Today is my 44th birthday.  (Thank you in advance for all your heartfelt birthday wishes.)  I lay in bed last night thinking about my birthday and the unique things I have learned in my 44th year due to the unprecedented circumstances of our world.  Many of us have or will celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, bat mitzvahs and weddings over Zoom or just with family or on our own during this time.  Some of us feel let down by that change and some of us feel relieved by it.  Some of us will feel more celebrated right now and some will feel lonely at this time.  As the minutes ticked by last night, I came up with a list of seven things I’ve learned in my 44th year that are giving me hope for the future and giving me new meaning.

  1. I can live with uncertainty far longer and with more capability than I ever thought possible. The gray area has become a more comfortable place to sit.
  2. It is not enough to be “not racist” — I must learn to be antiracist and teach my children to be antiracist.  
  3. Children are more resilient than I ever knew, but even though they’re happy and upbeat today, I can’t be surprised when they need lots of love and support tomorrow. 
  4. Living with my parents, my husband and my four children in quarantine offered so many more moments of joy and meaning than I expected.  Bringing a generosity of spirit to tough circumstances can make all the difference.
  5. My kids are really good at washing pots.  My kids can fold their own laundry.  My kids can make their own lunches.  My kids set a beautiful table.
  6. I have always paid lip service to having gratitude for the small things, but this quarantine has taught me to be TRULY grateful for the small things.  I don’t need dinner at a fancy restaurant I just need the love of people near and far.  And coffee in bed.  That really helps.
  7. If we are open to it, life can be filled with second and third and fourth acts.  Our stories are never done being written and we can be strong enough to reinvent ourselves. (Thank you for that one Nana.)


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