This is what you get at the end of a long week and a vodka beverage.

We keep forgetting to stop for a second and take a breath and lean in real close and think, HOLY SHIT I’M EXACTLY WHERE I WANT TO BE.

Seriously, how often do I take for granted where I am, what I’m doing, what’s possible for me? Continuously.

Like a thought that struck me this week: I was standing at the sink, washing dishes, when all of a sudden, it hit me: I have so much water. shit. this is SUCH A BIG DEAL. I HAVE SO MUCH WATER. I TAKE A SHOWER EVERY DAY.

Or like another thought that struck me yesterday, driving my two kids home at the end of the day, when I saw myself from above and how absolutely terrifyingly amazing it is that I was driving my kids home at the end of the day.

Or that I made some choices almost a decade ago and they turned out to be amazing choices.

And every day we take things like this for granted. Every single day.

And sometimes we manage to stop

and breathe

and lean in real close

and realize how freakin amazing it all is.

Why we stay in Israel: a hint.

For those wondering why I stay here… including myself… maybe this offers a hint. Because it ain’t the politics. Or the prices.

The 10 Happiest Countries in the World

For the second year in a row, 24/7 Wall St. examined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s report on life satisfaction in the developed world. Economic prosperity, health and a strong social support network continue to correspond highly with happiness.

And once again, the United States fails to make the top 10 happiest nations in the world, while countries like Australia, Israel and all of the Scandinavian nations do.

Israel is #6, tied with Finland. Not bad for a country under constant threat, eh?

Some of the stats include:

  • Life satisfaction score: 7.4
  • Self-reported good health: 81% (7th highest)
  • Employees working long hours: 18.92% (3rd highest)
  • Educational attainment: 82% (12th highest)
  • Life expectancy: 81.7 years (6th highest)

Check out the other stats and countries at DailyFinance.

The Tzur Hadassah contrast.

I live in a beautiful nature park-slash-construction zone.

Pretty sure that at any given time in the last year there are around a dozen construction sites within our town. The flagship of Tzur Hadassah construction would be the megatron community center/school district being built in the center, towards the valley. Har Kitron is good for a housing project or six. Shchunat HaMe’ah just finished a big sidewalk fix and has a couple other things that have been going on. The new park on the main road. The area just before the west gate. Behind the supermarket. And so on…

My only hope is that the areas meant to be preserved as nature zones truly remain that way.

Tzur Hadassah: under construction, naturally.

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated with Jerusalem.

Today’s Writing Gym was Jerusalem-themed for Yom Yerushalyim… Here’s my take on meeting up with an Old Flame…

Oh, hi… long time no see!

Yeah, I’m, uh, I’m doing ok. Actually, not living too far from here, just over the hills, 15 kilometers out… Oh, it’s lovely, yes. The weather is comparable, totally. I couldn’t live on the coast, you know that.

How have you been? Oh, sure, I’ve heard about the demographics, riding a tidal wave towards seas of black. I take it you’re still being undermined by the rest of the country? Uh huh. Right. Well, hey, you never know, the mayor may actually accomplish some kind of renaissance in the time he has left.

You look great, though. Oh? A lot of surgery, I see… Yes, I was kind of wondering what all the bandages were about.

Oh, no, I’m not judging. You do what you gotta do to look young. Sure. As long as it’s not affecting you internally, spiritually… Oh, I’m sure it’s complicated… Well… maybe there’s someone to see about that.

Am I happy? Yeah, I really am.

Look… I’m sorry I never call. I know I said I’d keep in touch but you know how it is… Marriage, work, kids… Lots going on.

I… I think about you sometimes though. I… I miss you at times. Your cool touch, your inner beauty, even the hardness of the walls you put up. I always saw through you. And I bet others do, too. You must have had so many lovers over the years. And we all know the truth about you… You’re never what you seem…

Well, it was good to catch up. Don’t let them do too much to your face, ya hear? Or I won’t recognize you next time I’m in town…

New game: Are You Mom Enough?

At least we can gain something from the silly attempt at provocation (I guess it worked actually) that TIME magazine gave us this week with its Are You Mom Enough? cover.

Am I mom enough to breastfeed a grown boy on the cover of a national magazine? No. I am mom enough to give him cause for therapy, but not THAT mom enough.

Anyway, welcome to the Are You Mom Enough game! Please add your own AYME challenges in the comments.

  • AYME to be literally shat on this morning, clean up baby, her clothes, the floor, and forget about yourself until later?
  • AYME to pee standing up to avoid the pee on the toilet seat while your son stands in front of you with his pants down because he doesn’t want to pick them up until you do?
  • AYME to use one hand to block your daughter from crawling between her brother’s legs while he’s bent, ass up, and you’re hunched over wiping his bum?
  • AYME to understand why all my examples have to do with potty???

Go…