THE PASSOVER QUESTIONS YOU NEVER THOUGHT TO ASK
By: L. Azar
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
You know it’s time for a new cell phone when your conversations play out as follows:
Me: Hiya, Sara, what’s doing?
Sara: Everything’s good, Baruch Hashem. You?
Me: So, yesterday, I was at my sis –
Me [louder, this time]: Yesterday, I was –
Sara: You know, I can’t really hear you so well.
Me: I know, my connection’s bad, but we’ll just manage.
Me [slowly]: I said –
Sara: Um, I have to go, uh, make dinner. Talk to you later!
Hmm, I mutter to the dial tone, so why did you just call me if you had to hang up?
My mobile device and I share quite a rocky relationship; at any given moment, I’m either needing a new phone or in the process of receiving one. I can share cell phone stories till I’m old and gray and still have more in store. My friend sums it up best – “You and your phones!”
It’s possible that, at times, I bring it onto myself. You see, I have a tendency to saturate my phone with various liquids. Once, I put my phone in my car’s cup holder. Only, there was a clear, plastic cup of water in the holder, which the phone promptly sank into. That was a pretty wet experience. Another time, I held my phone in the same hand as a bowl of cereal and milk while walking to the table. Risky, thought I, so I tried to maneuver the phone into my other hand. It was a failed attempt, and the phone ended up in the bowl of cereal and milk. Oops! Of course, I’ll never forget when I unwittingly laid my phone upon the countertop… atop a pool of spilled oil. How I didn’t see that is anyone’s guess.
But then there were some mishaps that were definitely not my fault. How do I know? Because they occurred on day one with my new phone, when I was ever so careful not to drop it or let a baby play with it. On one “first day,” my phone screen took to freezing every hour or so. Another time, my phone selected conversations at random to cut short. Then there was the time I couldn’t make outgoing calls. The Sprint lady and I had a good laugh with that one.
I used to become exasperated with each incident and call the service provider in a huff. Now, however, as I grow acquainted with each of my phone’s ailments, I smile. I laugh it off. I don’t sweat the small stuff.
This brings me to my Pesach message to you. Crumbs are really tiny, and it’s tempting to feel overwhelmed while eradicating each and every one. I’m not going to start with the be-organized-and-make-lists speech. No. I’m only going to say, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” There is a stress-free way to prepare for Pesach. It’s up to us to assume a cheerful attitude while doing so. Get in the mode – a beautiful holiday is near! Turn on the music! Do a jig! Collect paper towel rolls! Do whatever it takes to smile. To laugh. To create joyful memories.
Often, I encounter minor displeasures: traffic, a flopped recipe, the store not having what I came for. I find that, many times, those are the first things I discuss with my friends on my (partially operational) phone when I plop down on the couch at the end of a busy day. Occasionally, though, my inner voice yells “Hold that kvetch!” and I do. Because it’s all in the mindset we choose. Do I want to zoom in on small inconveniences that I’ll forget about in a couple of hours? Or do I want to be an upbeat, cheerful individual who sees the good in everything that happens to me?
At the seder, we enumerate all the amazing miracles that Hashem wrought in Egypt and afterwards. Towards the end of magid, when the smells of matzo and haroset grow more and more tantalizing, we sing Dayenu. Dayenu – “it would have been enough.” Pesach is a time to count our blessings and appreciate all the gifts Hashem has given us – because they are enough.