Last week, I crashed again.
Baruch Hashem, my daughter had her bat mitzvah party last Sunday at Ein Yael, in the green hills of Jerusalem. Ein Yael is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and if you’re ever looking for something to do with the kids in the Summer, it’s a good pick.
Bizarrely, it’s also one of the cheapest places you can rent for a simcha, which is how we ended up there. This bat mitzvah was one miracle after another: it was a miracle we had enough money to do it in the first place; it was a miracle we found such a cheap, gorgeous venue; it was a miracle that all the food got warmed up OK, as the electricity was out for the first hour and a half; it was a miracle that all the kids my daughter invited got there in one piece, as it’s a half hour shlep up a mountain.
But even with all the miracles and Heavenly help we got to pull it off, the day after the bat mitzvah, I was completely shattered. (Shlepping 48 litres of drinks to and from the car did wonders for my biceps, but otherwise, it probably wasn’t so helpful.)
But I still had a lot to do! There was the diagrams for the book to get finished, and all the end of school stuff to attend, like a dutiful mother.
So I carried on until Tuesday – and Wednesday, I was so mentally exhausted when I woke up, I almost couldn’t move. I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t shop. Nothing. All I could do was sit on a couch and read a bit, and even the reading was pretty taxing.
That state of utter exhaustion has happened to me before, and in the past it’s taken weeks and even months to really recover from it.
This time, I realized that if I didn’t slam on all the brakes ASAP, I was staring another bout of chronic, long-term exhaustion in the face. So I told my husband: “I can’t cook! I can’t shlep another kid to another bat mitzvah party! I can barely move! I just have to sit still, and recuperate.”
God helped me out by arranging for the gas company to remove my gas meter (by mistake, apparently) so my oven anyway wasn’t working, even if I wanted it to.
Ironically, I didn’t even have enough energy to do my usual energy exercises, or to make my usual healthy smoothies, so on Wednesday I ate a big bar of chocolate for lunch.
Before I went to sleep, I dabbed a load of aromatherapy on, I stuck a bunch of strength-inducing seeds on my palm, and I had a very early night.
Thursday, I felt a bit better for the first half an hour, but then I started to feel incredibly weak again, like I was going to fall over. I took it really easy and ate a lot of salad, which helped a bit. But by evening, I was still feeling pretty rotten.
Physically, I was actually OK, but mentally I was completely wasted and beyond burned-out.
I was starting to worry, when God sent me a brainwave: nip off to the tomb of King David, and spend a bit of time there.
One of the amazing things about where I currently live is that King David’s tomb is a 20 minute walk away. My husband came with me, and I took lots of breaks on the way to sit down and gather my strength for the next 5 minute walk – and finally, I got there.
I sat down – and it hit me like a wave how spiritually depleted I felt. Like I was completely washed out, and washed up. I sat there for 20 minutes, and what can I tell you?
I came out feeling a whole lot better.
I walked home with no rest-stops; I had another early night; and today, I woke up feeling almost back to normal.
With all my healthy eating, and energy exercising, and hitbodeding, God reminded me yet again that maintaining a strong connection to our tzadikim, both alive and dead, is what’s really keeping me going.
We live in very tiring times. I’ve lost track of the number of people who’ve told me recently that they feel like time is speeding up. The truth is, that it is – and 2015 is a very exhausting place to be.
So if you’re also cracking under the strain, clear your desk, cancel all appointments, order in pizza for supper and head off to King David, (or your nearest big tzadik) for an immediate pick-me-up.
It’s cheaper than a spa (unless you have to fly in from somewhere), it’s faster than a face-life, and from personal experience, I can tell you that it really will rejewvenate you.