April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

On Purim morning, after Megilla reading, I needed to purchase a few last-minute items needed for the annual “open house” that we host in our home each Purim afternoon. I noted that there were very few customers in the local kosher store I went to; this was not surprising for Purim morning. Upon entering the store, however, I was immediately struck by the fact that many of the shelves were sparsely stocked and the workers were gathering the few remaining items and placing them all in one designated aisle in order to stock most of the other aisles with kosher for Passover items. I checked for some non-perishable, non-Pesach items that I usually purchase there and was disappointed to discover that these items were no longer available. Purim precedes Pesach by four full weeks; I hope I will be able to find my son’s favorite gluten-free rice noodles in the local grocery store instead. If not, I guess there is always Amazon.

While having to shop for a favorite food item in another location may be inconvenient, it does not have a major impact on my life or on the lives of most people. The store owners obviously made the business decision to stop restocking the shelves with non-kosher for Passover items until after Pesach, even though Pesach is indeed still four weeks away. But observing the thinly stocked shelves inspired me to ponder an interesting question and to write this article. What else in our lives, other than food purchases, are we putting “on hold” until after Pesach? Are there other times in our lives that we put something on hold until a later date?

Many of us tend to divide the Jewish and secular calendar year into sections. After Pesach, after the school year, after the summer, after the Chagim (Yomim Tovim), after Chanukah, after the “yeshiva week” break—these have all become points in time until which we often vaguely postpone certain activities or decisions. And then there are life events, such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, births of children or grandchildren, family vacations, etc. that may likewise become target dates for carrying out plans that one has decided not to execute at the moment. In other words, some or all of these dates, depending on where one is in life, may actually serve as “plan stoppers,” providing what appears to be an acceptable excuse to avoid doing something in the present. Many of us often—or at least sometimes—make the decision to wait until a later time in order to begin doing something that we could and indeed should really be doing right now; instead, however, we decide to put the event off until after either a particular calendar date or life event.

During an initial consultation with my clients, I go over his or her health history and also review some of the basic screening tests, such as the most recent general physical exam, a gynecological exam, blood work and, if applicable, mammogram, colonoscopy and bone density tests. If a client is overdue or has never had one of the above tests, I will usually encourage him or her to schedule the appropriate exam as soon as possible. The following is a very common response: “Yes, I know I need to take care of that and I plan do so right after _____________ (fill in the blank).”

The definition of procrastination is: “The voluntary postponement of an unpleasant task, often against one’s better judgment.” When people procrastinate, they simply “pass the buck” to their future selves. As noted, the calendar year and life events can provide us with a convenient reason to delay doing something that we could actually do now, but the particular date does eventually arrive and the task must still be completed!

There are several reasons that people put off doing things now in favor of doing them later; identifying one’s own motive for delay may help overcome the need to postpone the project to a later date. The task or event in question may be boring—something mundane like cleaning out a closet, or it may be unpleasant like having a medical procedure such as a colonoscopy. In either case, one does not usually look forward to doing that necessary activity, but both need ultimately be done. Another reason for delay can be fear of failure, which may be the driving force behind not taking steps to leave a job that is unfulfilling or making you unhappy by searching and applying for a new job. The same hesitation may prevent you from modifying your daily health plan by making healthier eating choices, cutting sugar out of your diet, and/or taking a walk every day.

If the idea of taking on something before Pesach seems overwhelming, pick up a phone this week, schedule the appointments that you need, even if the actual activity will not occur until after Pesach. And yes, you can try out that exercise class, update your resume or clean out that closet. Finally, March is Colon Cancer Awareness month and I would be remiss not to encourage everyone over the age of 50, and younger people who are at high risk, to schedule a colonoscopy.

Un-pause your life and enjoy every day, including the days prior to Pesach.

By Beth Taubes

 Beth Taubes RN, OCN, CBCN, CHC,CYT, is the owner of Wellness Motivations LLC. She motivates clients of all backgrounds, ages and health conditions to engage in improved self-care through nutritional counseling, fitness training, yoga practice and stress-reduction techniques. She is available to coach people both pre and post Pesach and also to address private and corporate groups, both large and small. Beth can be reached at [email protected] or wellnessmotivationsbt.com.

 

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