Scientific research is reinforcing the importance of “pausing.” Taking a break from our stressful daily routines to unwind, relax, enjoy nature, enjoy our friends and families, is proving to be invaluable. Our lives are one big rush – from the time we wake up in the morning, pack school and work lunches, shower, work out, get the kids to school, stop at the grocery store or dry cleaners, run in late to work, deal with the stresses at work, pray that the school doesn’t call us to pick up our sick kids or deal with a discipline problem, pick them up from after school activities or daycare, get them to karate or ballet, do homework, get dinner on the table – Oy Vey!!!
When you read this list, you see things in a different perspective. No wonder we are so exhausted, not on our best game, and always late for everything. Unfortunately our children are on a very similar treadmill.
One of the wonderful things that Judaism enhances our lives with, is the concept of Shabbat – a day of pause. Shabbat is day on which we don’t work, we get to relax and spend it with our families and communities. It is of the utmost importance, allowing us to regenerate ourselves and prepare for the week ahead. Although the Torah was written a very long time ago, and the wisdom and stories were passed down from our ancestors by word of mouth before it was written down, the importance of stopping to rest is once again being espoused by contemporary scientists.
Summer provides us with the time to stop, to pause, to reflect, and to recharge. How wonderful to have the time to discuss why your daughter might enjoy Judo more than Karate, to share with your son why there are some teachers in school that impact your lives forever, to enjoy a family adventure at the tide pools, or to visit grandma without rushing to get to your next activity.
Take time to recharge your batteries, your energy, and your soul. Enjoy the precious moments with your children as you forge those lifetime relationships and build memories you will forever cherish. Unplug and embrace the gift of unscheduled time together that summer affords us. Turn up the music in your car, sing a silly song together at the top of your lungs, go out for ice-cream after dinner when the sun sets very late, stop to dance when you’re walking by a band at a mall and like the song, pat that dog in your park, or sit on the swing next to your child and enjoy the sense of freedom that summer gifts us with. _
Sue Penn is a contributing writer to Kiddish Magazine.
PIC: Take PAUSE