It’s beginning to feel like summer here in Southern California: the days are warm, the fresh produce is amazing, and the landscape of summer evokes the feeling of possibility. Whether or not we have kids at home, many of us still measure our year by the old school calendar: it begins with the fall (and the Jewish New Year), and by the time we reach summer and most of the Jewish holidays are behind us, we are already looking ahead to Rosh Hashanah again. At least I am.
This is the cycle of my year, and unfortunately, my summer schedule doesn’t usually look that much different from the rest of the year. This summer is going to be different for me, though. This summer, I am going to take a page from my children’s schedule and try to reclaim the feeling of summer possibility that I loved so much when I was younger.
In Judaism, there is a value called Shmirat HaGuf, taking care of the body. This includes not only eating well and exercising but maintaining our spiritual and mental health as well. Can you guess where I’m going with this? Part of mental and spiritual health is stress management, down time, taking deep breaths, and being present in the moment.
Although I’m not able to put work completely aside—those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are definitely long past—in the spirit of Shmirat HaGuf, I will be spending time this summer visiting my parents, enjoying time with my children, and taking a summer hiatus from my biweekly Shabbat messages, which I’ll send out just once in July and once in August.
Before the hustle and bustle of the High Holidays reach us once again, join me in taking a deep breath, and let’s enjoy the summer.