And then there's the food. So. Much. Food. With the exception of Tzom Gedaliah and Yom Kippur which are fast days, the month of Tishrei feels like one giant adventure in testing the limits of an elastic waistband. I've enjoyed getting to know local running routes in my area and even unpacked my Yoga/Pilates mat, but for the most part in the past month, my exercise regimen has been reduced to brisk walks around the buffet line. And although two days of fasting may improve my waistline some, they tend not to improve my social relationships...
And then there is the added excitement and challenge of traveling since we live 40 minutes away from our synagogue and Jewish community. We have a wonderful place to stay in Norfolk that is convenient and comfortable and cozy and I am the most sensitive sleeper I've ever met. Since being diagnosed with a sleep disorder three years ago, I've been immensely grateful for the gift of being able to treat the symptoms and greatly improve my health. Nonetheless, sleeping in my own bed can be challenging and sleeping in a different bed can be darn near impossible at times. No more are the days of curling up anywhere and everywhere and dozing off. In that challenge, I've become quite the homebody and in our current living situation, I am trying very hard to become a home-away-from-homebody as well. I can say with confidence that I have one very patient and sensitive husband, thank G-d and the awareness from experience to know that one or three or eight sleepless nights will not cause permanent harm. And I can say that I think we're both looking forward to me sleeping a bit more soundly now that we're getting back to a more regular routine.
My husband and I both acknowledge the inherent difficulties of getting married right before Tishrei. It's an auspicious time, for sure, but also a very busy time. We didn't come home after the wedding and have time to settle in and settle down. Rather, the celebration in many ways has continued at full speed. We both put a lot of effort into making time where we can slow down and enjoy each other's company. Oftentimes this falls on Sundays since neither of us works out of the home on weekends. We were both really geared up and excited to spend the day at Busch Gardens here in Williamsburg yesterday and had talked about it for a couple of weeks ahead of time. And, by the time yesterday rolled around, we were both feeling quite under the weather. One of the most beautiful parts of being married is the joy and effort one takes in making the other smile. That was the guiding force that pushed both of us the shlep around an amusement park for hours yesterday like the oldest young couple you've ever seen. It's not that either of us really even wanted so terribly to be there and we both probably could have used some major rest and relaxation. But it was our "Sunday Funday" and we wanted to soak up every last drop of time together uninterrupted and uninhibited by the responsibilities and obligations of the work week.
And that is what Tishrei is all about. By the end of Sukkos, we are yom tov-ed out. We are exhausted and full from too much delicious food. We'd all probably love to just stay at home, to rest and relax. But G-d says "no, not yet." He wants for us to savor every last drop of time together uninterrupted and uninhibited by the responsibilities and obligations of our work week. And so we honor that last bit of time by observing Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah. We pray and we eat and we dance and we sing. And we may be tired and not feel much like continuing with the party, but when it comes to our relationship with G-d, we will do what we can with joy and effort to make Him smile. With that, may we end the month of Tishrei and enter the new month of Cheshvan with joy and renewed energy and may we all have a gut voch (good week).