Echoes of Elul, Day 10: Re Entry

Barbara Swartz

It has been such a busy year. What have I accomplished? Did I clean out my closets, organize my garage, read books, visit friends, and take long walks? None of the above. I stayed home.

My friends know I don’t phone very often, and I am not a Facebook follower.

I have always counted on my social activities: Temple, Sisterhood Board Membership, my twice (or thrice) weekly Mah Jongg games, Assistance League of Orange Board Membership, and Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropies Board Member.

My husband and I took care of each other. Our immediate family, our two sons, daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren live in New York. We ordered groceries online and drove to the store for curbside pickup. Parties by Panache helped us celebrate with two Passovers dinners, complete with a seder plate. Sprouts provided a Thanksgiving dinner that Sylvan and I ate alone. For my birthday, we ordered curbside pickup from Polly’s Pies. We got less creative as the year went by.

I understand there are still risks from Covid but we are freshly vaccinated and eager to explore our new normal. Now I have a different challenge. How do I balance my new life? Re – establishing my social connections and balancing the new demands of my volunteer life are a challenge. Temple Beth Sholom and my volunteer work are going full-steam ahead with bright new ideas and fabulous plans for the future. I am ready, willing, and able to be involved again. But I am concerned. Will I be able to rebalance my life to accommodate so many changes? Will the optimism and energy surrounding me give me the strength to fulfill all that I want to accomplish going forward?

As I attend services, hear Rabbi Lipper, and listen to our glorious Cantor Reinwald, I feel the comfort and faith of spirit within, saying that our temple is back to normal, and I too, am returning to my normal once again.

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