The remainder of chol hamoed was pretty boring. We went to the beach on Tuesday and Wednesday was spent cooking and baking. Chag was nice enough although the Simchat Torah celebrations in our shul here NEVER come close to the ruach and excitement of our years in New Jersey. No fun minhagim for the kids, nothing to especially look forward to - just a lot of circles and some singing (not to mention that when the women have a table brought in so that they can literally dance around the sifrei torah as the scrolls lie on the table it SERIOUSLY irks me out.) Still, hakafot were as nice as they get and the meals were highly enjoyable. We had just the family and left-overs from the entire week at night and during the day Saba & Savta walked down from the other side of town to join us. We played Rummikub all afternoon and shmoozed a whole lot. I got the latest scoop on the status of Saba's book and even took a 10 minute cat-nap in a living room chair.
When I woke up I realized that the end of chag was only 15 minutes away and that another Sukkot had managed to slip through my fingers. I don't feel regret or anything, it's kind of like a poignant empty sort of feeling. Moving to Israel was the best thing ever, the air itself is charged and I feel like a different person entirely living here. However, I suppose that this surge of daily-kedusha of sorts has sort of numbed all of the things that used to mean so much to me. While I feel the 'specialness' on a daily basis, I no longer have the will or the desire to work towards maintaining the level I used to have because in a sense I feel that having the 'holiness' around me and breathing it has elevated me to the level that all of my hard-work used to elevate me to. In my 'old-age' I have gotten lazy and have no energy nor even desire to work to attain a higher spiritual level. In seminary when it was spoon-fed to me and I was surrounded by people working to make themselves better all the time it was a no-brain-er but now 2 years down the line and steeped in 'business' and 'day-to-day life' I feel so drained that I simply haven't got the energy to work for it. So I flounder on a daily basis, ignoring the rituals that used to feel special and sacred to me because they no longer seem to hold any meaning. Similarly, the chagim have lost their 'ta'am' or taste. They have no flavor and I feel as though I am standing mutely by as each one approaches and subsequently passes but I can't seem to grasp them. All of the things I used to delight in; going to Shul Shabbos morning, sitting in the sukkah, lighting menorah, mishloach manot, the seder and so on and so forth - year after year they simply pass by and I feel as though I can do nothing to connect or even re-connect with them.
Worst of all was being told that 'that's life' - day after day, doing the same thing and feeling the same empty, drained and used feeling. But I have a hard time comprehending that. My brain can't seem to tie itself in a knot and convince my mind and my heart that it is completely normal to spend every day of one's life miserable and wishing they were doing something different. I understand that there is a 'mundane' in life and that everyone has the boring everyday same-old-routine. But if you spend days and weeks waking up and offering your same-old-routine one more chance with a smile and positive attitude and if it keeps slapping you in the face and you NEVER seem to find peace with it - are you supposed to continue with the same-old-routine or is there a point when you should just decide that enough is enough and make a change?
I know people who float from thing to thing, never satisfied with what they have they try something and 2 weeks later if they don't like it they move-on. I disagree with that because things deserve a fair chance and life isn't always rainbows and butterflies and happy thoughts but still - when is enough simply enough?
Sukkot has passed by once again. The academic year (by which I ridiculously persist to measure my life by having been in 'the system' for so many years) begins anew and I enter my 23rd month as a secretary. There are just 54 days until the whole family leaves for our first-family-trip out of the country in 4 years as we head back to our ol' 'hometown' of Monmouth County for Channuka. A total of 146 days remain until my wedding, for which no preparations have been begun by anyone aside from myself. At least I won't be 23 for another 267 days, that is too much of a milestone for my brain to handle but I don't have to worry about it for at least another 167 days.