Watching the finals of the tennis US Open, I was dazzled by the agility and talent of the winner. Immediately, I began to think about the fact that I couldn’t compete in a tennis or any other competition at this point in my life. While that seems self-defeating and potentially depressing, I began to think about all the things that I can do.

Here’s what came from that brief exercise. I thought it might be fun to make a list of the things that I can’t do and the things that I can. The can’t list is associated with age and/or talent. But I must emphasize that this is not a negative project – it’s my usual lesson in gratitude. So here goes.


I can’t run a marathon.                                         I can walk a 5K.

I can’t draw anything – one of                            I can write short stories and books.

my closest relatives advises

            that my stick figures stink.

My spaghetti and meatballs are                        My cheesecake is pretty good.

            only average.

I can’t do algebra.                                                  I can still carry on an intelligent

                                                                                      conversation in French.

I can’t play my guitar any longer.                      I can still sing with my local

                                                                                      Civic Chorus.

I can’t bowl any more.                                          My golf game is average but I love it

                                                                                       more than any other activity I can


I can’t conduct an orchestra                               I can teach a class full of rowdy 2nd



Clearly, most of this is pretty silly. While I can’t hold my own children in my arms and rock them to sleep, my two spectacular grandchildren are small enough for me to hold them in my lap.

And so, I present this as an exercise in being grateful for miscellaneous gifts while encouraging my readers not to dwell on those activities for which you don’t have the strength, skills, talent, or experience to excel. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter, does it? Shalom.

One thought on “Just think

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