Happy New Year! So thankful to have made it to my 40s. Also, this blog is 9 years old (that would have been way too convenient if I would have started it i 2010). That’s crazy to think about!
Looking back on 2019, i will not say ‘Good riddance’; but I will say that I’ve endured more stress, uncertainty and anxiety then I think I ever had. However I feel triumphant overall. I attribute that to falling in love again — with myself.
Here are 5 things that made that happen:
1. I Left My Ex
After 7.5 years in a toxic, emotionally abusive, romantic relationship, I finally decided that enough was enough. Sure, I cringe when I think about the hows and whys regarding why it took so long. But I try not to dwell on that – and focus on the future.
For those who have never been in this situation, trust me, it is difficult and tricky to get out. You have to endure threats, financial loss, getting entangled in a web of legal issues, support or sabotage from both sides of the family, incredible stress endured upon you and the children, and ultimately, the loss of a friend, companion and lover. But in the end, it was all totally worth it!
There is a website that I visited countless times in the past year and I would like to share it here. It is WomensLaw.org and it is a great comprehensive resource for anyone (male or female) in a domestic abuse situation.
2. I moved to Harrisburg, PA
This was crucial. A couple of months ago, I gushed about the city/area and all of the sentiments still hold true. At times it does get lonely….especially at this stage in my life where all of my ‘free time’ is consumed by taking care of and doing things with my boys. Even so, I gladly hand over a few years of adult friendship to put some space between myself and the toxic, emotionally stressful environment that I had to endure before. Sometimes I still marvel at the fact that I can get up, go out and do something, and not have to worry about hearing criticism about what I did at some point later in the day!
3. I got my boys into a fantastic daycare
Being a single, working mother is so incredibly hard. My oldest didn’t start daycare until he was one, and now, two years later, that pull at your heart that comes with dropping them off into someone else’s care for the next 10 hours never fully goes away. But I will say, without hesitation, that their current daycare exceeds my wildest expectations. The teachers and the curriculum/programming is simply incredible. It’s Jewish, but the majority of the children who attend are not Jewish. They utilize the Kinderlime app, through which I get updates about what they do, what they eat, and even potty trips throughout the day. They also get fully kosher food and snacks. It’s just an amazing place and I’m so happy for them that they are thriving there! 🙂
4. I discovered Lizzo
This past summer, someone asked in the FB group for Skimmbassadors, what their favorite new artist was. I kept hearing “Lizzo….Lizzo….Lizzo”. So I had to look her up. Man, I just couldn’t believe I had never heard of her! Ok, so I admit, the timing had something to do with it (freshly single…hella thirsty for some good old fashioned self-love….). But here we had a multi-talented, intelligent, unapologetic Black woman who was doing things her way. And while paving this new path, she’s endured criticism and has still kept it moving. Plus, she plays the flute….very well too!
“I honestly feel this way about everything… like don’t criticize my mac & cheese if you burn rice… period.”Lizzo
5. I got my Jewish mojo back (kinda)
When I converted to Judaism back in 2011, I wish I could say that I was at a high point spiritually. But to be honest, I was actually pretty low. The process left me with damaged self esteem and disillusion which eventually played a factor in me taking on and accepting a toxic relationship with my ex.
Initially my ex said that he was supportive of whatever I wanted to do religiously, but ultimately he was jealous of anything that took precedence over him. Soon I realized that no level of action or involvement would be totally acceptable, so most of it faded to the background. But it was always there.
After having my boys, my neshama (soul) ached to teach them about our Jewishness…and at a young age, the best teaching comes from example. One of the places that fully embraced me and the boys as we were was Chabad of Monroeville. Rabbi Shapiro and his wife re-kindled our connection, and strengthened my desire to reconnect with my community.
Currently it is still a work in process. But it is an amazing feeling…to have a Jewish home again. And to again have a daily routine that is driven by Jewish tradition.
So with 2019 behind me, I’m looking forward to 2020. I appreciate all my readers for sticking with me and hope that you’ll stick around in the coming years