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Beanies and Baggage

Beanies and Baggage
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

I lived the Torah of Robert Fulghum this morning.

For the past few weeks, my life's pace has simply been simply overwhelming, and despite the many sources of support and inspiration I encounter on a regular basis, it was getting hard to breathe.  No amount of self-care language I read (or wrote!!!) helped, and all the expectable things started happening: sleeping less, gym-ing less, eating less carefully, testiness.  And then, while resting my head for a moment beside my daughter this morning, I felt a strange feeling.  Something unexpected.

She put a sticker on my nose.

And suddenly, in the blink of an eye, I wasn't any of the roles I'd been recently trying to fulfill.  Suddenly I couldn't see myself as anything other than silly.  Ridiculous.  

It felt wonderful.  I haven't taken it off for hours.  Don't plan on removing it any time soon.

Fulghum offers a lesson worth living in his delightful book Uh Oh about his experience one day after feeling down for a while:

"Tossing my briefcase in the closet, I headed for the door without any baggage.  Meant to walk to my office downtown.  At a snail's pace.  As I went out the door, I noticed my grand-daughter's red-and-white beanie with a propeller on top.  It didn't fit, but it didn't fall off, either.  It looked like one of the coolest yarmulkes you've ever seen.  I put it on my head to see if I could walk fast enough to make the propeller work.  I could.  ...Under these same conditions in times past I would take a day off.  [But now I don't.]  ...No radical moves make sense - just some course adjustments are required.  Beginning with breakfast and going to work.  Anything I can do to lighten up.  The winning move was the walk in the hat.  It's very hard to stay depressed when you are walking along wearing a too-small beanie with a propeller on top. ...A little whoopee in the daily minimum requirement. (94-97)"

Find a little whoopee.  Put a sticker on your nose.  

Look up at the sky, and fill your lungs with some air.  

Leave the baggage behind.


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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom  || Bay Area Masorti ||  ShefaNetwork 
Rabbis for Women of the Wall  ||  menachemcreditor.org 
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