The 50-Year-Old Gratitude List

5 years ago

November appears to have become “Gratitude Month” and that’s a nice thing. I’ll gladly jump on this bandwagon though I try to be grateful all year round. This year gave me a lot of opportunities to think about all that I am thankful for. I turned 50 this year and was rather shocked by all of the people who asked me if I was upset about getting older. Really? I’m thrilled that I’m getting older in that it means that I’m still here annoying the people I love and anyone who disagrees with me. Special shout out to those who “unfriended” me on Facebook during the election! 

50 has been rather fabulous, partly because I insisted on celebrating it for months on end, but also because it is somewhat miraculous that I made it this far. I can’t explain that in any detail because my kids read my blog but I think you get it. Fifty years is a long time to ponder life, to observe, to make lots of mistakes time and again, but also to get a handle on your priorities and how limited our living time truly is. Fifty years went really, really fast. I’m hoping the next fifty go a little slower but I’m not going to count on it.  

My gratitude list is long but there are a few things that especially caught my attention this year: 

1) Living in a non-swing state. Need I say more? 

2) Blankets that aren’t afghan blankets. I grew up with crocheted blankets that were itchy and uncomfortable with all of those little holes in them, blah. My girlfriend gave me a beyond heavenly white, furry-like, soft blanket that makes me happier than coffee. If you know me, that’s saying a great deal. 

3) Friends who really shouldn’t like me but still do (or at least pretend they do). I’m horribly opinionated, a political Gestapo, a not at all humble humble bragger, and quite sure I know what you should do and happy to tell you type of friend. My Rabbi says that anyone can be a good friend when you are down on your luck but a real friend is there when things go your way. I’m sure I taxed them to their very limits with my incessant celebrating this year but I’m forever humbled by the quality of people who let me call them friend.  

4) My baby brother (who is a buffed up former Army dude who would kick your butt if you called him baby). He is the only other person in the world who I can make eye contact with while one of our parents is talking and know EXACTLY what I am thinking. He is my polar opposite politically and yet ends every contentious political discussion with “I love you sis”. Meeting the love of his life and seeing him happier than he has ever been has made this protective older sister very happy and grateful. 

5) My clients. Courageous, kind, brilliant women who walk through my door or call me on the phone, trust me with their biggest fears and wildest dreams, and show me every single day how much goodness there is in the world. Allowing me to be a part of their journey is truly the most precious of gifts. 

6) My three teen-aged children. I’m just incredibly pleased and shocked that I like them this much. My mom must be so annoyed that they aren’t torturing me as much as my brother and I tortured her. I hope I haven’t spoken too soon. 

Let me wish all of you a very wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you to all of you who read this blog and allow me a place to share my thoughts and opinions. I’ve really worked on behaving better this year. I’ll try harder next year. 


Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist and life coach at

You can contact her at

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