I’ve been going to shul (synagogue) on Friday night (Kabbalat Shabbat) which entails taking 2 subways–first, dragging my ass outside around 530 pm, then walking 5 blocks to the train. Lately I’ve also been juggling all my body therapy appointments (for my osteoarthritis) in addition to my usual work schedule. I’ve learned a few tricks to make my Shabbat a little easier.
Let go of perfection. I work from home on Fridays and I can be compulsive about a certain order to my otherwise chaotic life. I need to check some emails 5 times before I press SEND. Work papers have to be in a neat stack, with a rubber band around certain folders, placed into my rucksack for Monday morning. I soothe my frayed nerves by telling myself that no one else will mess with my stuff, it will all be here when I return from shul in a few hours. Just leave it now. If I don’t have an urgent deadline to meet, it’s perfectly fine to wrap up some work on Sunday. Step away from the desk!
When I leave my apartment, I take a vow to stop looking at my watch. I have done everything to physically move toward shul, I am heading in the right direction, so the rest is up to the universe. I will not stress over anything else that happens. I will walk to the subway calmly, as reasonably as I can–given my arthritic hip–and I will start to emotionally prepare for shabbat. Let go of everything that went right/wrong/so-so this week, today, 10 minutes ago…
After taking in the gorgeous inspirational music at shul, seeing and listening to Rabbi David, I have finally traveled from my fretting and stepped into 24 hours of sacred Shabbat.