A Seder for One

Dayenu!

Passover is traditionally a holiday that is shared with family and friends. I’ve attended Seders with more than 100 people in attendance.

Last night, I held a Seder for myself. Yep, just me. (I did set out a cup of bubbly, non-alcoholic water for Elijah, and even though I left my door open, he didn’t show up and hasn’t shown up yet. <– maybe because eventually, I had to lock the door?!)

To celebrate the first Seder of Passover, there are soooooooo many places I could have gone and been welcomed with open arms. Alternatively, I could have invited a few wayward Jewish and non-Jewish friends over to my home to share in my lil’ Seder. I did neither of those things…

Here’s why I had a Seder for One:

These days, I so rarely get any time to be by myself and last night, I just had to take advantage of the calm and quiet peace in our home. It was absolutely beautiful.

I did veeeeeeery minimal preparation (thanks to Max’s Deli,) and read through A Global Justice Haggadah with my furry friends beside me. I guess I wasn’t really alone because my pets, Erin, Kishke and Polly were all begging me for food. I could also feel the presence of my amazing grandma, Faye Lazar, as I do often and especially on every meaningful Jewish holiday. With every bite of matzo ball soup I slurped, I could feel my grandma judging because there was dill in the matzo balls which she would have seen as an absolute shanda!!!!!! “Dill in matzo balls?!?!?! Fish from a jar?!?!?!?!” Faye Lazar forgives my shortcuts and I’m sure G-d does too.

I did have a moment where I wondered if G-d was cool with how I was doing the first night of Passover this year. I’m pretty sure G-d was good with it and maybe even applauded it a little.

It was a perfect Seder. Perfect.

Dayenu!

Cutting, Keeping & Nurturing the Right Ties, Redux

Things have changed since the original post, but the peace really hasn’t.

I originally wrote this blog post a few years ago about my ex-husband and daughters celebrating our wedding anniversary together. Some people found this pretty weird, and others celebrated our vastly improved relationship since we chose to exit our marriage. 

Either way, this is our life and how we choose to live it.  Continue reading “Cutting, Keeping & Nurturing the Right Ties, Redux”

People are Kind

People are kind.

Just now, I took the dog for a walk. It’s chilly, but as usual, I chose not to wear a jacket. One of the things I like about frigid weather in the winter is how alive I feel when the glacial air blasts my face.  Continue reading “People are Kind”

An Authentic, Invested, Thanksgiving That May Not be “Happy.”

Not that you’ve asked, but for me, the typical Thanksgiving greeting, reeks of a lack of inclusion of all people. It’s downright platitudinous.

This original post is from several years ago. It’s been edited to reflect this year’s extra weirdness.

A typical greeting on Thanksgiving is, “Happy Thanksgiving,” but  I much prefer,

“I wish you a MEANINGFUL Thanksgiving.”

I actually take this tack with most holidays and even just plain old days. This hope for “meaning,” applies this year as much as any other. Many of us are about to embark on a Thanksgiving like no other one in the past. We may be missing our parents, kids, extended family and friends. Still, how many people have felt totally alone even when a pandemic isn’t spiking? Lots and lots.

Not that you’ve asked, but for me, the typical Thanksgiving greeting, reeks of a lack of inclusion of all people. It’s downright platitudinous. Do you really want to say, “Happy Thanksgiving,” to indigenous people? Many Native Americans observe this day, as a day of mourning or “UnThanksgiving.” Continue reading “An Authentic, Invested, Thanksgiving That May Not be “Happy.””

Project Target: One, 50 Year Old, Knocked Up, Perimenopausal, Meat- Juice Lovin’ Grandma, Finds & Shares Love & Joy

I have grown to acknowledge, embrace and celebrate, that some of the best, most beautiful experiences of my life, happen at Target and Jewel-Osco. To be more accurate, I find endless pleasure in people, places and things. I also happen to spend a great deal of time at Target and Jewel.

One year ago, I embarked on a photo series on Facebook – called, “My Beloved Jewel.” It’s a melange of musings… basically, all of the random, peculiarly hilarious items and situations I can find at Jewel. What began in my head as just something that tickled me, ended up being one of the things people ask me most about in my day to day life: Continue reading “Project Target: One, 50 Year Old, Knocked Up, Perimenopausal, Meat- Juice Lovin’ Grandma, Finds & Shares Love & Joy”

Cutting, Keeping & Nurturing the Right Ties, Redux

Things have changed since the original post, but the peace really hasn’t.

