Thinking of You

March 27th, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 28 comments

This has been a very strange week, certainly for many of you as well as for me. Somehow, a new normal is evolving. It includes not seeing children, grandchildren and friends in person but meeting them online. It means not going to the supermarket, and exercising via my computer rather than in the class that usually starts my day. It consists of a world that is at one and the same time slower yet more overwhelming. I am physically doing less, but my mind is running in a hundred different paths.

We, probably like you, know of people who are ill, in hospital and sadly, some who have lost their lives. We are living in times that the history books will describe. They will use the word plague, which previously for many of us privileged individuals was associated with the Exodus from Egypt or distant-sounding words like Bubonic or cholera. The financial stress is real and that will have long-reaching physical, psychological, emotional and political implications.

I recognize how fortunate we are to have technology that allows us to go beyond physical isolation. The library building is closed, but I can download books from there as well as other services. I am finding new choices as well as comfort-reading old favorites. Along with re-reading Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazon series (I just finished Pigeon Post), this week, I read Lori Gottlieb’s new book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. It provided a fascinating look into the world of therapy. I am being incredibly moved by Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned, and hope I have a chance to discuss it with you.

How are you doing? What is your new normal? What are you reading and how are you coping? We are thinking of and praying for you as we know that you are for us.

Our hope is that our new journal can help you both today and when “normal” life resumes.
Chart Your Course: 52 Weekly Journaling Challenges
from Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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28 comments

susan ballantyne says:

i enjoy your positive thoughts keep them up, thank you always, God Bless and love

I am fortunate to work in an industry that is exempt from the restrictions, so I am able to get out and I see 6 other people face to face everyday. As for reading I am slowly making my way through Don Trump Jr’s autobiography. I am mostly reading (and responding to) emails of people needing my help navigating parliamentary procedure. This means I am reading Robert’s Rules of Order on a daily basis. This is definitely an acquired taste. I am also becoming and expert on what should and should not go into meeting minutes as well as what should and should not go into by-laws. Just to lighten things up a tad I am delving into the legal code of the State of Texas. My only escape at the moment is my oxygenated exercise bike and sudoku puzzles. All jokes aside, I am very blessed to be amazingly healthy physically and financially at this time in my life and the life of my country.

Melma says:

We are watching the news but the virus hasn’t touched our community, friends, and family as of yet. It almost feels unreal. The seasonal flu took many more lives last year. We are praying for everyone and hope this virus passes quickly.

Kristy says:

You are correct it has been a strange 2plus weeks here in Texas! The good…my oldest son is home from College and finishing up his last class online. My second son is still working. My husband’s lawn service has not had much of a set back. He has several older customers that rely on him for more than just lawn care. (Change a battery in the smoke detectors, I locked my bathroom and can’t get in, the drain is clogged😊) He is so happy to be able to serve them still. My daughter is now doing her Ballet class online which is interesting, but fun! Tonight my husband and I are participating in our couples game night through Zoom. This should be interesting! We are reading the Bible together every night now as a family instead of each one on their own. I am able to make homemade bread more often now. Which they love. So many positives. The not so good…I’m concerned about when this will end and life will go back to our “normal”. My son would have Graduated with his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accounting and now Graduation is cancelled. We were scheduled to spend 13 days in Israel in July as a family and now that is threatened. Amazing how things can change in such a short period of time. Thank you Rabbi and Susan for everything you do. My oldest son listens faithfully to your podcast each week. We would love to have you do another YouTube live to keep us from going crazy during this time! We love the wisdom and in site that God had given you. I’m sorry this was so long. Blessings to you both and your family!

Kathy Gill says:

My life isn’t much different because my husband works from home, and I am retired. We are thankful for life, and pray for our country. Thank you Susan for putting into words the dread and confusion we’re experiencing during this difficult period. The future is a big unknown now.

