Buzzing Upwards by Amy Lefcoe
I’ve started drinking coffee and I’m not really sure why. I’m tempted to blame it on the time change (even though it goes back before that) which I still haven’t managed to get over. Ever since we moved the clocks forward, I can’t get out of bed in the morning. I feel like I’m lying there with a ton of lead on top of me. Anyway, coffee makes me happy. It smells good, it tastes good and I love the buzz. It gets me in to action.
I think back to the beginning of the school year when I was all geared up with energy and intent. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in my mind. My refrigerator stayed stocked with the things I needed. I got up in the morning before everyone to say some morning prayers and easily got out of the house for the gym two days a week. But the momentum of the new year is gone, and with it, my energy which it so graciously supplied. It has become a bit of a struggle. I can’t think of anything to make for dinner. The kids take PB&J or tuna everyday for lunch. They’re always complaining that there’s nothing to eat in the house. I’m finally back in the gym but it has taken and continues to take great effort.
What about all those Elul resolutions I made before Rosh Hashana? These were the things I was going to take on this year in order to grow and become a better person. Have I stuck with them and am I growing? Is this year different? I know I’ve made progress but I’m running out of steam. All that Tishrei resolve is waning. I’m thinking I could use some coffee for my soul, to give me a boost here as well, but that’s a little more difficult to find. Or is it?
Enter, the Omer period – my spiritual Starbucks. In G-d's infinite wisdom, G-d knew that some time more than half way through the year, I would need a space to take stock and recommit to who I am, where I’m going and what’s really important to me. I’ve gotten lost in the day to day and I have to refocus. I need to remember who I was going to be this year and the plan I created to make that happen. I want to set my sights on Sinai because with Shavuot around the corner, that’s where I’m headed.
The days of the Omer are packed with support from Heaven. All I have to do is show Hashem that I am back on board and Hashem will help get me there. It is a spiritually, powerful time for growth and I need to take full advantage of it. What character traits do I need to perfect? Do I need to become more patient? How about less quick to judge others? Am I walking around angry and complaining a lot of the time because things aren’t going my way? What about bad habits that bring me down? Do I use sugar to make me feel better and then feel guilty about it afterwards? Am I treating my husband royally or do I just expect to be treated like the queen?
It’s time to do some serious soul searching and address the areas that are calling out for self improvement. I will be honest with myself but kind and patient as well. We are only human and our job in this world is to grow. Set a simple goal, make a simple plan on how to get there and remember to ask Hashem for help. Then, a renewed energy that comes from sincere effort will appear. Who needs caffeine anyway?
Amy Lefcoe is a City Leader with Tidewater Jewish Journeys (Norfolk, VA).