by Sarah Fader

When I was growing up, I would complain to my mother. Perhaps something unpleasant happened, maybe a boy didn’t like me back, or someone didn’t want to be my friend because I was weird. My mom’s reaction was to ask me to make a gratitude list. She would say: “List ten things you’re grateful for.”

This always got me thinking. I had to reach deep into the confines of my brain and pull out ten things that I was lucky to have.

There’s a hurricane going on in New York City right now. Hurricane Sandy has swept us up in a fury. All anyone can talk about is the hurricane and the affect it’s having on our community. While these concerns are valid, I think we need to look at the things that we do have as opposed to the things we don’t.

On that note, I’m going to kick it old school and list ten things that I am grateful to have during this hurricane.

1. I am grateful for my family.

I’m not alone during this scary time. We have each other to talk to, even if we are going stir crazy. I know that I can express my worries to them.

2. I am grateful for my children.

My kids are a ray of optimism amidst this sea of negative media coverage. Ari and Samara don’t know what a hurricane is or its implications. They continue to play oblivious to the chaos that’s going on around us, and that brightens my world.

3. I am grateful to have shelter.

There are many other people around me that had to evacuate their homes. I have a roof over my head. I am thankful for that roof and its ability to keep me safe. My love goes out to the people who had to abandon their roofs and I wish them safety and peace.

4. I am grateful to have food.

We still have working power, and have made due with the food that we have. When I am able, I intend on donating food to shelters that need it.

5. I am grateful for Facebook.

Laugh if you want, but looking at silly images and talking to friends in the virtual universe is helping me to maintain my sanity.

6. I am grateful for my cats.

They are also oblivious to what’s going on, but they are peaceful and snuggly, and a reminder to stay calm.

7. I am grateful for my supportive friends.

My friends and I send each other silly pictures of all the food we’ve stockpiled, especially candy. We laugh and joke about the rations.

8. I am grateful for where I live.

I’m grateful for the fact that we live in a brick building, and we have a basement that doesn’t have shaking windows. I’m reminded of the Three Little Pigs at this time. We’re in the safest option, which is a house made of bricks.

9. I am grateful for this down time.

The hurricane has been a time of reflection; a time to pause and ask myself, what am I doing with my life? What’s working? What can I change to better help myself be more productive and happy?

10. I am grateful for the chance to write this article.

Thank you Maria, for allowing me the opportunity to express my gratitude in words.

What are you grateful for?


Sarah Fader blogs about her life on Old School New School Mom. She also runs blog workshops for elementary school children in New York City and provides freelance transcription services for major television networks. She has two beautiful children, Ari and Samara.


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. I’m grateful for family, food, shelter, friends, electricity, health, social media and funny ecards ^.^

    Stay safe my friend!

  2. where to begin? First, I am so glad u r safe. Second and so on… My kid , my health, my incredible friends. That is the most important, the foundation of life

  3. Wow!!! This is so nice, a good reminder and positive thoughts. I’m also glad for power, but not just for fun, to also see what is going on. It’s amazing how technology is now a days, and how much it helps!! And once everyone is safe that is something I really appriciate too. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to be positive!!

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