Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Struggling. . . and then not (so much)

I've been meaning to write for days (does every post of mine start this way?) but time really got away from me this past week. Besides for the fact that it was Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur was coming up, I had to give a presentation to all the other teachers at my school about differentiated instruction at work on Friday ( and I was really nervous).

So I've been kinda busy.

I really want to talk about R"H and Y"K. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this. And if I am that's fine and I'll be my own support group of one. But since I've had kids, I always find it hard to move (my head) back and forth from the mundane to the spiritual. The physical acts of taking care of kids seems to leave me no room to feel the spirituality of the day.

On R"H it was really hard. Our schedule was really thrown off, I didn't have a seat in shul, the shofar blowing was not good (both because the person blowing and the fact that EVERYONE brought their noisy kids into shul-I did not). It was not the best of holidays for me. I have been known to be resentful and grouchy on such days. I don't mind taking care of the kids, but I should also be a perfect Jew and daven and have kavanah (concentration)-that just seems too hard.

Y"K is always hard depending on how well I fast. I am an inconsistent faster, sometimes I fast great and sometimes I throw up and get headaches. Luckily, this time I fasted well. But I did not attempt to go to shul or even daven until 4 pm. And the reason for that? Besides the fact that my children were fighting every 10 minutes, I just wasn't feeling it. Fasting had to be enough at that point. But that afternoon, I felt like I should daven. So I did. I said Mincha, Neilah, and some extra tefilos (prayers) while my children pulled on my clothes, tattletaled on each other, and I even pushed the baby in the stroller at one point.

I can't force myself to feel something I don't. I do think the awareness of "not feeling" or "not feeling the way I am supposed to feel" is a bit of feeling itself. Confused? So am I. But this is it. Being so immersed in the physical world takes it's toll. Am I crazy? Do other people feel this way? I was feeling really discouraged about it yesterday until I davened and tried to feel some of the meaning of the day.

I am still discouraged. But I am trying to forgive myself a little bit and just be the best person I can be-as a Jew, as a mom, as a wife, and as a teacher.


I haven't gotten the book yet, maybe today? When I get it I will give everyone a timeline.


Orah said...

From one mother to another, G-d forgives your lack of spirituality. If u can fast and still focus on bringing up your batey yisroel w/yiras shamayim - then u r ahead of the game :)

Yitzy, Seth said...

Not feeling is not lack of Emunah (faith). Being conscious of the dip in feeling is itself showing that there is recognition of your spirituality. What you are feeling is natural and is built into the master plan. Its called Yimaiy Sinnah (lit: days of hatred, meaning low days). Much like everything in life, there are ebbs and flows with our connection to Hashem, and sometimes it is simply harder for a person to see/feel the connection. That doesn't mean it is not there! Our primary goal in life is to seek out that connection whether we feel it or not. Following the guidelines of the Torah and its values is designed to help and guide us to find that hidden tether to Hashem's holiness. To repeat, you are normal, and what you are feeling is normal!

Orah said...

Sorry - I will answer your question here. I made that post in haste without checking all my facts. The story IS true, but older than I realized, and Zara claims to have taken care of the issue. It also seems they were not fond of Israel. If you google Zara - antisemitism or something like that, you will find the original article which occurred in 2007, and the same picture of the purse. However, I am not buying the fact that they did NOT notice the slip (which was a more innocent Hindu emblem than the less innocent swastika which came about from the hindu symbol, apparently). I still decided to take the post down to not stir up NEW controversy, whether or not they ARE currently an antisemitic, anti-Israel company.

Lisa said...

Girl, you are preaching to the choir! It is so hard to try to feel spiritually uplifted when children are fighting, pooping, crying...etc...

Rach said...

beautifully written and I totally agree