Can we ever stop worrying?

When my son was three years old, I couldn’t wait until he was older. He was hard to handle at that age. He had clear signs of ADD and many a times you could find me huffing and puffing while running after him. It was tough and physically draining. As I waited for him to grow up, so did his issues. The physical work became less but instead something unexpected happened. I became exhausted mentally. His issues started to keep me awake at night, wondering what the future held in store.

Whomever said “small children, small troubles, big children, big troubles” was right. When they’re young, you’re physically working hard, thinking you’ll never sleep again. But the day comes when you’re getting your nights back, the physical work becomes easier but the emotional part is getting more intense. Problems become heavier and nights are now for tossing and turning.

Then comes the time when you finally survived the teenage years. The kids are now grown and you give a sigh of relief, hoping your work is done. But a parent’s work is never done. In our culture, we marry the kids off young. Now we worry if they’re ready for marriage. Once they marry, we worry if they’re happy. Do they know how to handle married life? Will they respect their spouse? Will they find jobs? And on it goes.

I don’t think a parent can ever stop worrying about their children. Is there ever a time when parents can just relax and know their work is done? I guess it’s in the parents DNA to worry forever. But I believe that one day, the fruits of our labor will be visible and then, we can breathe and know we have done our share. The rest is up to them.

Find this post on medium, please follow me there too! https://medium.com/@orthosunflower/when-my-son-was-three-years-old-i-couldnt-wait-until-he-was-older-779471f2d4ae

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Medium and Happy New Year

I know I haven’t written in ages. First of all, I write very little these days. Second of all, every draft I write I want to try to get published somewhere for pay.

Also, I think I’d like to start blogging on medium.com. If you have an account there, I would love it if you follow me (I will follow you back too!)

If you don’t have an account, you should sign up! Lots and lots of great content on every topic imaginable. My latest post has been published there. I will add the link here and I’d appreciate a read!

Hope you’re all doing well!

Link is: Jewish New Year

Virtual gastric bypass

I know It’s been a long while since I updated of my food progress. Those who followed my PSE treatment this is the latest. I finished the drops she gave me but have since not gone back. I do not see any improvement in my brain function and am gutted about that. I have steadily been gaining weight since last year and since my eating habits haven’t changed I have no idea why I keep gaining or being bloated. I was diagnosed with IBS but haven’t followed a plan for it. (all to do with that brain fog keeping me from sticking to something 😦

For the first time in a long while, I am starting to suffer the consequences from my obesity. I sweating a lot more and it’s very uncomfortable. I also sleep much worse at night and I can feel it comes from the weight. I don’t feel good in my skin and my dresses are getting tight.

Knowing myself, a diet isn’t the answer for me. I crave all the forbidden food and cannot withstand temptation. I always gain a lot more once I get off the diets (which is usually after 6 hours max). I was looking into the operation because I’m so desperate. Don’t forget, my thyroid issues and PCOS do not make matters any easier.

In the process of looking into the surgery someone mentioned  virtual gastric bypass which is hypnosis and makes your subconscious believe you had the band. I am a believer in hypnosis but have never kept at it. I did some research and going to someone here would cost me 500€. I am not willing to spend that amount unless i’m sure it works. So after researching I found an alternative. A much cheaper app that does this program. You listen to a recording twice a day and follow 4 guidelines which are the main guidelines of IE (intuitive eating) which I LOVE (since it’s NOT a diet). The app has rave reviews and for that price (6€) i’m willing to try it.

This will be my last attempt to try and get back to a healthier weight. I will keep coming back to update you all on my progress! I must believe that I can do this and will succeed!

 

The Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer

Today is the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer. If you live near Jewish communities, you might have seen bonfires, parades and hear lots of music. We are celebrating the Jahrzeit (anniversary of death) of the biblical sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Zohar, the holy book of Jewish mysticism, the Kabalah. His grave is situated in the Northern Israeli town of Meron and today is the day that Jewish people from all over the world and all over Israel come and pray by his grave and celebrate his life. His life was one of happiness and he wanted the day of his remembrance to be one of happiness too. So around the world bonfires are being lit, lots of dancing and every Jewish town has a parade for the children with music.

Lag baomer  Parade in our town.

The highlight of this day is being in Meron. I will try to recreate my experience when I visited whilst I was living in Israel.

The best time to go is in the evening so you will not stand in the boiling sun for hours. So that’s when I went.  When I arrived by public transportation, I still had a hill to climb. This hill is a spectacle in itself as there are all kinds of people trying to peddle their wares, all in the name of charity of course! I declined all of them as I just wanted to get to the top. As I approached the end of the hill, I heard the strains of music playing. I’m getting nearer to the action and I was already getting emotional. The atmosphere there cannot be described but I will try. Thousands of people are dancing together to live music, all differences put aside, brother near brother, one nation. You can feel the holiness in the air. This day is also an auspicious time for childless couples to pray for a salvation by his grave. This was also one of the reasons I came as I was still childless and wanted to come pray here. I watch the spirited dancing, enthralled by the beauty and the unity.

