Around the High Holidays, I shared a reading called “I Am Thankful” that puts a thankful spin on the stuff we’re often not that thankful for. The reading resonated with many of you. I’ve played around with it over the past few weeks and wanted to share my adapted version as we get ready to sit down with family and friends on Thanksgiving.

I Am Thankful – or – The Glass Is Half Full

I am thankful…

For my spouse who comes home hungry and tired, because it means s/he is home with me, not busy with someone or something else.

For my teenager who is complaining about this or that, because it means s/he is at home with me, not out there getting into trouble.

For my baby whose crying keeps me awake, because it means I’m surrounded by new life.

For my grandparents who complain that I don’t call them enough, because it means I’m needed.

For my parents who drive me crazy, because it means I’m loved.

For my friend who requires a lot of attention, because it means I’m trusted.

I am thankful…

For the challenges that lie ahead, because they mean I have opportunities to succeed.

For mistakes I’ve made, because they mean I have opportunities to grow.

For things that I worry about, because they mean I have problems to solve.

For things that confuse me, because they mean I have things to think about.

I am thankful…

For the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and roof that needs fixing, because they mean I have a home.

For the mess in my home, because it means I’m lucky enough to have stuff that needs to be put away and a life that keeps me from having the time to put everything in its place.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because they mean I have enough to eat.

For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear.

For the taxes I pay, because they mean I have a job.

For my huge electricity bill, because it means I’ve been able to run the air-conditioning.

I am thankful…

For my shadow that watches me work, walk and exercise and the sweat that runs down my face, because it means I’m out in the sunshine.

For all the complaints about our government, because it means we have freedom of speech and plenty of us who are passionate about doing what is best for our country.

For the parking spot I found at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I’m capable of
walking and I’m lucky enough to have transportation.

For the lady behind me in synagogue who sings off key, because it means I can hear, I’m part of a community and I’m surrounded by people who, whether they can or not, sing!

I am thankful…

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning, because it means I’m alive and I get another chance.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I’ve been capable of working hard and using my body.

For too many e-mails, texts and voice messages, because it means I have people who are thinking about me and trying to make me smile even when we’re not with each other.

And for the traffic, long lines and crowds of people that have slowed me down over the past few days, because all of these things mean I’m not alone, but part of a larger community of people all rushing to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Cheryl, Abigail, Jonah and I are thankful for each of you and for the community we are building together.


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