Friday, March 9, 2012

Purim Lessons #2

[Note to my non-Jewish readers:
         Although this post is related to “Purim”, it is universally applicable. However, in order for you to understand it (if you didn't read yesterday's "note") you will need a bit of information.
    Purim is a Jewish holiday, celebrated by sending gifts of food (“mishloach Manot”) to others, eating a festive meal (“seudah”), and by giving alms. On Purim we also read the Scroll of Ester, which relates the origins of the holiday.]

   So yesterday, after hearing the Scroll of Ester I rushed home and started cutting up the vegetables needed for the meal. Once I had pre-prepared most of the items for the seudah, I set out to deliver the family’s mishloach manot.
   Now in most families, the wives usually stay home preparing the meal while their husband and/or children deliver the gifts of food to neighbors, teachers, Rabbis, etc.  However, my three youngest (non-married) sons were all out of town yesterday, and my husband is not able to physically do the walking needed. And sending Ricki out alone on a day as hectic as Purim would be downright dangerous. (And she anyway didn’t even want to come with me…)
    I realized that delivering mishloach manot to my neighbors would not be difficult, but I did have three destinations that were a bit far away. However, it initially did not bother me: I anyway wanted to be sure to get my daily “10,000 steps” in, and delivering mishloach manot was an excellent option for doing this.
  However, as I walked along, I suddenly realized that instead of enjoying my chance to get out of the house and stretch my limbs, I was inwardly ruminating over how pathetic a situation I find myself in: here I am about the only lady on the street (unless she’s accompanied by her husband or kids), no one is home to help, and I am doing EVERYTHING in this family.
 At least I caught myself in this negative mind set.
    “Ah, Rickismom”, I whispered inwardly, “You want to be like everyone else? Well, it just ISN’T going to be like that, because of __X Y Z___.  So you can be negative, OR you can decide to make the day a happy, positive one, and be happy for the myriad of good things in your life.”
   I choose the second option, and enjoyed the rest of my walk.
  Because happiness is NOT connected to what is going on in our lives, but rather on the internal messages we broadcast to ourselves.


mikimi said...

But it is hard at times, as you already know, to fond optimism and positivity in life's every day situations.
We are not all or always Pollyanna. And all too often our friends are More like family than our own family.

Batya said...

Delivering mishloach manot alone isn't as bad as when I was the only female fighting for the free sechach in Jerusalem.

belehcar said...

Great post and final thought!

rickismom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rickismom said...

Yes, Batya, I TOTALLY agree! (When I had to buy schach last year, I opted to get a mat roll. No crowd scene! And luckily one of my younger sons was able to buy my husband's 4 minim.....)

Mikimi, this isn't about being Pollyanna-ish. Its not about denying what hurts. It is about accepting the reality for what it is (" Well, it just ISN’T going to be like that") and then choosing to move beyond the pain and not let it take over your entire life.