In the old days, I used to make plans to do a long hitbodedut every single day of a 3-day Purim heading into Shabbat – and sometimes, they even used to come off.
But not, it seems, these days.
I’ve actually been struggling with a lack of motivation since Rosh Hashana, when I deleted Emunaroma to avoid getting pulled into any more ‘machloket’ with pretend-perfect crazy people.
And for three months, I did nothing much, because I didn’t want to have any more machloket in my life, and whatever I write, it always seems to end up there, somehow or other.
So then, back in December, I felt God wanted me back online, and with a heavy heart, I agreed.
Because I really don’t want any more machloket in my life!!! I just want an ‘easy’ life now, thanks very much, Hashem.
For months, I’ve been avoiding getting into anything too controversial again, as much as possible (although in our PC world, full of snowflakes just waiting to get offended so they can take out all their inner turmoil on you, that’s really much easier said than done.)
But I’ve been trying.
Now, you’d think that making a resolute effort to pursue the ‘easy’ life would be making me far more relaxed, chilled out, and overall happy-feeling. Believe me, I also thought that would happen.
But, man, was I wrong.
Instead of being more chilled out, laid back, exercising more, using all my energy to whip up healthy cakes, and go to the gym, and to spotlessly clean the house and iron my husband’s shirts (poor man…), I’ve actually been struggling to wake up most mornings, because what’s the point? My kids are big enough to get off to school without me, no-one needs a sandwich made, or a pair of sneakers found, so what’s the point?
Sure, I’ve still been doing stuff – lots of stuff, even – but nothing really has been exciting me too much, or grabbing me. Why? Because while it’s kinda meaningful, it’s also kinda bland. And bland is not enough to have me jumping out of bed in the morning.
But ‘interesting’ stuff is always inherently risky, in any number of different ways. It can draw people against you, it can draw you into disputes and patterns of thinking that are very unhealthy and destructive. It can lead to a lot of stress and complication….
So, I’ve been caught on the horns of a furious dilemma.
But today, Purim day, I realized something profound: I’m here to serve God, for the good, and also for the bad. I’m not here to have an easy life. And pursuing that ‘easy’ life is actually making my life anything but easy.
Externally, it’s relatively peaceful and tranquil, Baruch Hashem. Internally, I’m fighting a raging tempest that wakes me up 4 times a night, and gives me no rest. I’m falling apart physically. I can’t ignore God’s prompts anymore.
This is so similar to what happened to me before we moved to Israel. The risks associated with moving were so huge – in London, we both had good jobs, a nice house, a community, family, the language etc etc. It was far too scary to even contemplate aliya.
But then, God sent me a bunch of inexplicable panic attacks, and a series of bad nightmares about getting stuck in London during a terrorist attack (this was months before the 7/7 terror attack actually occurred, which killed 52 people in London) – and after the third time, I told my husband we have to do it, we have to move to Israel.
Because God was giving me no peace, and my ‘easy life’ was becoming a living nightmare.
And it’s happening again.
That’s what I realized, this Purim.