THE SMALL THINGS

This Thursday, Americans will consume meals that leave us more stuffed than our turkeys. Hopefully, many will actually give thanks for the big things in their lives. Me? I’ve been lucky. But I’ll also give thanks for the little things.

Admittedly, I’m boring. (Read “The Least Interesting Man in the World.”) My day starts with a bowl of cereal topped with banana, blueberries and strawberries. Plus the sports section. I love it.

Then I take a walk of about a mile. I’m grateful I can still do that and pick up coffee, which I take home in a 49ers mug my son Seth bought me. I drink while I read part of the weekly Torah portion. I love that, too.

Then I write. It’s not about fame (yes, I fantasize) but passion. I had an earlier fiction-writing career decades ago, but in the face of constant rejection—even my agent couldn’t sell anything—I took a break to meet the demands of a growing family and the growing business supporting it. Years later, I wrote two non-fiction books. Solo Successwas published by Crown, New York. I independently published God’s Others—a fabulous learning experience. Then, moving towards retirement, I turned back to fiction and wrote Slick!

Another highlight of my exciting day. Carolyn and I eat dinner watching the news. (Are you nodding off yet?) Sometimes, we have leftovers. I’m thankful we can prepare enough food to have leftovers. Also to have meals delivered by Munchery for Friday night.

Shabbat delights me no end. I put the week, such as it is, to rest and seek new perspectives on life—the big picture if you will. At unfinished Friday business meetings, clients often said let’s continue tomorrow. I explained I didn’t work on Saturdays, but Sunday would be fine. We always continued on Monday.

I’m tickled about TV shows we enjoy. Cable unleashed myriad creative opportunities enabling many series to equal top independent films and novels. (Just finished Homecoming.) And reading. Especially in bed. I have a friend in Connecticut who was director of the Norwalk Public Library and sends or recommends outstanding works of fiction and non-fiction. Not everyone has their own literary curator.

I love having friends. As I’ve written before, I’m an introvert. But introverts can have very close friendships. My week’s highlight? Torah Study with my friends on Saturday morning followed by coffee and conversation ranging from deep (theirs) to inane (mine).

On Thursday, Carolyn and I will host family and friends for Thanksgiving. The sites I’ve seen include Stonehenge, the Colosseum, the Western Wall, Petra, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon and Yosemite. The most awesome? Family and friends around the table.

And I haven’t yet mentioned 30 years of The Simpsons, the view of Lobos Valley and the Pacific two blocks north of my house, praying in my synagogue Friday night followed by ice cream for dessert, doing research on the Internet (an author once told Terry Gross the Net is catnip for writers; true!), sunning (with a broad-brimmed hat) in my backyard and having ten people reading the second draft of my current novel.

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a day to give thanks for the small stuff. To me, that’s a pretty big deal.

I’ll be teaching Torah Study tomorrow morning at Congregation Sherith Israel, 9:15–10:15 am. Join me. (Bagels and lox include.) It’s going to be “magic.”

The post will take off next weekend. It will return November 30.

To respond, click on “comments” to the right just below the title of this post. Then go to the response space at the bottom of the post.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Comments


  1. Carolyn Perlstein
    Nov 16, 2018

    You might be boring, but you’re all mine! And it certainly works for me. I love you–always have and I always will.
    Yours Truly,
    Your Equally Boring Wife


    • David
      Nov 16, 2018

      A wonderful comment from the BIGGEST thing in my life. (And more exciting than me by far.)


      • Carolyn Persltein
        Nov 16, 2018

        Thank you! I concur!


  2. Tracy
    Nov 16, 2018

    You didn’t mention The Wire once!

    Oy, you’ve mislived your life.

    Gut Shabbos.


    • David
      Nov 16, 2018

      Ah, Tracy… The Wire. And The Sopranos. And Breaking Bad. And Deadwood. And… the list goes on and on. Big entertainment provoking big thoughts. No little thing. And Gut Shabbos—Shabbat Shalom to you.


  3. Marty Weiner
    Nov 17, 2018

    Hi David
    We resonate to so many things you mention. I love to walk to the coffee shop, read the Sporting Green
    with morning cereal,watch Rachel and Larry with Karen, enjoy Shabbat CSI, and
    enjoy Munchery for Friday dinner. We are going to Seattle for familyThanksgiving.
    We wish you, and Carolyn, and your family a Happy Turkey day.
    Best
    Marty Weiner


    • David
      Nov 17, 2018

      Thank you, Marty. And we do resonate. Love to all, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  4. Sandy Lipkowitz
    Nov 18, 2018

    A great list and a great life to be thankful for. Glad to be your friend. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Perlsteins and extended family. XXX&OOO


    • David
      Nov 18, 2018

      Thanks, Sandy. We really appreciate your friendship. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Leave a Reply