Things that make me sad:
Tired mornings before I've had my coffee.
When I finally remember to eat those clementines that were on sale last week, and I realize they've grown moldy and started decomposing in the unopened box.
Books that I bought five years ago but still haven't found time to read
Piles of unread newspapers. In a spur of community commitment, I decided to subscribe to our local newspaper a few months ago. But the only section that was being read was the comics page, which Dina and Miki latch on to when they get back from school. And the comics aren't even good!
Realizing I know more about human rights abuses in Syria than about police abuse in our community because I just cancelled our subscription to the local newspaper.
Reading about revolts against corrupt regimes where it soon becomes clear that the new regime is just as corrupt and cruel as the one it replaced.
Seeing my kids sad because they've been snubbed by a friend or failed on a test, and knowing there's nothing I can do because these are the heartbreaks kids have to go through to become adults.
Any setbacks or unhappiness my kids experience. I'd like to smooth out their lives for them, making sure all their dreams come true, all their talents are developed, everybody loves them, and they are never lonely or in despair.
Knowing that that's what practically all parents want for their kids.
When I realize around noontime that I've again forgotten to order Miki's school lunch
The fact that I don't even try anymore to separate the whites and colors when I do laundry, and the fact that all the whites in our household have turned grayish pink.
All the global tragedies that I ignore in favor of the urgent little things that fill up my life. While people are dying of hunger and disease, children are orphaned, suicide bombers blow up buses, ten-year-old girls are married to forty-year-old men, prisoners are being tortured, and people risk their lives to protest brutal regimes, I am busy with deadlines, household chores, and children's activities. I don't even post Facebook petitions anymore because I get more reactions on a picture of myself eating ice cream than calls for action for sane gun regulation or peace projects in the Middle East.
The fact that so many people in the world dream to have a life like mine - with abundant food, a beautiful house, healthy children, safety, good schools, leisure time to indulge in writing - and I still find reasons not to be happy.