Change is good

When I cry out to G-d in a fit of frustration, it seems that the most often comment is– “Why so soon after the last test?! Can I not be allowed to breath freely or smile without worry for a minute?!” It seems that the tests come one after the other– as soon as one finishes, the next is less than a day away, and sometimes hours or even only 30 minutes past the last one. And I’m not talking about little things. I’m not going to get into an objective ‘is this an issue or not’ because we could spend all day topping each other; but to me at least, these are very big things. Things outside my ability to handle that can often take months to resolve.

The past two days have been the first two days of school. And, looking back, I really have had that break I asked for. Sure, I spent the first day back telling people not to hug me because my guts might fall out onto the floor (yes, I really was feeling that sick at first, and it was beyond hilarious when I said it to an over-enthusiastic teacher); I had a dilemma with my lunchbox and a horrible time with my safa diagnostic test, and I still don’t have my new headphones. But all of these, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty minor. Most importantly, I had the resilience to treat them as such.

But I’ve never laughed so much on the first day of school before. Ever. Or nearly any day, in fact. It turns out I can take better care of myself then I though, and so my health’s basically been stable. (To the utter shock of the resource room director, who’s known me for a while.) I won’t say the past two days have been so easy, but they’ve been amazing fun, amazing growth, and a lot of a lighter load then I’m used to getting from Above.

No doubt, even if I wasn’t ‘due’ for another test right now, writing this will seal the deal. But that’s ok. It won’t erase what a wonderful start of the year it’s been. I hope I’ll cherish these simple sweet memories for a while.

It’s ok to get upset when bad things happen. For me, acknowledging it’s hard, and that each test pushes me past what I think I can do, even as I usually come out ok, is how I get the strength to pull together and move on with life. But there’s a flip side. You have to knowledge the good. Believe it or not, I just did.

Thank you G-d, from the bottom of the healthy heart You gave me, written with the fingers that feel pretty good today, recognized with the amazing brain You gave me to use, on the computer that works well, for a day that was good not just in hindsight, but right here and now.

Good news

After a bad day today, I davened, as I often do, for good news.

“Please G-d, good news! Any Good News!”

Considering I was thinking more along the lines of Moshiach, world peace (the same thing, really) or something else epic, I didn’t really connect this teffilah with the call from my brother until now.

He mentioned a CD I loved, that I wasn’t able to get a personal copy of, and asked me if I’d like a free copy. No joke. I still don’t know how, but he was able to get a few. Not what I wanted, but it comforted me greatly.

Maybe you could call this just coincidence. Maybe G-d didn’t personally pull the strings this time, and I’ll never know for sure. But it reminded me of all the times where He has.

Sopping smile

You know how they say ‘If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all?’ I was having a day like that today. It’s always hard to get back into the grind of things after being away for a while… and… yeah.

Sometimes, some people are just there at the right time.

Though I dislike chatting at work (pre-schoolers have this inner radar for when the worst time to cause trouble and get away with it would be,) my co-counselors were more than handling everything and it seemed like a matter of mental pikuach nefesh. So when a good friend kindly and genuinely asked what was wrong, I spilled it all out.

I think what she said was the perfect answer– sympathy, a way of getting past the problem, and practical advice for if it didn’t get better. Then she finished with, “I’d give you a hug but I’m sopping wet.” (Never give your campers water unless you want a shower. You have been warned.) I told her that that wasn’t a problem.

Maybe to some it might seem like this isn’t such a big deal. I recognize that with my smaller social circle, this might be a less frequent thing for me than for some. Maybe I just have less earthshaking problems. (Nah.) But even if you get this kind of warm friendship every time you stub a toe, or sneeze, appreciate it. Not just because things like these can be here today and gone tomorrow, but just because they’re here now. Not just because you might not appreciate what you have, but because you can thank G-d for what you have to appreciate.

 

Min Hametzar

I keep a running collection of quotes, and today was ‘Quote Day,’ where I sent one or two to each close friend. At one, I was at a loss. She’d seen my entire collection recently, including some of my best ones and the ones most suited to her. I picked a couple new ones I hoped would work and sent them off.

How was I supposed to know that the first one featured a favorite of hers? And thanks to being delayed a few hours in sending, I received the reply right when I most needed cheering up.

Spreading the sunshine

Today was the second day of my camp job. At dismissal, I was ‘asked’ to do a job that wasn’t technically mine– but someone had to do it, and it was impossible to explain that that someone wasn’t me.

When I got back, another parent (one whom I nearly gave the wrong child this time yesterday!) complimented me on and on about my positive attitude even at the end of the day. It was so kind, and made a huge difference to me.

 

Ps. The next time I saw the first parent, they were much more polite. What the other mother said had a big impact on both of us, it seems.

Not a joke

When is opening a door not just opening a door?

When you’re having a horrible day and you’re not feeling well and you have two exams that day and you’re exhausted and in the verge of tears at 8:18 in the morning.

And someone who I didn’t even realize that she noticed I was there stood at the top of the stairs for half a minute holding the door for me. It really actually made a big impact on the rest of the morning, which proved to be really stressful—but not as stressful as it would have been without knowing someone cares.

But for the grace of G-d

Thank You, thank You, thank You G-d!

It’s a miracle– I can’t explain it. My sewing machine has been malfunctioning for months. Nothing worked– teffilah (prayer) (always a good first step), adjustments, larger stitches, smaller stitches, a new needle– nothing!

Out of the blue, it started working perfectly. I hope (and pray) that it will stay that way! I have kavod Yom Tov to make!


An even bigger and greater thank You for another huge miracle. In this post, I mentioned the name Tuvia Avraham ben Chaya Zisha– Rabbi Meister. In a chance so unlikely it must be the hand of G-d, he is doing a hundred times better. Baruch Hashem! Im Yirtzeh Hashem, he will have a complete recovery soon.

If you davened (also means prayed)  for him, then thank YOU! You literally made my day– and most definitely his.

(The full story is in last week’s Mishpacha Magazine, for those who are interested.)

Coincidence? I think not

Today

  1. I had to be home at a certain time so that I could go back out again a few minutes later. Don’t ask.
  2. The bus got caught in minor traffic and was a few minutes late.
  3. As I texted my father, who was meant to meet me outside of shul, to please wait one more minute, the cellphone unexpectedly died, and refused to turn back on for even one more message.
  4. My father had an errand to run and left shul much faster than usual.
  5. I rushed to shul. My father’s car was not in the parking lot, so I went in to ask the Rav if I could call my parents and let them know I would be a few minutes late.

Then what happened?

  1. The Rav told me that he’d seen my father not a minute ago, and went out to check the curb where, unknown to me, he sometimes parks.
  2. My father had just pulled away.
  3. Another Rav, whom I’d never met before, instantly asked where I was going until I gave up on saying that I really could walk on my own as long as my parents were called.
  4. Not only did he drive me home, he spent the entire ride telling me that it wasn’t out of his way, it was meant to be, and how on earth could I deprive him of the opportunity to do a mitzvah.
  5. Meanwhile, the Rav of the Shul called my parents to explain what happened and that I would be home safe soon.
  6. TODAH RABAH

Today was a day with many chasdai Hashem, some revealed and glorious, some hidden and painful. I am immensely grateful to all those who gave the day its glory and gave honour to Hashem.