writing

Knowing The Plan

This week is my 33rd blog post. Tomorrow is also the 33rd day of the Omer (the count from Passover to Shavuot) which marks the holiday of Lag Baomer.

The coincidence did not escape me.
I’m a connections kind of person. A deeper meaning kind of gal.
I grew up with the concept of Hashgacha Pratis (literally translated to divine providence,) which means that nothing is coincidental or accidental, everything happens for a reason. Every moment, every leaf, and every wrong turn has its purpose and place in the grand scheme of things.
That concept has always given me so much comfort, and more than that, it gives life an air of optimism and mystery.
Life is full of mystery. Honestly, every moment is a mystery, we never know what the next moment will bring.
I like to be in control. I avoid depending on people as much as possible, I like to get things done on my own, I like being the master of my own destiny.
So you can see how allowing G-d to be in control can be a little difficult for me.
Remembering that ultimately, I have no control over what happens in my life is something I constantly struggle with.
But at the same time, I have this deep, deep understanding that G-d really is always in control.
Hence, the connections.
When the subway takes too long at a stop, or I randomly choose a different route to walk, or something happens which forces me to do something I wasn’t planning on doing – that’s when I know G-d is in control.
I know that there is a reason my life is taking this path. It is not random or accidental.
But a moment later…when the reason behind what happened is not revealed to me, my spirits begin to plummet.
See, I’m happy for G-d to move around the pieces in a way that I don’t understand. But when even afterward I still don’t get to see the full picture, I feel a little cheated. When I think the signs that I am seeing are so clear, but then everything they were pointing to falls apart, and I realize how little I know, and how little what I think actually matters to the plan.
See, when I realized that it was the 33rd day of the omer when I would be writing my 33rd blog post, my brain went scrambling for reasons, connections.
I came up with a few.
The 49 days of the omer are meant to be a time of working on oneself, going through the various good attributes we have, and sharpening them.
For 33 weeks, I have been working hard at writing blog posts, each week focusing on something else in my life and my personality. It has forced me to look at myself honestly, and open up.
On the 33rd day of the omer, we have been looking at our attributes for 33 days already. We have been refining ourselves, trying harder, taking notice of what can be done better.
There was no specific reason I chose to begin writing weekly blog posts 33 weeks ago, I had no idea that it would line up this way. Which means – there’s got to be a connection, right?
It’s a little bit far-fetched, I know.
Pretty much everyone I know would chalk this up to a very random coincidence because honestly, it doesn’t really matter.
But it gives me joy to connect the dots. To see the reasoning behind things. To feel like I am part of a plan, to perhaps see the faint outlines of G-ds pen.
Maybe I’m too uptight. Maybe I need to let go a little bit, to learn how to depend on others, and most of all, to learn how to depend on G-d. Maybe to survive through life, one just has to be laid back, and not try so hard to understand everything that happens around us.
But that doesn’t feel right to me. It doesn’t seem like the way I want to live. I’d rather continue to thank G-d when the little things go right, and notice Him in every part of my day, than to loosen up and forget that He’s there.
It’s a difficult balance to find. Like with everything in life, there are pros and cons to every path we take.
There is one thing I know for sure – everything happens for a reason. Everything is connected, and everything has a purpose. The dots are there. But for whatever reason, G-d has chosen to not show me which dots connect to which. He has chosen to not reveal the why’s behind each choice He makes, which has made for some very anger filled prayers on my part.
It’s nice when we get it, but it’s not important for us to get it. The important part for me is to realize that there is a reason – and that’s all.
I will never stop hoping that G-d reveals His plan a little more, that He’ll let me peek, that one day soon He’ll let me understand why I take those wrong turns.
But until then, I will do my very best to unclench my fists a little bit, to trust that He can handle it, that He has heard my prayers and that despite the fact that things seem very scattered at the moment, He has a way of changing things in a moment.

I will continue to pray that my prayers be answered, and I look forward to knowing that they already have been.

I’ll just be over here taking deep breaths and eating chocolate.

 

Blog Post: 33/52


Featured Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Finding the Flavor

It heals me.

