Waiting to Exhale


By Judy Victor, City Leader from Minneapolis, MN

Whether I am working full-time, part-time or a “stay-at- home” mom, I have always asked myself, “How am I going to get this all done?” “There isn’t enough time in the day!”  

I am running around doing all of my errands, cooking, cleaning, volunteering, working, schlepping, helping kids with homework, more schlepping, more cooking, a little Facebook, and then right back to the drawing board.  Ok, you get where I’m going.  And, I KNOW I’m not the only one out there with this kind of life.  

The life where you feel like you can’t catch your breath because your running so fast that if you do, you may miss something or G-d forbid disappoint someone.  I don’t like feeling like this at all and am working very hard to find balance every day.  Hopefully, one day I’ll get there.  

But, in the meantime.  TGIS.  No, it’s not a typo.  It shouldn’t be TGIF. 

TGIS- Thank G-d it’s Shabbos.

I was at a Shabbos meal a month or so ago, when someone asked about how Shabbos brought joy to one’s life.  He was referencing how hard it is to follow the rules of Shabbos and how all the restrictions made him feel trapped.

His feeling was not unlike mine, when I started my Jewish journey about 7 years ago.  I remember feeling like I didn’t want to wake up on Saturday and go to synagogue. Or, having to start Friday night dinner so late.

What I have come to realize over the years is that it’s not easy and it’s not going to happen overnight.  My husband and I SLOWLY started taking on different things that we felt we could do without feeling too restricted.  

To my surprise the restrictions became the opposite.  The sense of relief I feel when I know Shabbos is almost here, the freedom I feel when I am not connected to my electronic devices, the joy I feel when I connect to my family and friends has created a depth to my life I would never have had.  There isn’t a Shabbos that goes by where I don’t say to my husband, “How did we do it before Shabbos?”  

So, when the moment arrives and the waiting to exhale has come… and I stop…and breathe…. a full breath…. I smile and say TGIS.

My prayer for you is that this next Shabbos you exhale completely.

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