Stress free Pesach
I’d like to describe why I love pesach and have absolutely no anxiety going in
I’ve recently spoken with a bunch of friends that have commented how stressed they are over pesach. They were surprised when I told them that I am not stressed or worried. I actually love the work and the holiday.
As a woman, I am exempt from so many time bound commandments. I feel the need to connect to G-d through the physical. I can’t wear tefilin, drape a tallit or pray in shul (due to little kids) I don’t say selichot, I don’t shake lulav and esrog.
One thing I could do is clean for pesach. I love to immerse my whole body and being into it. I love the hard work (helps me commiserate with the Israelites in Egypt) and there is something cathartic about having a house scrubbed from top to bottom so that not even a crumb is left. The gleam of my hands and knees scrubbed floor, the spotless cabinets, counters, sinks, the decluttering, finding all those missing pieces from games or puzzles fills me up with a deep satisfaction.
Internally I feel like I am scrubbing and cleaning out as well. I play shiurim while cleaning, clearing, de-cluttering so I grow spiritually. It’s time alone with me and my thoughts as I scrub, clean and gleam. To help it stay stress free I do all the regular things I normally do, I hit the gym and switch over my kitchen as late as possible. I like to cook everything fresh and since cooking is permissible on Yom Tov, that’s what I usually do. My pesach food is so good and abundant that my kids tell me it’s better than my year around food. I think I try to overcompensate for all the foods we can’t eat.
This is my 15th Pesach without a break. I have gotten more organized with experience. My favorite mantra is “dust isn’t chometz and my husband and children are not the korban pesach.”
I keep a google spreadsheet of all the recipes, shopping lists, meal plans, what items we have and need and what worked and did not work. I am not a super organized person by nature but I get through everything calmly and methodically.
I do just a little bit every day starting after Purim. Wipe a shelf here, clean an appliance there, go through a toy box, and clean a bedroom. I have only started my main floor this week, the week of Pesach. Yesterday an employee of mine called out and I had to go cover for her for a few hours. I had planned to do my living room/dining room, but I didn’t sweat that I could not complete it. The bits and pieces do come together.
I used to obsess “what if I missed something?” I have missed some things before and if I did, we dealt with it. G-d lovingly appreciates all the hard work I put in and He understands with His endless patience that as humans we can’t do everything perfectly. He knows I tried my best and I’m sure He’s filled with joy that I’m not stressed, not anxious… that I can fully embrace Pesach for all its glory.