Mary says:

As my family ends our fourth week of self isolation, I begin to see God’s blessings at work. Both my adult children are fortunate enough to have jobs that allow them to continue working from home and my grandchildren are in high school and able to entertain themselves.
This week I have noticed the blessings of a slower paced life. I go thru my days not having to be here or there or do this or that for my family. I have had time to simply enjoy the day in front of me, doing things that have been on my “to do” list for years.
My son informed me last night, that he was “finishing” a book he started reading a few days ago. Before this self isolation he never had time to finish a book, much less in days instead of weeks. Less running here and there for his family has meant more free time for him and more time for the family to spend together.
I take a daily walk and instead of hearing the noise of cars and trucks, I hear the birds singing. The people I encounter are for the most part friendlier and willing to share a word or two…we’re all in this together, right? The weather this week has been spring-like and all up and down my block, families are out playing with their children during the day, instead of just the evening.
I wonder what God is saying to us about our lives before this pandemic happened, and what our lives will be like when it is finally over?

Marie-Anne Harkness says:

I am finding nugets of wisdom reading or watching Rabbi Lapin and Dennis Prager online. I am reading stories of women of valor by Francine Rivers. We are hiking by day and self isolating the rest of the time. Creating a prayer chain is bringing comfort to friends and family.

Susan and Rabbi Lapin,
In response to your posting this ordeal has profoundly changed my life. I keep thinking about people who must stay indoors for long periods of time. As a child we lived in New Hampshire and had long bitterly cold and stormy weather that would last for at least four months. My grandmother was quite elderly, blind as remained at home for most of the severe winter. Her entire life revolved around her family visiting her, bringing groceries and sharing our daily events with her which she enjoyed so much. Last night my husband called a man who has recently had two sons who died of illness in their forties. He was so grateful to hear that we would check on him. It made him happy that someone cares about him. He begged us to call him again soon. Please remember those who are living in extreme loneliness and need a call from others.

Randy says:

Sometimes unfortunate situations bring unexpected opportunities! I found this to be true for me, when 4 years ago I found myself in intensive care with heart and lung issues.While lying there looking at the ceiling the Lord spoke to my heart and said, what’s keeping you from spending time with me now. Like so many others my life had been filled with work and many other activities that allowed me to justify not giving time to God. The fact that none of those activities are justifiable excuses to the Lord had not crossed my mind. God did not put me in the ICU, but he took advantage of the situation and got my attention.My suggestion in this time of isolation is to be still and listen for the voice of the Lord, take full advantage of this opportunity. Things will return to some semblance of normal and we will once again be tempted back to our “justifiable” self absorbed lives, placing God on the back burner once again! That call from God in the ICU has changed my life for the better, let this time be a lasting benefit to you as well.

Lia says:

How do you get someone to wash their hands? Even now, people are still not washing their hands. Is it possible to get a public service announcement showing people how to properly wash their hands?

Jocelyn Michael says:

I would like to invite everyone reading this to join me and my worldwide church to join us in a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for strength, protection and healing during this time. I can’t ventlate a victim, but I can ask for help!

Carol Rees says:

I am a hospice nurse, retired but still work 4 days a month. Right now I am excused from work for to my age. Most recent read is Man’s Search For Meaning be Victor Frankl. How timely! The neighborhood ladies (4 of us) met in the street at a safe distance yesterday. It was happenstance, but we are thinking of making it a daily ritual… 4:00 BYOC (bring your own chair). 😁

James says:

It sounds as if life in Maryland is fairly locked down. Where I live we have a major airport with international connections that has likely served to infect the Metro area. So our Metro counties are up there with CV cases. Our state advanced from 1000 cases to 2000 cases overnight. The Governor has not yet locked us down, but we are all urged to social distancing without draconian measures. It is tough not to see kids and grandkids, but both kids by tradition serve in medical-health capacities and are wisely taking precautions to shield us grandparents. The time is going by very quickly, for we are keeping busy with home projects and improvements in smashing great weather! We continue to have faith in the Lord and hope for the best, and that the Great CV will become a paper tiger. Our sole concern with the Grand Federal CV Stimulus Package is that we don’t have the money for that, and the Government will merely print some more, resulting in massive inflation. And we fear that the stimulus of free money is just like ‘free stuff,’ the carrot approach that will lead us down the primrose path into socialism. But thank God we are healthy! That’s all, folks!

