This is an unprecedented time we live in. We are stuck in our homes, away from loved ones, and many of us have lost our jobs. Some of us are working so much caring for others it seems like it will never end!
Yes, I consider myself lucky right now
I feel fortunate, but I think about others who might not be.
People who don’t have a home with much space. People who live with crazy amounts of clutter who can’t cope. People who live alone and have no one to share their space with, especially on shabbat or over yom tov. Women who live with abusive spouses. Kids who live with abusive parents. The people who are sick, mentally and physically or parents who take care of children who are, and who now can’t catch a break. Those who are suffering alone in the hospital with coronavirus all alone who can’t be with their families.
The suffering hurts my heart but it also makes me feel grateful for what I have.
I am in a few parenting groups about coronavirus and the level of complaining is, understandably, high. I feel that if we can all express a little gratitude about our situations it can make things a lot easier for us, even when it seems like there isn’t much to be grateful for.
Many people have messaged me about how they don’t want to get rid of items they would have normally decluttered – just in case. There is a lot of fear. There is a ton of worry.
I admit, I worry too. I worry I may never get to see my parents again, especially my mother who is unwell and lives on the other side of the world.
I worry sometimes we will run out of food or even worse – money.
I worry someone I love will get coronavirus and not recover.
I worry about if this will make my kids hoarders in the future. If this will create a generation of hoarders.
Something that I have said time and time again is: I believe that we will always have what we need. Sometimes I forget this, and go into worry mode, but then all I have to do is remind myself, I will always have what I need. When I can remember this, that G-d always provides for me. I can turn my negative feelings into positive ones, nothing is too big for G-d.
I saw an interesting post on Facebook. The hebrew word for quarantine is Bidud. The numerical value of Bidud is 26 – the same value as G-d’s name.
Bidud is part of the word for hitbodedut which means self introspection or self isolation. It is true we are physically separated from each other, but G-d is still with us, even when we aren’t with others. This is our time to forge our relationship with G-d.
I don’t believe that we are alone, even when it feels like we are.
Maybe this is a call to do teshuvah – repentance. I can’t say.
I can tell you though what I believe. I feel so strongly that this is a call to strengthen our connection to our spirit and our soul and minimize our connection to the physical aspects of life, specifically stuff.
Having too many material objects isn’t what our soul needs to grow. In fact, it’s the excess of stuff that gets in the way of our learning, growth, and oftentimes our connection to one another.
I am not saying give it all up and live a life of poverty. I am saying now is the time to find balance. Both in your spiritual and materialistic part of life.
Instead of hoarding food because we are worried that we will not have food after pesach, now is the time to clear out, and make space for the pesach food. (I feel like it’s important to note that you should have enough food in the house to last you long enough to be making minimal trips to the grocery store to limit your exposure – but you don’t need a bunker of food.)
Instead of holding on to shirts that are ready for the recycling bin, we let them go with the belief that when we actually need something new, it will find us. It doesn’t mean we will have to buy it, maybe our friends will give it to us.
With emunah, faith, we will get what we need. When we strengthen our belief in G-d, that we will have what we need. If it doesn’t appear, we may not need it.
One actionable way that helps me figure out need vs want is practicing gratitude. Writing down what I am grateful for reminds me that everything else I have is just gravy!
I hope this article has given you a little bit of extra strength and a chance to evaluate to pause, take stock of your situation, and pivot where needed.
Next week is Pesach and I have decided that I am going to take some time off until after the chag.
I would love it if you all would email or message me about topics you would like to hear about to help you now. I will do my best to get those scheduled for the week after Pesach.
A few quick tips:
- Don’t look for a way to make cleaning harder. Take a deep breath and be ok with a little less, just do the basics!
- Switch to kitniyot snacks now so kids stop tracking chametz through the house, and don’t go overboard on the food, cook only what you need. It doesn’t need to mega fancy, it can be the basics!
- If you feel like you need some guidance on pesach you can check out episodes 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 46, 50, 51, 52, 98, and 99.
If that isn’t enough and you still feel overwhelmed, worried, and need some support, please reach out to me.
I have a new online option for us to work together called Done In A Day Decluttering. This is a program where we work together to make a plan and have several check in sessions to keep you on track. Just send an email to [email protected] to find out more.
For now, I wish you a healthy, kosher passover.