It’s less than a month before Pesach and instead of preparing for this exciting and labor-intensive holiday, I am preparing for some exciting and labor-intensive home-schooling. That’s right, school is out for at least the next five weeks, and my five kids are all home with me, and instead of buying matzah, I’m stocking up on pasta.
And yet I’m surprisingly calm about all this. Why?
Partly because I must still be in shock. Everything happened so quickly, and things are changing every day.
But another reason I’m feeling calm is that it is so incredibly clear to me Who is in control (hint: it’s not me). Right now, only God knows what’s going to happen, so while I can, and will, plan a little bit, the future is so uncertain that I have to relinquish control (or rather, my illusion of control!) and really live in the moment.
In this surreal state of living I find myself in, I have found some things I really appreciate.
No pressure to go out of the house
I am often busy with carpool, running errands, going to appointments or taking my children to after-school activities. Well that’s all come to a complete standstill, and it feels incredibly relaxing to not have to shlep anywhere. I can stay in comfortable clothes (read: pajamas) the whole day if I want to. And without the pressure of all the things that need to be done outside of the house, I can do all the inside the house obligations in a calmer frame of mind.
Amazing quality time
Yes, having everyone home with no break is going to be intense, and there will assuredly be times when my patience will be pushed to the limit, and beyond, but when else can I really just be with my family without any outside pressure or stressors? Well, except for the outside stress of a pandemic, of course. We’re spending time with each other and talking more to grandparents and those are all things I love.
We live in an amazing community, and even in the short time we’ve been thrown into this new reality, I’ve been so encouraged to see all the ways people and businesses are adapting and finding new ways to provide services and support. Want to support a small business without physically going there? Buy a gift card. Suddenly find yourself homeschooling? There are loads of resources being made available. The teachers in my kids’ school have been working beyond overtime to put together learning material for our kids. It’s incredible.
A Reality Check On What’s Important
Nothing like life being turned upside down to remind me of what is really important. The small stuff that I was sweating just a week ago? Irrelevant now. The distractions in my life have been stripped away and I’m able to focus on the basics of my relationship with God, the Torah, my family, my community. It’s incredible what kind of clarity a crisis can bring.
None of us know what is in store in the days and months and years ahead. But we do know that this is a unique situation in time, in our lives, and we should take advantage to use this unusual opportunity to learn what we can and grow as much as possible. And to be there to support each other. Just not in person. Please.