Made-a-move #38: Commitment to live life with more joy
I started this posting two weeks ago. Time has sped by – but I think the message of this posting is worth it for me to finish writing and try to ingrain in my psyche.
The 23 days leading up to October 10th of this year encompassed the holiest days of the Jewish calendar – starting with Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, followed by the 8 day holiday of Sukkot and concluding with the holidays of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. “The Season of Our Rejoicing” is another name for these final holidays. I have read in several sources, based on the teachings of the great leader referred to as The Bal Shem Tov, that what we accomplish with joy and dancing on Simchat Torah surpasses what we accomplish through prayer and fasting 3 weeks prior, during Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. This doesn’t negate the importance of the serious introspection and affirmation of dedication to do better. But, rather emphasizes the all-too-forgotten message that we need to LIVE life, and to do so be joyful.
In one of the weekly Torah readings not so long ago, The Creator told the beginning Jewish Nation “I give before you a choice … choose life.” Not just existence. But, choose LIFE. It is oh so easy to get caught up in the “rat race” of busy schedules, going with the flow of trying to keep up with what others around us are doing, and would-could-should to-do lists, etc. We need to choose our life. Take a stance on what our core values are and choose to live by them… with joy! To really move forward into the year, rather than be caught in old holding patterns, we need to make conscious, and continual, decisions to live life with joy. Not an easy thing to do by any means! Still have the lack of chores being done. Still have the messes in each room. Still have carpool, work, childhood illnesses, family member melt-downs, housework, finance challenges, and other demands needing attention. But, to face them with joy… that makes them part of life – not pulling us away from living.
I am struggling to make this shift in my daily life. Old habits are hard to break! Fortunately, my DH is working on the same shift and helping me along. The beginning results… procrastinated housework is starting to get done, a workable budget is underway, more family-time, less arguments, more mindfulness of what I am doing and more awareness of what I want to do/ accomplish… including doing things to make others smile (like making mandel breit to give to others) and thinking up new project ideas I would love to do… and, at the very least can have fun dreaming about with materials in hand. (I think I need to stop my kids from convincing me to take them to Michaels Craft stores!)
So, how can I remember to Live Life with Joy? This picture of my Rabbi on a zip line is a great inspiration!!
Have a great, and Joyful, week!