I was talking to my husband last week about how even if one does not change what they do but change their approach to something, how all of a sudden one can change the situation into a totally different light – and nothing was physically different about whatever it was that was done. About 6 months ago this happened to me. I had this fantasy to get all the laundry washed, dried, folded AND put away before Shabbos. Yes, I do laundry during the week, but it does not get all done, and for some unknown amazing reason it just seems to come back on a very regular basis. This was very stressful and I would obviously not get it all done (like who in their right mind tries to wash, dry and fold the clothes and towels thrown in the laundry a few hours before Shabbos? I obviously was not in my right mind.)
I finally woke up and decided that was ridiculous and since then, I try to get whatever is washed and dried at least folded and put away. At least all put back in the basket to be put away later. With that attitude, I have usually been able to enter Shabbos so much more relaxed. I know that my house is never going to be perfect, and nor do I want it to be and I have accepted it happily in return for a more peaceful entrance into the much awaited special day. One might say, that by lowering the bar I would get less. No, I actually get at least the same, and sometimes I might even get more. What I do not get is the anxious feeling that I have to get it all done, NOW!
One big thing that I have been working on myself, and very recently trying to instill in the boys a lot lately, is Emunah (trust in Hashem.) If nothing else, it provides relief and less stress and worry into my life. I do not need extra worrying, I get enough of it already as a parent trying to raise 4 beautiful gifts, trying to be the best wife and trying to work on myself to make myself the best I can be. There are many things that I do not have control over, and why bother worrying about them. As long as I have trust in Hashem and know that He does only good and since He created me He will look after me, I cannot have those extra worries. He knows, I do not. I have tried to talk about this to the boys lately as opportunity arises to help them as well.
We have definitely been put to the test.
My husband has been suspicious that layoffs were coming soon. About 2 weeks ago his suspicions were justified and layoffs were
announced. What were we supposed to do? The only thing we can, or anyone, can; we try our best and do our part. For the last two weeks the two of us have talked and talk about our contingency plan. We had something to work with and started to put everything in place. Most of what it entailed was to figure out if our plan was viable and if it was, what was the best approach to take to make it happen. We obviously went back and forth with our emotions – loving it, not wanting to do it, loving it, hating change, loving it. All through the weeks we kept reminding each other: “Hashem knows best and He has always provided for us and whatever He decides is the best.” We did a very good and thorough planning and had such amazing detailed information. We spent many hours researching and talking and thinking. This past week we both talked from after supper until after 11:30pm every night (and my house shows it!) By the time we went to bed on Wednesday night, it was all set! We knew exactly what we were going to do. Our part was done. The only thing left to do is to sit back and wait for the future. It was not in our hands. If the plan was good for us, Hashem would let it happen, if not, we had complete trust that He would make sure we understood not to go through with it.
Wednesday night we were not worried. Antsy about what the future would bring, but not worried. We had complete trust that Hashem would guide us along the correct path. We actually were thinking our contingency plan would be good no matter what and that if it was not good then we trusted that Hashem would make it so obvious it was not. Well, our sign came.
Thursday morning my husband writes me – our contingency plan blew up. There were two other people involved in our contingency plan. One of them blew up at the other. There was no plan. It was almost like being dunked in a huge vat of ice water. Not only would we now not wanted to have worked with the person that blew up, that person actually nixed the whole plan for us – we cannot go through with it even if we wanted to. It is all for the good. What we didn’t expect was what happened a few hours later.
Hashem knows. My husband was thinking that perhaps layoffs were coming this week and so we just sat and waited. (Layoffs will happen by next week and there have been a few given earlier this week just not the bulk of them.) All that thinking, research and gathering up of toys and books and whatnot in the living room from the boys flash through my mind. This is good. There was really nothing to think about. I had no more thinking inside of me, I already did it all. I did my part already. Then, just hours after the bomb hit, I get another text from my husband. His work asked him to go on a business trip to multiple places. When? In three days. Lag B’Omer. Length of trip? However long it takes to get the job done. My unofficial personal third party guess is that the most likely case is about 2 weeks. If we are lucky, it will be less. As one of boys stated: “I guess he’s not getting laid off, is he?” Um, no, does not look like it. Isn’t it a little late for Purim? Or, is it just a bit on the early side? 😉
As I sit here and wait for boys to wake themselves up, I am ever so thankful that I have let Someone else do all the worrying for me! Life takes us on roller coaster rides and yes, life does get stressful for I do need to do work and make decisions – I have to put in effort and do my part, however, the outcome of whatever I do (or do not do), is out of my control. I can just imagine the possible headache and tight painful shoulders I would have had otherwise. Glad I do not have them! Today is going to be a busy day. Today is the only day to shop and pack before Daddy leaves. Baruch Hashem we have boys who can, and love to cook. They will help me this morning and that will be done.
In order not to stress out too much today in having to get everything done, I think I will keep in mind that even though I do not like
my boys running in the house, there is just no way I can tell a little boy who wears a cape or a bathrobe and tells me that he can fly just seconds before he “flies” down my hall. Or, how this week he asked how to spell my name. And he did. Or how his older brothers are proud that they can whip and fuse ropes. These all put a smile on my face and remind me it is the little things that make it all worthwhile (and keep those grey hairs from appearing too soon!)
Que sera sera, whatever will be will be. Things will get done. Food will be cooked and bags will be packed (somehow!). I have learned not to expect anything else in such situations. The only thing I would like to do is make just a few treats for Shabbos – just because. We all need them. I saw a neat photo of a Lag B’Omer cupcake that I can keep the boys busy decorating (so I can pack 😉 ) and some delicious looking strawberry/banana sliced snakes that we might have for breakfast tomorrow with our cinnamon buns. 🙂 It is all good.
Have a great Shabbos and Lag B’Omer!