Long before the first taste touches my lips, cooking gives me life.
One of my favorite things to do when I cook is to study the available ingredients and construct a new flavor, a new dish, something a little bit familiar and a little bit surprising.
As the pots boil and the pans sizzle, I feel my muscles relax, the tension release.
Cooking takes me away from my stresses in a similar way that music does. It encompasses me.
Cooking and I have had a tumultuous relationship. While I’ve always been very interested in it, I haven’t always been so good at it. Always chasing flavor, I tend to oversalt, which is a practice I’ve mostly stopped, but occasionally it’ll come back to haunt me.
But that’s my life in general. Always chasing flavor – which occasionally comes back to bite me. Always wanting more out of life, always wanting brighter colors, experiences that are meaningful and full of depth. Sometimes, wanting so much from life makes parts of life harder.
Cooking is one of my favorite things, but cooking for others takes it to a whole new level. Watching people I love enjoy the food, watching their energy levels climb back up is the ultimate reward. Not everyone loves cooking, but I know very few people who don’t love eating, and being able to be part of bringing them that simple happiness is a treasure I hold dear.
I’m no chef. I don’t know much about exotic dishes, my ingredients tend to be simple and cheap.
But my goal with every dish, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner is that the flavor is rich. A simple scrambled egg, while comforting to many, is disappointing to me. When a dish, no matter what I try, comes out tasting a little empty, I feel like I didn’t do it justice.
Because every day is an opportunity for things to be better than they were yesterday. Settling for decent, settling for good when you could have incredible or delicious is not in my capabilities.
And I know that this part of me affects others. It makes me a little bit more stressed perhaps. Often, I’m told by others that perhaps I’m shooting a little too high.
But this is me. This is who I am, and I’m obviously not just talking about in the kitchen.
My love for cooking and for flavor-rich foods blends into every area of my life. I love potential. I love finding potential in things and doing my best to bring it to its fruition. Life, people, food, everything can be so complex, so detailed.
There are times in life that I need to just chill out, times I like taking a step back, breathing, not trying so hard.
But no matter what, I go to sleep happiest on the days I don’t need to compromise on the flavor.
Blog Post: 32/52

Featured Photo by Helena Yankovska on Unsplash

When Life Happens

I have never written a blog post on the verge of the week ending like this. I’ve gotten close, but never this close.

But no worries – I’m a commitment freak, and I won’t let this go by, because then I’d probably have to start from Week 1 again, and none of us want that.
I’ve almost completed my first year of teaching creative writing. That’s really crazy to me, because it was about this time last year that I got the crazy idea in the first place. And now I have a group of students who I have gotten to know, students I look forward to seeing and reading their writing. Because all of them are tremendously talented writers and thinkers and it was a pleasure and honor to be able to be a part of their year.
I know the year is not yet over, we still have a few weeks to wind down. But I’m in an introspective, reflective mood, and I’m just so proud to be here.
Doing things that scare me are not my thing. I don’t like roller coasters, horror movies or skydiving. I don’t enjoy the thrill of the fear that so many people seem to be obsessed with. Existential questions are scary enough.
So doing something that scared me on so many levels was a big deal.
My life this school year has seen change. It’s seen growth. It’s seen me with shorter hair and a stronger heart conquering more challenges. Experiencing new things. Facing myself in ways I never really wanted to have to.
Life is ever evolving, which is something pretty terrifying for someone like me, someone who likes to be in control and to be sure of what comes next.
Life throws things at you that you could never have planned for. But these are the things that really test you, the things that make you pull out all of yourself, to figure it out, to face it. To understand who you are, what your limitations are, and where life goes from here, now taking the fork in the road into account.
As summer nears, and the promise of warm sun and healthy days approach, I find myself wondering what is around the corner. What is next for me? What happens when I allow life to happen, rather than overplanning each moment?
It’s scary. To me, this is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. To admit that I don’t know what comes next, to know that life takes time to unfold, and to have patience. To have the patience to see what G-d has in store.
And perhaps I’ll discover that my mind has been limited all this time, and what G-d has planned is even greater than what my small mind can conjure.
Blog Post: 31/52.

Featured Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Am I Tiny?

I was going to write about another topic.

