36 things

It’s my birthday!!

I love my birthday. Celebrating another year of life gives me the opportunity to consider all the things for which I’m deeply grateful, to mark the beginning of my New Year, and to extend wishes to the Universe to send more peace, prosperity, adventure, love, good health, and friendship my way.

Let’s celebrate together! I’ll list 36 things I’m grateful for, and I invite you to list in the comments anything that brings you joy and blessings!

In no particular order, here are 36 amazing things to be thankful for:

1—6: My family! My mother is not only my beloved mama, but one of my very best friends. My father inspires me to be my best self every day. My brother exhibits grace and resilience and makes me very, very proud. And these three silly kitties, Mirren, Houdini, and Blossom! They’re cuddly and funny and fun and demanding and exasperating and maddening and loving and hilarious.

7: Dear Dutra, who is also cuddly and funny and fun and demanding and exasperating and maddening and loving and hilarious.

8—16: My wonderful girlfriends. Leah, who advises, counsels, guides, amuses, entertains, and uplifts, and breaks my heart open. Caseylin, who is proving herself to be a warrior every day, and is going to be such a beautiful mother, inside and out. Jamalieh, who is a creative genius and who motivates me to keep practicing and focusing on what’s most important. Elena, who soothes my spirit and awes me. Melissa, who is intrepid and brave and wise and as funny as ever. Michelle, who makes me laugh and cry, often at the same time, and in whose company I am my best self. Giovanna, who is crazy brilliant and ever surprising. Maggie, who is so lovely and kind and warm and wise. Bianca, who I think is as tough and devoted a girl as I’ve ever known.

17: This lovely view out my living room window:NYC view

18: This super secret detail about the view out my living room window. Notice the children’s toys? That’s because there’s a daycare right downstairs, so all day, I get to hear children laughing and playing outside my window, which I love:

NYC view 2

19: Getting to live in New York! I LIVE in New York! I know that 8 million other people do, too, but this still feels like a miraculous circumstance!


20: Discovering Oaxaca Tacos in my first week in Brooklyn! DEEEEEElicious!


21: Finding an awesome apartment in Park Slope! I love my apartment and I really really love my neighborhood, which I discover is more rad (yes, RAD!) every day. Really, I couldn’t have landed in a better place.

22—25: The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the Brooklyn Public Library, Park Slope Food Coop, and BAM, which are all ridiculously close by.

26: The F line. My line. Takes me most everywhere I need to go, and doesn’t seem to be a grumpy line, like the G. (Sorry, G.)

F train

27a and 27b: MAINE and Renaissance Voices. As I said, this list is in no particular order, so my dear, sweet, peaceful, gentle, kind, supportive, nurturing, magical state of Maine could be first on the list. It could be the entire list. How grateful I am that Maine came into my life, along with my most adored Renaissance Voices choir, which is also dear, sweet, peaceful, gentle, kind, supportive, nurturing, and magical.


28—30: Cornish College of the Arts, The Salt Institute, and Vermont College of Fine Arts — the wonderful places that have educated me and prepared me for whatever adventures and opportunities await.

31: My body. I am grateful for my imperfect, flawed, idiosyncratic feet, legs, spine, neck, and shoulders. They’ve been through a lot, but I’m walking and biking and dancing, and I AM SO GRATEFUL.

32: Kate Christensen. I’ve narrated more than 200 audiobooks, but never had I had an experience like that of narrating her Blue Plate Special. I can’t wait for her book to be released, and for readers and listeners to get to know her joyful, huge spirit.

33: My clients — all those publishers, producers, and directors who have given me so much opportunity and trust and faith and patience and support. I would not be anywhere without them.

34: Pat Fraley and Hillary Huber, who set me off on this audiobook journey, shepherding and encouraging me and helping me hone my skills. They’ve become life-long friends and without them, this path would have been far rockier, and much lonelier.

35: Stephen McLaughlin, who directed all of my first books, and has been one of the kindest, most supportive, forgiving, loving friends anyone could ever ask for.

36: Language — written, spoken, read, heard, sung — my greatest joy.

And one to grow on:

37: The ARCHERS! My favorite, favorite, favorite thing in the world.

Your turn. What are you going to celebrate today?


6 thoughts on “36 things

  1. Happy Birthday, Tavia! It is a joy for me to be able to acknowledge the blessings in my life in celebration of your special day. I hope you don’t mind if I steal the idea of making a similar list on my next birthday.
    Short, sweet, and off the cuff: my beautiful family; my amazing daughter; music that lifts, soothes, inspires; my crazy kitties; my three “puppies” who remind me to look at every day as a fresh start; Ditto, my wise old horse; an unexpected kindness; a kindred spirit who challenges me to grow; a garden to get my hands dirty in; a home that lives, breathes, and welcomes; and friends who reach out and touch me to the core.
    Happy Birthday, beautiful lady.

  2. Joanne on June 19th, 2013 at 10:33 am
  3. Happy happy birthday, Tavia! Wonderful blessings for a wonderful person.

    And this is a lovely post…makes me want to do this on my birthday. Love the challenge it might present in the tough years, or as we climb in years. A wonderful challenge that we should be able to meet.

    Alright, something I’m grateful for: my husband. He loves and supports me despite knowing more about me than anyone else – despite knowing all the things I wish nobody did. And for that, I am immensely grateful.

  4. Xe Sands on June 19th, 2013 at 2:18 pm
  5. I am grateful that you are such a generous and masterful communicator…and soul.

  6. Magic on June 19th, 2013 at 3:27 pm
  7. You!!! And my daughter and partner. And words, too, and birdsong in the mornings, and coffee in the afternoons while Monkey naps. And the smell of cigarettes and the sound of rain. And I could go on, but my daughter is playing the harmonica, which is another thing to be grateful for, I guess, both the fact that she likes to play it and that she’ll stop soon for bath and books and snuggles. Wishing you a beautiful birthday, lovely friend.

  8. Michelle on June 19th, 2013 at 7:27 pm
  9. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! There are some really wonderful things you’ve listed here!

  10. Sammi on June 27th, 2013 at 11:52 am
  11. Belated Birthday Greetings! Was happy to receive your newsletter a few days ago and have just sat myself still for a half hour skipping around your blog and website. Tavia, you are amazing in so many ways.

    On the way home from Chi Gong class tonight I heard an NPR interview with Kate Christensen about her book, and now I see you have already narrated it!

    Loved your photos too.

    Blessings, Val

  12. Valerie B on July 10th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

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