We never did get a snow-day off from work last winter, but on Thursday night, a really bad thunderstorm rolled through. Since I finally killed the plant that I brought home from Grandma's funeral, I started composting in the empty pot, and the storm blew my pot quite a distance and scattered apple cores, banana peels, egg shells, cucumber peels, and more in various stages of decomposition all over. The good news is that it knocked the power out at work, and we didn't have to go in on Friday! THREE-DAY WEEKEND!
Now for Some Serious News: I've always been a worrier, but in recent years, my anxiety has gotten even worse. I think it has to do with my life having improved since I moved to this state. Back when I lived in Louisiana, when I worked part-time (and wow, does that feel long ago), I had a lot more free time to spare but a lot less money. Now, it's kinda the opposite. Back then, I didn't have much to lose, but now, I do, and I'm scared of losing it.
We're planning a vacation for the first week of August, and boy, have I been stressing out over it. I stressed out over our vacation last year and in 2014 too, but this year, I'm more stressed out than ever because we're driving, not flying. Obviously flying has its disadvantages too, but I find a lot of comfort in knowing that once I'm on the plane, it's all out of my hands. But when you're driving, it's all on you. You're responsible for maintaining the vehicle, navigating the roads, driving safely, etc. I've spent a lot of money on Muse Watson (my cranky old car, named after a cranky old actor) to make sure that he's ready for the trip. I had this steering system fixed last month, and this week, I had one of his headlights replaced (it had gone out) and new brake pads put in (they'd been squealing when I stopped). Although he's generally a pretty reliable car, I'm still so paranoid that something will go wrong and I won't make it to the beach. I love the beach, and neither of us have been to one in so long, so we really need this vacation. I feel like everything is literally riding on me, and I've been nervous to the point of nausea!
My problem is that the things I worry about usually don't happen, so I've gotten this ridiculous idea that I can keep things from happening by worrying the hell out of them. I keep trying to tell myself it doesn't work that way, but I still feel like worrying is something I have to do. Lately the sleepless nights have gotten so bad that I've started taking Diphenhydramine again, even though I read it's been linked to dementia later in life. One more thing to worry about!
In Jew News: Rabbi B is away at our congregational Jewish summer camp this week, so last Friday, we had a lay leader... who used her sermon to call for the resignation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she made some comments about Donald Trump. (Yeah, they haven't even replaced Scalia yet, so Ginsburg resigning would be a great thing.) Her complaint was that Ginsburg "politicized" the Supreme Court -- but apparently using a Shabbat service to discuss this wasn't politicizing the damn bimah. I was so disgusted by the hypocrisy that I actually got up and walked out, something I'd never done before (and don't think I haven't been tempted before).
Our world seems like such a scary and uncertain place lately. The terrorist attacks in Nice, violence against police officers in Dallas, the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando -- the bad news just doesn't seem to end anymore, which of course isn't helping my anxiety, either. An e-mail sent out by Rabbi K on Friday evening contained these very eloquent words, which I'm going to try to keep in mind:
I invite you on this heartbreaking day to stop and take a long deep breath.
Let it fill your lungs and your heart.
Feel its love and its Holiness.
Imagine what your life would be without it.
As you exhale, use your breath to:
Give thanks to the Source of All Breath, by whatever name you may call that. Use words like Creation and Glory and Miracle to appreciate the first time and every time we are blessed with a breath.
Grieve for the loss of life anywhere in the world. We can not afford to barricade our hearts to avoid the pain. We need to allow it to hurt to move us to work to making things better.
And then, despite the pain -- because of the pain:
Use the gift of our breath and strength and spirit to connect with others for the purpose of setting a different example; shouting a more universally loving message; moving this scary, chaotic world in a more peaceful, Holy direction.
And when that seems too hard, too little, too late -- when it seems useless and hopeless…
Take another deep breath.