I had an idea as I fell asleep. But when I woke up, I discovered that today is Yom HaShoah, a day on which many focus their minds and hearts on the tragedy of the holocaust. I realized that my idea did not seem right today. It would feel like yelling loudly in a quiet theatre. Rude, unwelcome and disrespectful. So that idea will remain tucked away for another week.
This week, I’ll write about what the holocaust means to me, as a 21 year old, living in America.
I was first introduced to the holocaust by way of my grandmother’s history. As a tiny child, she escaped in the night with her young parents and baby sister. After a terror-filled journey that had seen many miracles, the small family made it to safety. My great-grandmother was the only survivor from her own, yet rather than wallowing in well-deserved grief, she and my great-grandfather built up a family, resulting in my life – one of hundreds of great-grandchildren.
As a Jewish child, in Jewish schools, I learned about the holocaust in various ways throughout my years. I heard stories, I saw clips and interviews with holocaust survivors. It was certainly a real thing in my life, but it wasn’t until I was nearly 18, that I truly confronted it.
On a trip to Israel, I visited Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in Jerusalem. As we walked through the quiet halls, looking at what was left of millions of innocent lives, my heart shattered. The reality of it was so raw and horrible, items of clothing and personal belongings telling their silent story. I looked into the eyes of the victims in the images on the walls, and apologized for not having tried to see earlier. For trying to avoid holocaust films and books. For not being more destroyed by what they had been through.
I always use words, yet there are not enough words in the English dictionary to describe what happened in the holocaust, the wiping out of generations. Cruelty and horror are even too kind. It was more than that. It was worse than that.
I have been knocked down by far, far (far, far, far!) less.
Yet holocaust survivors have built their lives back up, put the puzzle together despite the missing pieces, painted their world with vivid color again. Despite every reason not to.
The other day, I overheard my five-year-old nephew having an existential crisis. He was trying to explain to his three-year-old brother how insignificant we are. “We are really just tiny!”
“Nu uh. We are not tiny” said his brother. “Etti’s not tiny”
“She is tiny. We all are tiny. The whole world is tiny!”
I smiled at the depth of wisdom he held. Perhaps he does not quite understand it all just yet, but he was taking his first steps into the endless wonder of who we are, how we got here, and what we are supposed to do now that we are here.
We are tiny. I am tiny. I am one solitary figure in a world with billions of people.
Often, my small daily decisions and choices seem to impact only me. But I know that despite my “tiny-ness,” I have the ability to affect so many. Holocaust survivors knew that – and they knew it was up to them to re-build a nation so thoroughly destroyed. Like my great-grandparents, so many of them went on to have large families, despite the unimaginable fear and anger they must have felt.
Today is a day that we remember the past – but tomorrow, we focus on the future. I often feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things, yet I have been raised to know that my actions count. That I am here for a reason, and that reason is not to serve myself, but to be there for others, to wake up each morning and figure out how I can do better.
My nephew’s words reminded me that yes, we are tiny. And that is something to remember- something to remain humble about. In the expanse of the universe, I am but a speck, if that at all.
But, it is crucial to still stand with confidence, to know that despite how tiny I am, my life has meaning – and I can and do impact all of those around me.
The holocaust had millions of victims. Millions. It is impossible for any one person to recite all their names, or to truly give remembrance to each one.
Yet every single one of them was a person, a human being, with dreams and hopes. They were never just a name, they were someone that was loved and worried about.
They were in no way just a speck.
I will never, in any lifetime, be able to grasp the magnitude of the holocaust and the idea that so so so many were ripped away from their lives.
But I will try to live fully because they were not allowed to. I will try to remember what they have taught me. I may be a tiny speck, but I am a speck that can change the world.
Blog Post: 30/52

Featured Photo by Mika R on Unsplash

I Have No Words.

Sometimes,
Writing is an escape,
A place to feel at home.
Sometimes,
Writing is a way to build,
Stories and poems,
Worlds that may not exist.
Sometimes,
Writing is communication,
A way to express
What is clogging my heart.
Sometimes –
Writing can take a moment,
A deep breath,
A bit of time off.
Writing can step back,
Have to be woken from its slumber,
When I must write.
But this week
I’ve been living,
Reading,
Loving.
Sometimes…
I don’t need words.
And words don’t need me.
But I made a promise.
52 weeks.
Whether words and I
Are together
Or taking a break.
So here.
Here are my words.
Sometimes,
it’s important to live
To be able to have
What to write.
Sometimes
Words must sit inside my heart
Before I can allow them to live
On paper.

 

Blog Post: 29/52

Featured Photo by Jelleke Vantoogeghm via Unsplash.