I originally wrote this blog post a few years ago about my ex-husband and daughters celebrating our wedding anniversary together. Some people found this pretty weird, and others celebrated our vastly improved relationship since we chose to exit our marriage. 

Either way, this is our life and how we choose to live it. 

For anyone who believes they despise their ex, or spends a lot of mind and heart space on reliving the bad, I hope this article includes benefits for you.

Being divorced and co-parenting isn’t always easy. In my own experience, walking through a divorce and then making an intentional choice to stay kind and loving as co-parents, takes work and commitment. (And then, more work and re-commitment.) The truth is, I’ve been far more committed to, (and successful at,) being a good ex-wife, than I ever was, at being a good wife the entire time I was married.

The commitment to working on a healthy relationship with my ex has been one of the most poignant and growthful experiences of my life. 

I wish you peace, joy and harmony for all parties, even where dissonance exists.

_____________________________

Originally Published on June 16th, 2016

Yesterday was my 14th wedding anniversary. My ex-husband and I honored each other and our children, with an evening of celebrating together. We’ve been divorced for five years, and separated for a few years before that.

I don’t regret marrying. I learned a great deal about my own insecurities, my willingness to forgive, my desire to take risks, and my openness to learn and grow from my mistakes. Our marriage also resulted in two beautiful daughters who bring us daily joy and an abundance of gray hairs.

Last evening, as I enjoyed my nontraditional family, I marveled at our kind and empathetic friendship, one that we committed to work on when we first split.  When we initially made this commitment, it was for the kids. I think we’ve both realized how much it nourishes our own health and well being. The kids benefit from our example of care and respect for each other and for our own selves.

My ex-husband and I are good people. We both agree that we didn’t like ourselves when we were together. We were incapable of lifting each other up to our best selves in our marriage.

My divorce, while painful for obvious reasons, has been a very positive experience in my life.

Now, I mostly embrace my life as a single, working mom. My mind, heart and spirit are open to possibilities, but the same mind, heart and spirit are extremely discerning. If it’s not right, no thanks.

In all ways, I am interested in matches where I am encouraged to be my best self so there are possibilities to reciprocate fully, ever reminding myself, and everyone else, that I am never trapped in anything but my own thoughts.

Leaving my marriage was my first best lesson in learning that being trapped in a relationship is never, ever actually true.

EVER.

______________________

“You are enough, right now, just as you are.”

Doug cut

 

A Fear of Peaks (and Valleys)

As I stand at the base of the highest mountain I have ever seen, I squint to view its highest peak. I try to appraise what it will take to reach its top. How can anyone possibly live through this painful and dangerous climb? I try to count all of its jagged edges above the timberline, but there are too many to track. I panic. I don’t know anything about the other side of the mountain. I acknowledge that my understanding of this risky venture can only be accurately evaluated by walking to the other side of the mountain along its base. Continue reading “A Fear of Peaks (and Valleys)”

The Mother Load

Lately, I’ve been extra depleted physically, mentally and emotionally. This is not a complaint, but is provided as a frame of reference for the possible drivel I’m about to write.

While in this diminished state, I considered writing 100 things I love about my Mother, but the truth is, 100 isn’t nearly enough. I have way more than 100 things I love about my amazing Mom.

Instead, I thought I’d fantasize about 100 Mother’s Day gifts and/or events I’d absolutely love. Some are real, and some are imagined. Most are imagined, but I hope they’re real someday. Continue reading “The Mother Load”

The pessimism in positivity, with or without donuts

Just recently, I was told that my positivity, is downright irritating. It wasn’t just one person who mentioned this to me, it was at least two and perhaps a third was nodding in agreement. If you are a fairly recent friend or colleague of mine, you may be nodding along. Also, you may be right.
Continue reading “The pessimism in positivity, with or without donuts”

Embracing Inconvenience is Freeing & Kosher for Passover

Over the past several days, I have been unbelievably inconvenienced. I imagine that no one could possibly be THIS inconvenienced, calm and honest at the same time. When I am relaying my stories with a somewhat lighthearted tone, I wonder if people may think I’m B.S.-ing or exaggerating. As I walk away from these conversations, I often think, “Do they believe I’m like that Jon Lovitz pathological liar character from SNL?” Continue reading “Embracing Inconvenience is Freeing & Kosher for Passover”

Jake Lawler

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