And… my first morning here, I woke up to a text from my cousin Yael, who lives in Israel, alerting me and other family members, to the horrific events happening in Israel. After ensuring the safety of as many friends and loved ones that I could reach, several of whom were already called into reserves, the unbelievable became believable. Like many, I continue to be sickened, heartbroken, deeply shaken, and scared for the hostages, for all who live there, and for what is to come.
I had written an entirely different blog, which I had intended to send out that same morning of the assault, but I could not get myself to send it. My message seemed too mundane in light of the unfolding events in Israel. Instead, I am sharing my current efforts, and struggles, with staying present to the “ands” in my life.
A hallmark of my approach to embracing the middle, is opening up to the experience of the many concurrent “ands” of midlife – the challenges and gifts, the endings and beginnings, the joys and sorrows. I encourage women to not get hijacked by the intense challenges of midlife and lose sight of the many wonderful, coexisting aspects of the middle decades.
And now, I find myself challenged with a monumental scope of “ands.” In the mornings and evenings, I am glued to the news. AND, by day, I do my best to unplug and stay present with Tara. It is incredibly difficult. The reality of what is happening in Israel hovers in my mind as I take in the beautiful sites and ruins. I try to enjoy Portuguese famed pasteis de nata (custard) and green wine AND am concurrently aware that many in Israel are living in safe rooms with only the necessities. I am excited for Tara, as the world is her oyster, AND I am heartbroken.
Life is always a plethora of ands. And sometimes, like now for me, the ands are of earth-shattering proportions. May we all be mindful of the many ands in our lives and may peace and healing come swiftly to Israel and all of her inhabitants.