Finding the good or laughing at myself when I’m feeling down is probably one of my greatest challenges here. Some days, I have to work very hard to stay light-hearted and open.  I realize, though, there are trade-offs. Here are my top 10:


What I miss on a daily basis…                                                                

WFUV radio, commercial-free, new and old music with NPR news every hour

What I get instead…

Listening over and over and over again to at least a dozen CDs that Lisa and Robin and Cheryl and Laurie made for me with my favorite yoga music as farewell gifts so I can chant my way through traffic and calm my nerves when faced with aggressive Israeli drivers


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Checking for rain, cold, hurricane, snow, tornado like winds, icy rain, sleet

What I get instead…

Knowing the sun will most likely shine and I should still slather on sunscreen


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Fast walking through tree-lined, lush streets; the dazzling colors of the leaves in fall; the naked branches in winter

What I get instead…

Fast walking through exposed, hot streets and dusty fields; trees and flowers in constant bloom


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Taking yoga in a language I understand fluently and rocking out to Wendy’s playlist

What I get instead…

Concentrating on every word to understand the words while on the mat mostly to the music of our breath


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Teaching yoga in a language I speak fluently

What I get instead…

Thinking before every instruction and alignment cue and thought to translate into a made-up language called Hebrish that makes me flush with embarrassment and sound like a first grader


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Breathing in crisp, cold, fresh air on a December day

What I get instead…

Breathing in cigarette smoke when I sit outside at a café or walk by workers


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Switching clothes for different seasons and knowing when to wear black

What I get instead…

Keeping the movers’ wardrobe box of warm, wool winter coats in the far end of the storage room—for now—and never knowing what to wear because the days are still warm as long as you’re in the sun but being in stone houses with tile floors and night time is freezing


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Reading the Friday newsletter from the girls’ school

What I get instead…

Receiving the school’s newsletter in my inbox, acknowledging it, opening it, seeing English subheadings with Hebrew content all over, deleting it without being able to read what’s new


What I miss on a daily basis…                            

Going to any Westchester Library weekly; browsing my local Barnes & Noble for new releases; reading the latest issue of O or Real Simple or Working Woman magazine at the doctors’ office or simply swapping with friends

What I get instead…

Borrowing from and trading books with friends and family, most recently Before the Storm from Janine; learning how to use my new NOOK with Daniella’s help and finally reading my first full book Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones on it; feeling like I won the lottery when the latest issue of MORE and AFAR magazines, birthday present from my parents, arrive at my door


What I miss on a daily basis…

You in New York, New Jersey, Philly, Iowa, Washington, Georgia, California

What I get instead…

You in Raanana, Jerusalem, Haifa, Modiin, Tel Aviv, Zichron Yaakov. Roz, one of my you’s here, said to me recently as we were standing outside the door of Steimatzky’s book store watching our 12-year-old daughters flip through PEOPLE magazine, “I wish I could tell you it gets easier and you stop missing things as time goes by… but you don’t. The pain just lessens.”



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18 Responses to “Trade-Offs”

  1. julie rabinowtiz December 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Nicely said – and honest – I think about you everyday on my way too and from work as I pass Cobb –

    On brilliantly clear days here in New York, I imagine walking out of my house and onto the streets of Jerusalem (not that I would be living there now had I moved to Israel) – and I think, what if!?!?

    My thoughts on family in Israel:

    Seeing my newest niece on skype – no matter how clear the picture – will ever come close to replacing the feel of her in my arms

    Holidays (Jewish, American or other) and family gatherings are a little less sweet without my sister and family – Photoshop jokes have gotten stale

    I smile when my 3 year old niece recites Ma’aseh B’Hamisha Balonim like an Israeli and then I remember oh! that’s because she is one –

    not sure what I’m getting at but I hope all is well and keep smiling – The weather is getting cold and I even saw a flurry or two today – and I know, how much you loooovvve the cold and winter – so have a laugh at our expense (freezing our tushes off) while drinking a tea at an outdoor cafe on Chanukah

    • Jennifer Lang December 19, 2011 at 5:22 am #

      Thanks, Julie. I should have made it clear(er) that the weather one was me being totally facetitious (how do you spell that?). That I don’t miss! xo Jennifer

  2. Mom/Grandma Marianne December 18, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    To quote Julie above, “nicely said and honest.”