LJ says:

Though it’s been a while again since I last posted here, I do read the posts here after each email notification in my inbox; my husband and I also listened into the previous week’s podcast.

Aside from illnesses around here and on top of remodeling, my family has focused much time to our creative enterprise that started up in late 2015. I’ve been reading through the manuscript for the third book in my daughter’s fantasy series. My young adult daughter and son have been collaborating for a number of years on books, music compositions, a computer strategy game set in the Three Kingdoms of Ancient China period, and a mobile game not yet released. “Eventyr” and “Elders of Eventyr” are published in both print and eBook formats. In “Eventyr,” a peculiar fairy and two unlikely companions set off on a perilous journey through magical lands on the brink of war; and these “alva” continue the journey in the second book. The fairy language and some of the spiritual parts of the story were inspired, in part, by (I think I’ve mentioned this previously on a comment) your book, “Buried Treasure.”

I most enjoy intersting autobiographies. However, I raised our children on many genres of books and our family has a collection of Greame Base’s (an Australian author) books. I’ve enjoyed reading, more than once, these first two books in “The Eventyr Series” that involve various races of fairies known as “alva” as have a number of other folks. The underlying story has delicately woven politics, religion, and even disabilities from a botched magic spell into it.

Daily, reading a chapter or more in the morning and in the evening from the Bible has been the best inspiration to us for the past twenty years and it continues to enlighten our minds. The “Ancient Jewish Wisdom” has definitely offered deeper insight into the great moral code of life. Susan, we’re grateful for yours and RDL’s works and your thoughtful commentors.

Alice R Watts says:

This is not about the virus or may not be unless it is the cause of you not on TCT. I sure miss you.

Susan Lapin says:

Alice, we understand that TCT has changed their schedule but it was not virus-related. We have no control over the schedule but please let them know you would like to see more of us. Thank you.

Donald Mullein says:

The consequences of frivolous are stupid are tragic. Frivolous and stupid have been trending for a long time. . Metaphorically telling someone they are playing in traffic is seen as an attempt to restrict freedom. Pointing out consequences is oppression and out of fashion moralizing. As soon as these temporary consequences wane, many will return to their collective behaviours with renewed gusto. Let us most prayerfully consider a far better alternative. Thank you. Grateful to you and the Good Rabbi. In our thoughts and prayers

.

Marsha Allen says:

I miss you and Rabbi Daniel on TCT. I’m so happy to have found you on the internet. I am 76 yrs old and taking chemo for cancer of which I’ve been a 24yr survivor. Thanks be to God.

Regina says:

I am finishing my first novel & updating my website. Cooking 3 meals a day for my husband & me. Checking in with friends on the phone. We like to hear our voices but not too keen on video. We have no makeup & very comfortable clothing, not too pretty. I was able to connect some companies to an associate who is making supplies for local hospitals. We have worked together in a different capacity, mostly advertising & events & now we shifted into this effort. Bless you & all who read your musings!! Oh and everyone else.

Kristen says:

Life is similar for myself and the children because we homeschool, though we are missing seeing friends at church and scouts. My teens are having difficulty with losing time away with friends, though warmer weather, sunshine, and time outside seems to have helped greatly over the past couple of days.

I am struggling greatly, however, as my husband is incarcerated. His incarceration was already crushing and has become more and more so as we see how little anyone “in power” seems to care for those incarcerated or their families. We pray for safety for him and for our family’s ability to reunite and heal one day.

Thank you for your wisdom. I listen to Rabbi Lapin’s podcast while driving to and from the prison for visits and often share insights and wisdom gained with my husband.

