of the author's favorite trees
Source: bjaffe/blogger

11) So many places to get coffee when I am out and about and need my caffeine

12) Navigation—whether on my phone or in my car, which has saved me countless times from becoming lost and nervous

13) Lipstick that stays on all day long

14) Being able to wash my clothes in a machine and dry them in the same way

15) Email, which allows me to stay in touch with family and friends when I can’t get on the phone

16) Comedians and pundits who help me get through the dark times of our country

17) The committed people I work with at the Museum of Tolerance

18) UCLA, a part of my life since 1972

19) The caregivers who take such loving care of my mother-in-law

20) Electronic bank deposits

21) Albanese triple-dipped milk chocolate malt balls—having at least two every day. I know they are extending my life.

22) Seeing my sons as fathers

The author's oldest son Michael with his two precious children Rose and Ezzie
Source: bjaffe/blogger
The author's youngest son Brian with his adorable new son Cole
Source: bjaffe/blogger

23) Animal LIFE Rescue for bringing us Molly (our Tibetan Terrier mix) from South Korea

Molly, the author's new puppy
Source: bjaffe/blogger

24) My son Adam's creative brilliance

25) The helpfulness of my husband when he asks (among many other questions), “Are there any errands you want me to do today?”

26) My husband sets a great party table…much better than I can.

27) Walking in the morning with my friends Mary, Robin and Amy; yes it's exercise, but mainly it's catching up with our friendship.

28) My writing, which grounds me, nurtures my soul, and has provided solace along my journey