Reclaiming Passover

I want to write a story, but my brain has been too full of to-do lists, too full to be able to fit in characters made out of young men or old women in the times of Egypt.
I want to be inspirational, but my tired fingers don’t have much to say.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the little details, the lists that need to be checked off, the things that go wrong, the scrubbing.
As a kid, Passover was my favorite holiday. I would count down, buy some new exciting outfits, and wait for all my older siblings to come home. I loved all the Passover cookies and meals, the Seder night was a treat, and I’d always fall asleep nearby to the sound of family and friends singing familiar tunes.
But as I grew up, Passover became less and less enticing. The workload involved grew heavier as I became a more responsible adult. The Seder grew more tiring when falling asleep on the couch was not an option. As I began to fall in love with cooking and exploring flavors, Passover represented bland food and limited options. While it still remains an enjoyable time with family, the cons slowly outweighed the pros. The stress leaked out from the 8 days, spreading to the weeks before. Never more than now do I feel surrounded by tired, stretched thin Jewish people, working tirelessly to get to their goal.
What went wrong?
As someone who dearly loves every Jewish holiday and looks forward to each one, even Yom Kippur, it was deeply disturbing to me to realize that a part of me was dreading Passover and all it came with. I pride myself in truly loving my religion, finding joy in the way I live my life, and I was heartbroken to discover this truth.
My social media has been filled with worried, overworked, overtired Jewish women, desperate to be doing it all right.
On one hand, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful that so much care is being given to such tiny details. It’s beautiful that so much work is going into one holiday.
But on the other hand, it’s hard to see the beauty. It’s hard to see the beauty in cuts and scratches, aching backs and tired muscles, sleepless nights and a never-ending feeling of guilt of not having done everything necessary.
Is this what Passover is about? Is this what any holiday is about? Is this what Judaism is about?
Yes, my religion is about consistently going the extra mile. It’s about pushing yourself, seeing the big picture, and working towards bigger goals.
But when things get clouded, when we lose focus, when we are more concerned about the crumbs than about what the crumbs represent – that’s when it feels like we are losing Passover.
The purpose of cleaning our houses of any leavened bread, cookies, cakes, candies etc. represents removing ego from our lives.
How many times did I think about that as I scrubbed?
Sadly, not much.
How many people have I seen, boasting about how hard they’ve been working, or how early they were able to complete their goals?
Sadly, too many.
I would not hesitate to say that ego is the source of all evil.
This holiday represents finding our essence again, getting to the source, freeing ourselves from outside influences, the boundaries of egotistic behaviors, and our self-made limits.
This holiday is a rich and fascinating one, celebrating the way G-d always has His eye on us, celebrating the way we were once slaves but miraculously gained our freedom.
This holiday is about inviting friends and family to join us, to gather and sing, to eat and to laugh, to speak late into the night about who we are, and how we got this far.
Is this holiday about getting on our hands and knees and scrubbing?
Yes. This is how we prepare, this is how we rid ourselves of our ego, of our self-imposed limits.
Is this holiday about stress and tension, panic and anxiety?
No. There is no such holiday in our calendar.
As the holiday officially begins tomorrow night, and as families across the world gather together and sit down for their Seder, I hope that we can all reclaim Passover. To remember what the purpose is, to remember that the excitement we felt as children should still be at the surface of our hearts.
I can not speak for others, I can not feel for others, but I know I will try my hardest to stop focusing on how long the list is, and focus more on what the list is for. Focus on what we are working towards. Focus on ridding myself of my ego to make room for meaningful thought and true celebration.
It is my 21st birthday tomorrow on the secular calendar, and I yearn to have the easy excitement of my childhood, to marvel at each new thing, to reclaim Passover with the untethered joy of a child.
The content of this article is under the ownership of Etti Krinsky, via ThisPublicDiary.com
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Blog Post: 28/52

Featured Photo by Blaise Vonlanthen via Unsplash

Hardly Working

In my entire life, I have never prioritized school over family, or pretty much anything else in my life.

Is that bad?

It sounds bad.

It sounds bad to me because it sounds kind of irresponsible.

But that’s the way it always was.

I didn’t flunk my classes. I didn’t get all A’s either.

But it didn’t really matter.

If there was something happening in the family, or I just needed to be home, it was never a question if I could get out of school, that’s just what I did. I was never afraid to show my parents my report card because I knew they didn’t really care if it said A or B on it. They would raise their eyebrows if there was a C, but that’s only because they knew I was capable of more. That I was bordering on laziness.

This attitude towards school has carried me through to my adult work life. I tried once explaining to someone that I am not capable of becoming a workaholic, of putting work before life.

She stared at me, puzzled.

“Without work, what is life?”

I don’t care for jobs that stretch into the evening hours. I don’t care for jobs that only have me on the subway at 6:00, collapsing at the end of every day.

See the thing is, as I write this, my heart is pounding. I can’t write these things. I can’t share these things. Because in essence, I feel like I am only justifying my laziness. My inability to work hard could not be yelling louder in this post.

And it makes me cringe.

