Today I am grateful for warm blankets and hot tea. For plumbing that works (to take the ick away), 

And thankful most of all for a life that has been relatively violence free.

Although generally not celebrated in the US, the days between Nov 25th, the International Day Against Violence Against Women (VAW) and Dec 10, Human Rights Day, are known as known as the 16 Days of Activism, symbolically linking the two to show that VAW is a violation of Human Rights).

Let’s be aware of the multitudes of violence against women that permeate our lives and let’s do something, anything to stop it. This is something we ALL need to do, as a human family. Live, love, laugh. And end the violence.


I was browsing the interwebs and I came across HijabMan’s post, “Three Beautiful Things Thursday…” If you’ve never heard about him you should check out his website. He’s funny, charming and has an incredible love story, not to mention this epic journey through his faith. I really admire him, and more importantly his Facebook updates generally educate or entertain me.

Back to the point, he asked for readers to leave a comment about something beautiful, and I was just remembering the conversation I had with my mom earlier today. So I wrote a little brief thing, thinking nothing of it:

Today I was reminded just how lucky we are. I was talking to my mom who is in Kenya right now, and it just reminded me how far my family has come. In 2 generations, we have gone from being illiterate, to becoming a family of gainfully employed professionals. We have overcome poverty, we have traveled the world, we have experienced new and wonderful ways of living and most importantly we have been open to it. And that is beautiful.

But as I began typing the words, I realized this is a much much longer post. In fact it may be more than a post, a book, several volumes worth of history waiting to be written.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me start here: right now my husband and I are in a state of complete and utter flux. We are living in LA, I am unemployed and my husband just gave notice on his job, we have several months on our lease but don’t know whether we will be here to service it, we’re trying to conceive, and we have no idea what our next move is (we only know it’s eastward). Although I am not truly worried, I am anxious about finding a job, about not being able to conceive/having a hard time adopting, about finding a great job and then getting pregnant right after (remember that dastard Murphy), and about what kind of expectations await us when we move closer to our families.

And yet, I am not worried. Not really. Not like my mother was worried that even though both her and my dad were highly educated professionals, they would not be able to educate us (they did). Not like her mother who had to worry about being kicked out of a country she was born into. You see I have a comparatively easy life. Not easy by many standards, we all have our crosses to bear, but comparatively, my husband and I are so fine.

We will never be homeless, or have to worry about making the rent. We are highly educated and highly motivated to work. We love our chosen professions. My parents have continually, repeatedly taken me in  when I worked close enough to where they live, and over the years have actually learned to treat me like an adult (and not the 17 year old who lived with them full-time before college). We will never lack for food. We will always have good clothing, and nice shoes. We even own luxury items like computers and smartphones. We are lucky.

There’s been a lot of hype in the media about the Ocupy Wallstreet movement talking about the 99% of Americans not standing for the greed of the 1%. And for the most part I agree.

But the truth is, and here’s the shocker America, you also need to be grateful (not that things can’t be even better) because generally speaking, we’re doing alright.

At least my husband and I are. Because even though I worked only 6 months last year, our combined income puts us in the top 2% worldwide. And that’s not bad for the granddaughter and grandson of (some very smart) farmers, laborers, and illiterate housewives.