#summerofrich in the neighborhood

After spending over 8 hours in a car yesterday delivering signs, the last thing Rich really wanted to do today was drive somewhere too far away in order to go for a hike so instead we stayed close to home and took a walk through our own neighborhood.

It’s familiar. Maybe even a bit too familiar (especially after this past year) because most of the time when we go for a walk in the neighborhood we aren’t paying too close attention to the beautiful things surrounding us like we do when we are on a hike, and too be honest you really can end up missing lots.

I think we take many of those beautiful things, the ones right in our own backyard, for granted.

We both needed to refuel today.

And right away our normally very familiar walk felt very unfamiliar today because we actually took our time to notice the beautiful things surrounding us.

And we took the time to point out and share those beautiful things we noticed with each other.

The clear blue sky above us.

The pretty lilacs on the trees and grass too.

The love birds perched on a fence singing to one another.

The fearless dogs chasing a ball in a big open field.

The sound of laughter coming from the children playing in the park.

Friends enjoying a picnic lunch together, catching up with one another and smiling from ear to ear.

I didn’t capture any of these moments with my camera today but instead I just breathed them all in.

It was a beautiful #summerofrich day in the neighborhood!

Next time you go for a walk in your neighborhood try and notice at least five beautiful things surrounding you.

#walking #youareenough #therapeutic #itsoktonotbeok #yourmentalhealthmatters #mindfulness #justbreathe #nature #beinginthemoment #beauty #birdssinging #childrenlaughing #springtime #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #selfcare

Man Plans, And God Laughs

The other day I posted a blog titled “Socially Distanced Holiday Traditions” where I talked about how difficult the holidays have become for me over the last many years and how this year many of those social pressures, obligations and expectations that so often make it difficult for me to enjoy the holidays in the first place had been decided for me due to Covid-19. 

Sadly, it almost felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could actually take in the beauty of some of our holiday traditions this year without all the added anxiety from too many social pressures, obligations and expectations. 

I felt way more in control and much less guilty than in holidays past and I was also looking forward to spending some (socially distanced) quality time with other family too, even if it meant having to freeze our asses off in the crisp Fall-like weather in order to do so.

But none of that ended up happening because just hours after posting my blog the other morning, Jacob came home from work feeling sick for the second time in just over a week (after being perfectly fine only hours earlier). This time though he had many more flu-like symptoms than the last time. He complained of body aches, chills, a dry cough and he felt warm to the touch so off he went again for yet another Covid test and then we waited, and waited some more in anticipation of his results while he lay locked away (again), alone in his room in the basement for what felt like an eternity (I’m pretty sure though it felt even longer for Jacob).

It was hard to think positively (or to think of much else) knowing what the outcome could be and knowing just how shitty he felt (I lay awake that entire first night convincing myself that I too had Covid! #anxietysucks). It was the longest 48 hours ever but thankfully once again his results came back negative. 

The whole situation made me think of the Yiddish adage “Man Plans, and God Laughs” and just how much life is truly so unpredictable and how quickly unexpected changes can occur in your life; big or small (which is basically the journey I’ve been on for 6 years now!).

I had the best intentions and the best laid plans for the first time in many years when it came to a holiday celebration and as I mentioned above I was actually looking forward to a much less overwhelming Rosh Hashanah this year. In the end it may of still turned out to be another very overwhelming holiday while we waited for Jacob’s results but at least we got to enjoy some quiet family time together (with Jacob on Facetime) and lots of delicious festive food (I think Jacob is secretly starting to enjoy being waited on hand and foot ūüôā even if the first chance he got to be released from what’s beginning to feel like a dungeon he bolted for the nearest exit up the stairs and to the kitchen!).

#shanatova #roshhashanah #happynewyear #youareenough #manplansandgodlaughs #goawaycovid #familymatters #itsgonnabealongwinter #wearyourmask #washyourhands #togetherapart #secondwave #socialdistancing

Socially Distanced Holiday Traditions

 

For many Jews around the world tomorrow night marks the start of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) which has traditionally been a time for celebrating with our family, friends and community but we all know that this year the holidays (much like Passover and Easter were in the Spring) are going to look and feel a whole lot different which can and will likely cause many people to feel the “holiday blues”.

I mean who can really blame anyone by this point for feeling “blue” (regardless of your religious beliefs or faith), seeing as it’s now been more than 6 months since we have been able to “traditionally” celebrate squat with our family, friends and community.¬†

Over the last many years, holiday gatherings and celebrations of any kind have been incredibly difficult for me and whether it’s the social pressures, the obligations or the expectations that come along with it, together they all just seem to exacerbate these feelings further.

Depression brings with it a high level of discomfort that is truly unexplainable to many who have never experienced it before. This is also where having a severe anxiety disorder comes into play and when you mix the two together it can make life feel pretty lethal sometimes. 

We will still be celebrating the holidays this year just with a lot less social pressures, a lot less obligations and a lot less expectations than usual and for me this is somewhat of a relief which I know may sound selfish to some. 

We will bring in the New Year as always and still with many of our same traditions as always but just at a more socially Covid accepted distance but still just as meaningful and sweet.

Wishing everyone celebrating (however that may be) a very happy, safe and healthy New Year.

#happynewyear #roshhashana #backyardcelebrations #traditions #socialdistancing #togetherapart #youareenough #mentalillness #mentalhealth #checkonyourlovedones #healthyboundaries #mentalwellness #holidayblues #shanatova

Everybody Into The Pool

We are barely 2 weeks into summer now and so far it certainly feels like it’s gearing up to be a very hot and humid one. For most of the last couple of weeks it has felt like we are living in the desert but I’m definitely not complaining one bit because I would much rather feel like I just walked through the desert carrying a camel on my back than have icicles forming on my eye lashes in the frigid cold, dead of winter any day. The thing is though that when it’s this hot and humid outside everyday it can become a bit more challenging to plan for some of our #summerofrich adventures and especially (this year) when so many of the places on this summer’s itinerary are still closed or need to be reserved in advance.

As much as I feel the necessity to plan everything (probably to a fault) I also have a very difficult time doing so in advance of the day because of my illness. Any sort of planning I do in advance will often make my head spin in a million different directions and the pressure I put on myself to ensure that my plan is perfectly executed can¬†become extremely overwhelming especially if things don’t go as I had hoped. It can quickly and very easily turn a simple idea into me feeling like I have once again failed in the self-control department.

So today I didn’t plan, and instead Rich filled up the pool in the backyard because today felt like a perfect day to just lounge by the pool reading a good book, picking some cherries off our cherry tree, taking a quick dip to cool off and enjoy a refreshing cocktail. I’m pretty sure these are some of Rich’s favorite #summerofrich days.

#everybodyintothepool #chilaxing #poolside #cherrytree #acherryontop #youareenough #backyard #relaxation #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mindfulness #summerofrich2020 #coronastyle