I am privileged. I am so lucky. I am lucky to not have to work 12 hour work days to make ends meet. I am lucky that I am able to put almost all my earnings into savings. I am lucky that I can live this way, choosing my hours.

Because I don’t want to have to compromise. I don’t want to have to give up time spent with my nephew’s for keyboard tapping and a weary head.

I don’t want to have to say goodbye to dinners with my friends in exchange for dark hours spent in an office.

I work. Don’t worry. I spend my days at my computer, typing, typing, clicking. Some days I am so busy, I don’t have time to write a blog post (like this week. I almost didn’t make it.) Some days I lay down in my bed and I think to myself “There is not enough time in the day”

Except that there’s always enough time in the day.

Until I have children, and then there literally won’t be enough time in the day, there’s always enough time.

It’s only a matter of how I use it.

Right now, this minute, as I write this, I am choosing to write this during a time that if I was working, I’d be being paid. And checking things off on a very long to-do list.

But right now, I am doing something that I promised myself I’d do.

I promised myself I’d write a blog post every week. To show myself that I could work hard. Because as you can see, it’s a major insecurity for me. Because it seems like everyone knows how to work hard.

And sometimes, I look at myself in the mirror and I wonder. I wonder if I’ll ever learn how to work hard, really hard.

But then sometimes, I realize that I do work hard. I work hard at things I love. I work hard at the relationships in my life, to try to keep them alive and thriving.

I work hard to write a blog post every week, even though sometimes it hurts to share, sometimes it’s easier to write something I know won’t touch anyone, something that won’t rip open my vulnerabilities again and again.

I work hard on my connection to G-d, to my Judaism. I do.

I demand much of myself on a daily basis.

Would my friends describe me as hard-working?

Probably not. Honestly, I don’t know.

Would I describe myself as hard-working?

No.

But I would describe myself as passionate. I would describe myself as someone who cares so much, it genuinely hurts. To me, these are qualities I am grateful G-d has given me. I am so, so aware of the weaknesses He gave me, but I am eternally grateful that these are my strengths.

Because when push comes to shove, I know that when something I care about requires hard work, I am able to conquer it, I am able to work hard.

I hope to one day be able to work hard even when I don’t care. Even when something is not my passion, my top priority, or someone I love, I would like to be able to put by best self forward and give it my all.

I’m working on it. It’s a painful process, learning how to work hard. It is filled with self-beratement, guilt and being unsure of what working hard really is.

And most of all, I cannot, for a moment, stop thanking G-d for giving me a life in which I never had to learn how to work hard. I feel extremely privileged. And I know it’s coming, the days in which I will have to 100% put myself aside for something else. But I continue to pray to G-d that I will be given the privilege of being allowed to work as hard as I can on my marriage and work as hard as I can in raising my children.

Because as difficult and undesirable hard work is for me, I recognize that hard work is a privilege all of its own. It means you have something to work for.

And while I still don’t concern myself with the worry that I’ll become a workaholic, perhaps I’ll one day discover that work is not all bad. That hard work is often a reward all on its own.

 

Blog Post: 21/52


Featured Photo by Joshua Davis on Unsplash

Autumn in the City: A Snapshot

I’m making my students write a vignette tomorrow, a snapshot. I haven’t written one in a while.

So. Here goes:

Like most things in the city, the beauty of autumn doesn’t linger very long. When I awake, I pull on my thick, warm socks, over my leggings, and tie up my scuffed boots, feeling the chill inside of my bones. Over my heavy sweater, I start my morning off with a scarf, picking the widest coffee mug so that my cold fingers can warm up against the hot coffee inside. It’s fascinating how after a summer of 80’s and 90’s, a morning in the 50’s feels like the icy cold depths of winter. Just like us humans, consistently ungrateful, always forgetful. Without a doubt, autumn is when I feel most alive. Ironic, for as the world slowly dies around me, my heart feels lighter. I crush the leaves beneath my feet, the wind snapping at my hat. The warmth of my scarf heavily outweighs the consistent irritating itch it lends my neck, and so I always wear one. This year was the first time I made the commitment to a fall coat, and just weeks in, I realized why I never bought one before. Autumn is just a whisper, a quick peek and then it’s gone. The city turns on its fairy lights and it’s jolly tunes, running towards winter with a speed you can only find in New York City, and I stand on the busy streets, leaves beneath my feet, clutching my coat made for autumn, wishing it would just stay around, for just a little bit longer.

Blog Post: 8/52


Feature Photo by Karla Alexander on Unsplash

Perspective: 5 Years Later.