Al Hoffman says:

A teaching done elsewhere on goals was very good. It good did not undercut the ,”almosts”, that we have. With age and disability, etc., we best keep making the march onwards. And, allusion to how sometimes what was not in man’s is like a variance inventing something better than understood or foreseen. Ha Shem makes it so.

Kristin Grose says:

You are not alone in your observations and reactions to a tsunami in the form of – really – a plague. Honestly being OCD has helped me develop some habits which have come in quite helpful….a clean freak with a well stocked pantry and household supplies. Also being comfortable with self-isolation has been a God send. Do miss holing up at Starbucks with a good book tho. Glad to hear you’ve found some silver linings in your life too, Susan. So enjoy your musings. As always there is great comfort knowing we’re in God’s gentle hands. Be well!

Lisa says:

Thank you for asking. Honestly, I have been in serene peace and I cannot explain that. Isolation has always been part of my life since birth. It does not matter to mean much. What is significant here is the rearranging of priorities and the adjusting mentally, physically and spiritually. Not just individually but the whole entire world at this time. I’m at peace yet there is great energy of expectation. Something great to be revealed through all this. I’m spending my time immersing in Torah / Kabbalah research of Pesach (Passover). I’m taking a walk each day through the peaceful neighborhood I’m in. It is like a ghost town instead of the usual city hustle and bustle. I continue to pray and meditate shalom (peace, wholeness) throughout the day towards the whole world. People are hurting and dying (more than usual) and everyone deserves respect and love.

Sascha says:

Thank you for your interesting insight on different topics. Currently I am finishing a book titled “Normal – A Mother and her Beautiful Son” by Magdalena Newman. I read a lot and will definitely miss my local library. My husband loves to fish, and I am still going on my daily walks. We have been doing yard work and little projects around the house. Food shopping and other errands as infrequently as possible. Hoping and praying for relief soon for all of us. . Thank you again Susan and and Rabbi Lapin for all your offerings.

Jessie Rivers says:

My situation is a little different. I am in self quarantine with my 76 year old mother my three sons and one of my 2 grandsons. My daughter does not live at home but I care for her two sons while she works and with the schools closed and her still working it just made sense for them to stay with us, so I am enjoying this family time immensely, I’m not exercising at all, I ditched my Keto diet to prepare family favorites and I’m watching every favorite movie from my childhood with my children and grandchildren, I’m learning new subjects with Great Courses program provided by my internet service provider and I’m taking way to many naps. While I’m enjoying the family time immensely the circumstances behind this time cause such anxiety. Daily I visualize myself closing the front door of my home to this anxiety and leaving it to the world outside of my doors, I watch my mother read her Bible from 8:30am til 11:30 am every single day, living with her these last few years I have learned that she’s not perfect, but I pray and give thanks for still having my mother and my lackluster but mortgage free home, and for paying extra on my Electric bill in February, and for the food we eat, and the good health we seem to share. It’s only when I have to go outside the home to stock up that I feel a sense of dread it’s lurking in the background and it flashes on strangers faces and I wonder where is this headed and am I as an individual doing what God requires of me or am I just caught up in the sweep of his hand like many others.

Lori says:

Hi Susan and Rabbi Lapin, My husband put me under a bit of a “house arrest” and we had my son stay home from work even before the social distancing recommendation began because I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy. We are prayerfully weighing the risk of the Coronavirus with my immunity issues against the risk of recurring cancer due to halting or changing treatment options. We’re living in faith during this season I’ve dubbed “Cancer, Chemotherapy, and Covid.” Interesting times!

Susan Lapin says:

God bless, Lori.

Lori says:

Thank you, Susan. My seclusion is really not all that difficult for me since I tend to be a homebody anyway. Our homeschool is still running smoothly with one child sent off to college now….This social distancing piece is an education in itself for him as his university classes will all be going online (including biology lab and piano lessons!) as has his work study assignment (a library job!).

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