After I light the candles each night, I’ve found myself simply looking at the hanukiyah and letting my mind wander. The dogs all stop barking during this time and there’s a lovely sort of quiet that I bask in. My normally nonstop whirling brain slows down and for a moment, everything is as it should be.
I’m an introvert by nature and I find comfort in this sort of silence. That doesn’t mean that I hate being around noise or people. My job is basically all about people and I love it, but it does mentally drain me. That’s the time when I crave some solitude, which will reenergize me. I haven’t been getting much alone time and I realized recently that I haven’t made time for things that I love. It’s something that I need to work on, for my own mental wellbeing.
Finding solitude and time to do things I love are ways I can care for myself. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed for a long time, but I can’t seem to convince myself to slow down. But the Jews of Color work I do requires me to take care of myself, otherwise I run the risk of becoming too jaded and burned out.
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.Audre Lorde