There’s this thing that happens when I come home from a long trip, when I crawl into my own bed after spending days and days sleeping in a different bed. I forget that the bed is too small, I forget that it’s too high off the ground. I forget that the pillows are lumpy from years of use, and that the thread count on my sheets is simply Target. The lumpy pillows and the too-small bed are exactly what I need for a good night’s sleep. It’s like I needed to go away, to spend time in other beds, to realize all the amazing things about my own bed, like the perfect mattress.
Perspective, I guess.
This is what’s happening to me, only on a much broader scale. You had to know I wasn’t just talking about beds.
It happened to me with my work. I left a job that wasn’t the right fit anymore. I left a situation that I had loved for so long but had all but burned me right out. But I needed to be no longer in it to realize what it was doing to me, to realize that I had made the right decision for me, for my health, for my sanity. It was a hard decision to make, as hard decisions often are. As a girl who doesn’t like to rock boats, I have a hard time making even the littlest of changes, and this was a big, ole colossal one.
And it’s not the only one.
Earlier this week I agreed to be a part of my friend Brandie’s 1,000 Families Project. (Go on, click over there, poke around a bit. It’s amazing. I can wait.) She asked me to talk about my family, in about 500 words. I worried that I wouldn’t have much to say, that my family isn’t all that unique. But when I started writing, I realized that 500 words just wasn’t enough to tell our story.
Not nearly enough. Because colossal changes seem to be aplenty around these parts.
I may have mentioned that one or a hundred (sorrynotsorry) times. We aren’t moving very far, just a couple miles south of where we are right now, close to where we used to live about five years ago. But moving closer to community means so many things for our family, it means so many things that have been missing. We needed to be away from it—away from the things I didn’t love—to really, truly miss the things that I did love, and do love, and miss terribly. We miss the bustle, the business of Shabbat.
For the last few years, it has been a very personal, quiet day. It was a decision that worked for us at the time, but seems to not be working for us anymore.
It seems that I needed the quiet to remember the noise.
We are putting our children back in Jewish Day School.
Three years ago we made the decision to switch our three children from private school to public school. And I can tell you honestly, I don’t regret it for a second. My children flourished in their amazing, amazing across-the-street public school. They made life-long friends, they worked harder and learned more than I imagined, had great teachers, and were happy. But I missed some things about Jewish day school, my children missed some things.
And then those nagging pangs kept nagging and nagging some more and over the summer, when the Jewish community in Toronto was watching, reading, hearing, feeling what was happening to our loved ones across the globe in Israel, I finally broke.
My children broke too. I received a proposal, a pitch if you will, as to why my daughter should and needs to go to this school. As she enters high school, my daughter wants to take on more responsibility, more work. She wants it, she needs it. My youngest (the rebbetzin, we call her) is working on her own pitch as well.
I know in my heart that these are the right decisions for these three little humans I am responsible for.
My only real goal in life is to raise happy, kind, decent humans, and it’s turning out to be the hardest job in the world. Occasionally I get things right — I am raising three hardcore Packers fans, after all. But I sure mess up a lot. I will probably mess up 4.5 million times in their lifetimes — I probably mess up that many times in just a week. But THIS FEELS RIGHT.
We needed to be away from it to realize how much we needed it.
Just like that too-small bed of mine.