Surviving Miserable Afternoons in Jerusalem: My Update
Here’s my 2-week update on the post Improving My Miserable Afternoons.
While it’s still a challenge, my 4-7 situation has been improving somewhat. Here’s a few things that are helping:
* I lock myself in my bedroom for 10 or 15 minutes to fully focus on something uninterrupted. For example, I read an article online or I check my Emails or readers’ comments. The first time I did this I returned to my kids feeling so much calmer, healed even. I realize that part of what’s so hard for me between 4 and 7 is that with all the kids home it’s so non-stop and frenetic, like there’s a strobe-light in my kitchen, that I end up getting irritable and overwhelmed. JewishMOM sensory overload. Focusing fully on something with nobody bothering me makes my brain feel so much better.
* Leaving the house. Taking a few minutes to walk outside and express my gratitude to Hashem and request his assistance is helpful. Or, when possible, it helps to get out of the house for half an hour or more. Yesterday, when my older daughter came home who could watch the other kids, I took 6-year-old Tsofia to pick out new glasses, how wonderful to have a chance to see Tsoofy outside of the 4-7 strobe-light, and to come home happy and recharged. Tomorrow I will take all the little kids to a performance from the community center. Getting out of the house–on my own or with one or all of my children can single-handedly rescue a drowning afternoon.
*Music I love. Playing loud. I tend to get really into a certain song for a few weeks, and listen to it over and over to inspire me. For a few weeks I was listening to Yaakov’s Shwekey’s “I am a Miracle.” Right now, the song that is getting me through my challenging afternoons is this one…OK, I know this is weird, but I imagine Hashem is singing it to me. No matter how many times I hear this, the chorus never fails to make me smile, and it always brings tears to my eyes when I imagine Him saying, “If this world makes you crazy, and you’ve taken all you can bear, you call Me up, because you know I’ll be there.”