The morning news just said: “Today has been canceled. Go back to sleep.” Hopeful for the New Year? What with those canceled trips, burying loved ones without a proper funeral, postponing celebrations, and living on Zoom…Rrright. Feeling downbeat, discouraged, and dreary? Well, whatever you do, don’t quit your daydream. You already know what giving up feels like; try seeing what happens if you don’t.
Please don’t start the New Year with old habits. You know morning and the New Year are coming whether you set your alarm or not. Listen, mornings are wonderful. The only downside is that they come at such an inconvenient time of the day. Heh. Need a jumpstart? Have some coffee. It will give you the illusion that you are awake. You know how coffee tricks you into thinking you’re in a good mood for about 25 minutes. I get it.
But honestly, what happened to all the fresh beginnings and fabulous family dinners, not to mention packed houses of worship? Indeed, some of our best memories are made around the table. Gee, what’ll I make for the holiday? This year? Probably a scene. You know those meals where you eat the equivalent weight of your body. And if they ask you one more time when dinner will be ready, tell them: When the smoke alarm goes off.
You are not alone when it comes to those much-looked-forward-to holiday meals and festivities. I bet you’re aching for just a tiny semblance of normalcy at this point. Hosting or attending holiday gatherings are essential for our mental and emotional health. The list of what has already been disrupted in our lives is a country mile long. Sharing traditions and companionship, most especially during festivals, is immeasurable and priceless to most.
And no, it’s not all good. It’s okay to feel “not okay” about it all. Yes, it’s all right to fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart and we still love them. But just because your world is falling apart doesn’t mean you have to. Do not allow the outer chaos to creep inside of you, please.
Let’s be real. This is the first time in 350 years of American Jewish history that people will not be praying shoulder to shoulder in synagogues across the country. All religious institutions have challenging restrictions. How do you meet official requirements and your own faith’s traditions and customs?
It may be too testing and taxing to be so far from friends or loved ones and still try to feel moved or devotional. Bear in mind that we humans have been commemorating special occasions for thousands of years. Celebrating even the smallest thing is of the essence – now more than ever. Did you receive any good news today? Did you make much of it, or even spare a thought for it? Please start searching for daily moments of confidence, contentment, and comfort. Celebrate them. Can you name one right now?
Oh, today you started gardening? You planted yourself in front of the TV and sat there the entire day. Sorry, that doesn’t count. Look at it this way: If cauliflower can somehow become pizza, you, sweet friends, can do anything. So what comes next? Indulge in some of those honey sticks, pomegranates, and caramel apples. Don’t you find the combination of caramel and apples very “apeeling”?
This coming season, wear your favorite outfit, serve your choice and most well-loved dishes, and by all means, decorate your table with some special touches. Close your eyes. What are the tastes and smells you connect with this holiday? Worries go down better with soup than without, so bake your favorite cake while you’re at it. The only way you’re eating “healthy” is if you write “Healthy” on top of the cake with frosting. I know. But, it’s okay to indulge every now and again. Truly. And never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day. Wear your one and only designer tie. Why not?
So the green light to your gym is still not on? Ease your anxiety with your own favorite workout routine. Exercise is the most underused anti-depressant. Out of all my body parts, I feel like my eyes are in the best shape. I do at least 1,000 eye rolls a day just hearing the latest news. But seriously, all you need is some space and motivation. Stop saying, “I wish,” and start saying, “I will.”
Kick off some new traditions or rituals. Please try to manage your expectations. Free yourself from what holds you back. Do you know what it is? Don’t worry if it is half empty or full. The glass is refillable. What are you filling it with?
Take some time to reflect on some of your life choices and go ahead and make some changes. Too overwhelming for you? Choose just one trait you wish to work on. Find a sweet spot within yourself in which you can still be full of promise. Be brave, sweet friends. You know what they say: “Your life will unfold in proportion to your courage.” Life is simple. It’s just not easy.
When they ask me, “Who are the real heroes right now?” I say: People who tolerate me on a daily basis. The power of love will pull us through this. Look up to the sky, sweet friends. The sky will always be there for you.