This year, Hashem is teaching me to appreciate things I usually take for granted.
At the beginning of the year I got sick and lost my voice entirely, for nearly a week. That week was incredibly agonizing—I had never thought about how important it is to have a voice. Not only was I practically isolated because I couldn’t carry on a normal conversation with anyone, but I couldn’t sing—which may not sound like such a big deal to you, but to me, it made all the difference. I sing all the time (when there are no men around, of course), and when I sing, I am happy. Sitting in kabbalat Shabbat that Friday night, unable to elicit even a squeak to contribute to lecha dodi, I panicked. What would I do if my voice didn’t come back? How could I ever survive? Thank God, I was well again a few days later, with a renewed appreciation for the ability to speak and sing.
On Rosh Hashanah I stubbed my toe really hard on the way back from tashlich (don’t know what that says about whether I was successful in throwing away my sins, but that’s another story). I was in pain for the rest of the day, and during the next couple days I couldn’t walk without a limp. I realized then what a bracha it is just to be able to walk, run, and skip.
Yesterday morning I went to my laptop to check my email, as I do first thing every morning (being the internet addict that I am), and found that my internet wasn’t working. That afternoon when I came back from class it still wasn’t working. I called Verizon, and after trying things for about 20 minutes, the customer service representative told me that he couldn’t help me but that they’d work on fixing the problem as soon as possible. Only this afternoon was I finally re-connected. Having no internet connection yesterday made me extremely nervous and frustrated. Every time that I clicked on the Internet Explorer icon and my Yahoo homepage failed to appear I wondered why I didn’t appreciate my internet connection when I had it. Not having the ability to check my email every 5 minutes, to read the blogs I read, to check onlysimchas, etc. really threw me off. Not to mention that in this age of technology the majority of my homework requires the internet in one form or another to complete. It may sound a little silly, but when my internet was finally restored I thanked Hashem from the bottom of my heart.
This year, I hope to be a more thankful person in general. Hashem gives me so many gifts every day, and the very least I can do is appreciate them. I really do believe that thanking Him every day for those things I take for granted will not only make me love Hashem more, but will make me a happier person as well.