    Not sure you will want to hear what your parents miss, however, especially now. It’s very quiet at home in California these weeks when you are usually here and you and I got our alone time and Dad got his skiing time with Philippe and the kids. And I miss our trips to NY taking all of you to museums and theater. Our twice yearly trips to Israel and your infrequent trips here will just have to do!

    Love, Mom

    • Jennifer Lang December 19, 2011 at 5:22 am #

      Ditto, ditto, ditto!!!! xo

  3. Jill December 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Hi Jennifer
    Very well said. Today on the East Coast you are missing a high of 28 degrees and impossible traffic everywhere as we are 7 days until Christmas. I actually would welcome our schechter newsletter in another language- it would release me if the burden to read through it every week and read every line to be sure I am aware of all 8th grade happenings.

    As for Real Simple it is the only magazine I read so I do feel your pain there.

    See you in SF in march- we cruise to the HOT Caribbean Friday for one week.

    Send our love to all:)


    • Jennifer Lang December 19, 2011 at 5:23 am #

      So yes, I do NOT really miss the winter weather on the east coast, just the fall and the leaves changing colors. I didn’t make that clear at all. Enjoy! xo p.s. if you know anyone coming and want to send me old issues of Real Simple, with pleasure

  4. Auntie Mona December 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Always trying “solution-mode” thinking am I.. lists Tel-aviv and Jerusalem!

    Danielle told us about An Internet radio free download to your computer to your I or smart phone. Very cool.

    Try them. Either/or just might help ease a few of those things you miss!


    • Jennifer Lang December 19, 2011 at 5:24 am #

      My point is you don’t really need to check the because it changes rarely. And doesn’t work here, nor does NetFlix since we’re out of the US. So thanks but I already tried. xo

  5. Doris Fankhauser December 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    beautifully said Jenniffer

    what I miss:
    seeing you when I walk into the yoga studio three times a week

    what I get instead:
    three other great teachers who are teaching us how wonderful yoga is for our body and mind

    Happy week from sunny but very cold Armonk

    • Jennifer Lang December 19, 2011 at 5:24 am #

      All I can say is I am so glad you are getting to the mat! Love to one and all, please. Happy holidays to you. xo

  6. Liza Flanagan December 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Your words fill my eyes with tears as I also see the look in my husband’s eyes from time to time after 25 years here, yearning for what he misses about his homeland…but for god’s sake woman, can’t you live stream WFUV or NPR on the computer? As for all else, keep breathing…it’s the same in Hebrew & English…soon, you will be dreaming in not only Hebrish, but Hebrew as well & the words will flow like a well linked set of poses from a Wendy sequence…xx

    • Jennifer Lang December 19, 2011 at 5:26 am #

      Wait, where is your spouse from? I had no idea. What foreign accent do you share a life with? So yes, while I can stream FUV or NPR at my computer I cannot get NetFlix or Pandora something like our IPO is out of the US (something technical). It’s a bummer. xo Please tell Wendy I am still awaiting a playlist from her…

  7. Steve C December 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    WFUV does indeed stream 24/7: and offers several streaming content choices.

    Or you can listen to archived versions of their specialty weekend shows.

  8. Jennifer Lang December 19, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    Thanks, Steve. Much, much appreciated!!! Happy holidays to you and all.

  9. Mom/Grandma Marianne December 19, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    Your mother also thinks you can get NPR on the computer as she does and why if it is the world wide web would it not work for you?!

    • Jennifer Lang December 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

      NPR I can get Neflix, Hulu and Pandora I cannot. Some yes, some no.

  10. Rachel December 31, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    I still miss libraries and book stores, oh how I miss them!!! Yes, there are small libraries here, but it’s nothing like back in the States, with rows and rows of English books to discover and read. I just got a Kindle and I’m trying to learn to like it. I have discovered that I don’t like reading non-fiction on it, but I do like reading fiction. Ah well.

    Do you know about ? Free shipping to Israel. Once I found that site, it made things easier for me (in terms of getting my book addiction met!)

    • Jennifer Lang January 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      I have heard of that site and will check it out. I did enjoy reading on my NOOK and am loathe to admit it. xo

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