I recently found my notebook from my high school creative writing club and chanced upon this one exercise we did. We were challenged to write a poem about 3 big things that we had opinions on: marriage, the future, and our career goals.
As a 16-year-old, I was very sure of my thoughts. I never shared this poem anywhere because I remember not thinking it was very good. But today, almost five years later, I’m going to share it.
Together with a follow-up poem about where I’m at now.
Who knows; maybe I’ll keep writing updates for years to come. And yes, I feel pressure to outdo my younger self. If I haven’t become a better writer, what have I done?

Past Etti:

At most I am a skeptic,
a non-believer in the tried and trusted,
a mocker of those who live blindly.
A realist, or is it a pessimist?
I struggle to see the beauty
in words repeated.
Marriage is a far off life,
a place where you must be a wife,
I only search for late night walks,
and a fairy-tale happy ending.
I find myself always searching,
for something better, something nice.
I’m the future
I want to be a woman
who can answer to “What do you do?”
with the words “I change the world”
and change diapers too.
For yes, I want to see the world,
and fix all that I see,
I want to be different,
Powerful, bold and strong,
but motherings my thing.
I search for a career,
that feeds that very need.
Working with children
more special than I’ll ever be.
So this is my perspective,
on this g-d forsaken world,
I wonder what will cross these pages
in a year or two.

Present day Etti:

What is it like
to be sure?
“Are you ready?”
“What kind of guy?”
“What are you studying?”
“What do you want to do?”
Questions
that some days
have answers,
and some days
do not.
Having the answers
is comforting,
content,
safe.
Not knowing
means
you still have a chance
to make it better;
stronger;
more alive.
I live in fear
of living a lie
of living a life
I never intended to.
My days are meant to be filled
with digging deep
and building up.
I’ve always wanted to help
so I was drawn
to those who called for it.
Now,
I search for those
who don’t know
how to call.
While babies
and diapers
seem foreign to my
day-to-day life,
My half-of-a-soul
is calling to be whole.
As each day comes,
and then it goes,
I’ve learned
we are in even less control,
than we think we are.
Blog Post: 7/52

Feature Photo by Vitaliy Paykov via Unsplash.

What is Focus?

I wasn’t sure what to write about this week.

I know, three weeks into my great big plan, and I’m already out of inspiration.

The problem is, all my half-written blog posts that are on my phone don’t seem to be ready to be finished yet. They’re missing paragraphs, conclusions, lacking knowledge that I haven’t yet come to. They’re only halfway there.

It’s a big week for inspiration. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days that everyone is looking for a little something to push them in the right direction.

I’m afraid I don’t have it.

Wondering what I was going to write about, I scrolled through my WordPress feed. There, I discovered a prompt word via Daily Prompt: Focused.

Focus. The ever elusive trait. It takes guts to focus. It takes patience and energy and sheer bravery.

It takes knowing that what you are focusing on is more important than every distraction out there. It’s hard.

These days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur require focus. Specifically, this year, as it is a long week between them, time enough to lose track, enough of a resumption to life to lose focus.

I’m a human. When I’m in pain, I’m in pain. I tried getting work done today while in pain, and I struggled to even create words in my head. I’m a writer, I was supposed to be pulling words together to create a meaningful message, for pay this time, and I couldn’t do it.

All I could focus on was my pain.

It overtook me, it pushed everything else out of my head. I tried to distract myself while waiting for the meds to kick in, with stupid youtube videos, an instagram feed, plans for dinner.

I couldn’t do it.

Until my pain was gone, there was nothing else I could think about.

Imagine if I allowed my soul to be as powerful as my body. If it could have that much control over my focus.

Imagine if, for the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, nothing else held any meaning. Nothing could possibly pull me away from my focus on G-d. Nothing could stop me from becoming a better person.

Imagine if my temptations fell away, and I didn’t have to fight to be the person I want to be.

It all must remain in our imagination, I’m afraid.

Because this is one fight that will never end, the fight for focus. The fight to remember how important these days are. The fight to not make the same mistakes over and over and over again.

 

But this week isn’t meant to be easy. Even more so when I don’t feel inspired, don’t feel ready, don’t feel focused.

Perhaps that can be my goal this week – to win just a few battles. To try to fight for focus, to try to allow my soul to speak a little louder. To let it choose at least once a day.

What are you doing to make this week a little more special, a little more focused?

Blog Post: 3/52


Photo by ANDRIK ↟ LANGFIELD ↟ PETRIDES on Unsplash