Monday, October 29, 2012

While the candle burns

It was one of Those Days.

You know, those days when you get up later than you planned and immediately berate yourself for being such a lazy sloth; days when you hurriedly stuff a load into the washing machine and walk away to do other chores, only to discover later that the washing machine, somehow, got unplugged, and the girls' hose and socks you so desperately need won't be dry by afternoon, or even by tomorrow, and it's going to rain, AND you don't have a dryer, because of course, who needs one in sunny Israel?!

Those days when you are swept away by all there is to do, end up doing very little of it, feel guilty about it, snap at your children to leave you alone while you try desperately to get something done, feel even guiltier for snapping at your children, in particular when they so wished to help, and you, as a rule, always encourage and cherish their help so much. 

Those days when the weather doesn't permit you even the relief of going outside for a walk, or even to just throw out the garbage or work in the garden, and you end up shut inside all day, crabby, with bored children who bicker constantly and drive you up the wall. 

Those days when breakfast was toast and lunch is toast and it seems dinner will either be toast or oatmeal... but wait, it will have to be toast, because you ran out of milk. And yes, you do have that file in your drawer (and your memory), with quick, easy, healthy and frugal recipes for REAL food, but somehow, you don't know where you have misplaced it (in your drawer and in your head). 

Well, we were just having one of Those Days when I, as a last measure to dispel the bad mood, turned on the radio and stumbled upon a lovely, upbeat song version of the famous Jewish saying, "while the candle burns, things can still be fixed", usually attributed to Rabbi Nachman from Breslev, but don't take my word for it. 

So... like a ray of purest sunshine through a parting in heavy clouds, the realization struck me: the candle of our life is still burning. The candle of this day is still burning. We still have time to make a change. 

I cleaned the worst of the kitchen mess, and them took a deep breath, smiled, and declared we'll be making chocolate balls now - a simple but delicious confection of crushed biscuits, melted chocolate, butter and a little cocoa. The interesting part for the children is shaping the balls between their palms. All bickering was instantly forgotten in the fumes of chocolate and the activity of rolling and shaping. Then we had quick dinner, a lovely long bath, and a good story time. The day wasn't a waste after all. 

So, there is always hope.

Even on Those Days. 


Anonymous said...

Lovely. But now we are left to wonder, was it toast? or was it chocolate balls for supper? :-)
Mrs. L.

Katie V. said...

It's been a while since ive checked in. Thank you for this post! I completely relate. Three months ago my husband, three boys and I moved to his country of Colombia. I've been experiencing quite a bit of culture shock. I had to chuckle - because we had the exact same scenario with the washer. We only have a washer, thinking we could always get away with hanging the close out in the line in this hot tropical weather. But we forgot to consider the rainy season!!! It is so nice to know there is a like minded mom out there. Here in Colombia, I am a rarity (a mom who stays home with her little ones (4 and 2 year old). My 6 year old is in an all boys school. So a little lonely here. Praying I meet one like minded mama who has little ones home with her and enjoys domesticity!!! God bless you Anna!!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Mrs. L, it was omelet. :o)

Rose Godfrey said...

Mrs. T, on days like that, I dig out an old children's book that has long been my favorite--Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst.

It begins with Alexander lamenting "I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair." His day only gets worse, from getting in trouble at school to fighting with his brother. He continues "there were lima beans for dinner, and I hate lima beans. There was kissing on TV and I hate kissing." Through it all, Alexander wants to move to Australia to escape all his problems.

His mother reminds him at the end "Some days are like that, even in Australia."

Childish and simple, I always smile when I read it (or call it to mind, I nearly have it memorized) with my kids. Helps me remember perspective and how we can always make things look better or worse by our attitude.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Rose, I'm unfamiliar with the book (as, of course, I grew up reading Russian children's books :o) but the story seems to be just perfect, perhaps we'll write something like this for us, in Hebrew!

Linnea said...

Thank you. I'm having one of Those Days right now. This helped!