(all kinds of Jews dancing together)

I could stare for hours at the scene, singing along with the infectious music. But I needed to get near the grave to pray. As I made my way through the throngs of people, the atmosphere gets heavier, more serious. When I entered the room where the actual grave is located, it’s like you entered a different world. People are there to pray for salvations, mostly for children but also for any other misfortune they have. People are sobbing, praying their hearts out and asking the sage to intervene on their behalf to G-d. (In our culture, it’s customary to pray for salvation by graves of our sages and beseeching the Sage to intervene as they are close to G-d)

One of the Segulos  (propitious practice) that people do is to promise to name their child after the Sage if they are blessed with a child within a year. So I was standing there, tears streaming from my eyes, praying for a long awaited child and promising to name him after the Sage, if only it will happen that year still. I was scheduled to have my first IVF in July. After I finished praying, I had a good feeling. I felt optimistic and hopeful.

I left the grave and made my way through the masses to watch some more dancing. It was already in the middle of the night but the dancing and live music goes on for 24 hours straight. The experience of being there is surreal. The time has come to go back, even though I could have stayed for another few hours. So very reluctantly I made my way back to the entrance and down the hill and onto the bus that will take me back to Jerusalem. Since then, I have gone back a few more times and it’s the same special experience. As I moved away from Israel, I now participate from afar, watching the live streams.

My feelings of ecstasy and delight and intense emotion are hard to describe when I found out that my IVF attempt in July resulted in a pregnancy. Next year’s Lag BaOmer found my husband in Meron, expressing his gratitude for our miracle. After we decided to try for child #2, I went to pray there again and by next Lag BaOmer I was 6 months pregnant with my miracle daughter. This year I prayed from home. We will be embarking on the next round of infertility treatments soon for child #3. I hope from the bottom of my heart to be able to experience another miracle by next Lag BaOmer. I definitely don’t underestimate the power of prayer. My 2 precious children are a result of that prayer (with the help of science!)

Pidjon Haben-redemption of the firstborn son.

A pidyon haben, or “redemption of the firstborn son,” is a ceremony wherein the father of a firstborn male redeems his son by giving a kohen (a priestly descendant of Aaron) five silver coins, thirty days after the baby’s birth. -chabad.org

For the exact reasons why we do this, please refer to the following link: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/928156/jewish/What-Why.htm

It’s 30 days after the birth of my little great nephew. He was her first, born naturally so a pidyon haben could be celebrated. It’s a special ceremony as not everyone can do it. No pidjon will be held if the child has been born by cesarean, if she is a girl or if the father is a Kohen. It was a long while since we had a pidjon haben in the family so it’s a special occasion. We all come dressed in our finery and wish each other mazel tov.

The baby is slumbering peacefully, looking regal in an all-white outfit. He is placed on a silver tray to show our love for this mitzvah (commandment) and will be bedecked with jewelry. Everyone eagerly gives a piece.

pidjon blur

He is being carried to the men’s side and the ceremony begins. The exchange between the father and the kohen follows. The father “redeems” his firstborn son by exchanging the equivalent of 5 silver coins with the Kohen, a blessing is recited and the baby is brought back to his mother.

We all sit down to a festive meal. It’s customary to include meat and wine. I’m enjoying a moment of relaxation in the midst of the hectic Passover preparations.

My son was asked to play on his keyboard and the background music adds a lot to the event. I’m grateful to have been a part of this most beautiful tradition of ours.

The Hasidic way of dating and marriage (in honor of Valentine)

As it’s Valentine’s day today, I thought I’d reshare this popular post about my engagement 🙂
Happy Valentine’s day!

Orthodoxsunflower

As Valentine’s day approaches, I was thinking it’s a good time to tell you how my shidduch (a date or match, often leading to marriage. The matching up of a man and a woman for purposes of marriage) went. In the non Jewish world, ours is what you would call an arranged marriage. I dislike that word though because in my mind, that equals a “forced” marriage. And mine, like most others in my community was anything but. At any time you have the option of saying no.

As a girl turns 18, it gives matchmakers a green light to start calling the parents. I belong to a certain Hasidic sect so the suggestions were all going to be eligible young men from the same sect. So, as I turned 18, the phones started ringing with suggestions. If a suggestion sounded promising, my parents went ahead and made many inquiries…

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Blogging about different aspects of my life as an ultra orthodox chassidic Jewish woman and mother.