img_2433I’m writing Sunday morning at the dining room table, snatching a few quiet minutes before I launch into mega-cooking mode. Rosh Hashanah starts this evening, we have family coming for dinner tonight and friends tomorrow. I’ve been spreading out the work over several days to manage my hands and feet and energy, but inevitably, there is a lot to do until the last minute, when our guests arrive.

Then I’m going to unplug. One of my resolutions for the Jewish New Year is to stay offline on the holidays and Shabbat. I have become totally addicted to political news during this crazy, horrible election season, and I need to take a break from all the stress. The past two weekends, I put away my iPhone from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

The reality is this: Unless there is a true emergency (a tornado, a flash flood, a fire), you don’t miss anything that important by skipping the news cycle for a day. It is a true relief to spare yourself the bombardment of bombast, hysterical headlines, frenetic Facebook feed and ceaseless flash of ads and images. You begin to realize your time and attention are your own to own. Your shoulders relax and you can concentrate with greater focus on what’s truly important.

So, on to cooking and good company and contemplating what I have to be grateful for in this life and how I could do better by others. To those who celebrate, my best wishes for a sweet, fulfilling and peaceful New Year. And to those of you with different beliefs, I wish you a healthful, stress-free break, however you define it, from whatever may be weighing you down.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.

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