When I was a kid, I loved Passover. If you’re not familiar, it’s sort of the Christmas for Jews. Well, not exactly, but it was the biggest holiday of the year for me. Everyone went to my grandparent’s house in Albany, NY and settled in for a four-hour long Seder, the Passover meal, with lots of songs, traditions, and food. Oh, and then we did it all again the second night. It was fun and exhausting!
To remember the Jews that had to quickly leave Egypt years ago, the tradition is to avoid any anything that rises, essentially any bread products. You would think that this wouldn’t be a big deal for me, considering that I don’t normally eat bread.
Here’s the thing. As soon as you tell me I can’t have something, that’s all I want. My brain seems to focus on exactly what I’ve been told not to have.
I don’t think this is defiance thing. I think this is about attention. When something gets all the attention, it becomes the focus. For similar reasons, diets and heavy restrictions don’t work for me.
I do think it is important to know my history and to honor my ancestors and I would rather do that than worry about my food. So, for me, I need to take the restrictions out of my vocabulary. If I pay a little less attention to the rules and take this week (Passover lasts for eight days) to have a little more gratitude for all I have, I think I’d enhance my physical and spiritual self.
I’m curious to know how you navigate holidays. Especially when they impact your routine, your food, or your sleep. How do you appreciate the good and not get thrown off center?