The Truth about my Chanukah
The definition of a nudnick, someone once quipped, is a person who, when you are passing him on the street and throw him a casual “How ya doin’,” actually stops you to tell you the truth.
So this morning, when Yaakov’s ganenet asked me in passing how my Chanukah was, I told her, with as big a smile as I could muster that, “It was REALLY FUN!!!”
But I can’t lie to you, JewishMOM.
Chanukah, for me, was really hard. All my kids were home for the entire week, and my parents were also visiting. And, of course, I love my kids and I love my parents. And there were a lot of special moments– making a surprise birthday party for Josh, sitting by my candles every night and thinking deep thoughts, seeing my parents enjoying my children.
But not only the sufganiot were fried this Chanukah, I myself felt deep fried as well. I was so exhausted from dealing with everyone (and especially right after Josh’s 2-week trip abroad) that I felt like I just couldn’t feel anything anymore. Like nothing in the world could make me feel happy. Nuuumb.
B”H, on Shabbat I was able to spend 3 hours locked in my bedroom reading and resting, and when I came out, I felt good again for the first time all Chanukah. And b”H that good feeling has continued.
But my blaaah Chanukah experience reminded me of something I once learned.
The Sefer HaYashar teaches that in life we experience “Days of Love” and “Days of Hate.” We all love our days of love– when life feels inspiring and exciting. And we hate the days of hate–when life feels challenging, like pulling teeth, like putting one foot in front of the other– no inspiration or excitement anywhere in our hearts or on the horizon. And on top of feeling low we feel guilty for not feeling as happy and grateful as we think we should at all times for the precious blessings every Jewish mother has received.
But the truth is that Hashem grants us more Divine reward for the good deeds and mitzvot we manage to do on those tough, blaaah days when we have to force ourselves to get off the sofa to take care of our children and be nice to our parents and clean up the hurricane-mess before our husbands trip through the front door.
And another thing I heard is that when we are going through days of hate, the days of love are not far behind. So when you are feeling blaah, just hold tight and know your smile is right around the corner:)