Once, after I had been in bed for many days, sick with what turned out to be an ordinary bug from which I fully recovered, I needed to attend to an important errand.
Just being out in the world was a bit of a shock to my system after having spent the past 10 days lying alone on my mattress. Suddenly, I was surrounded by people, by noise, by the many by-products of human endeavor.
It was disorienting.
And that's how I feel today, as Israel unfolds itself from the COVID restrictions with which we have been living since March 2020.
I've started to attend in-person Torah lectures. I went to shul last Friday night for the first time in a very long time. I made theater reservations and bought tickets to a community fundraising event. I've begun hosting Shabbat guests and thinking about going to see a movie with my husband. I'm excited to see which of our favorite restaurants survived. We've gone swimming and made reservations for a quick birthday trip up north.
We're once again making plans.
Just last night, I told my husband how amazing it feels to have things to write on the family calendar, things to look forward to.
It's like Hashem pressed a huge red reset button and the world, much of which we have been holding at bay, is rushing back in.
And yet, I am not the same as I was 16 months ago.
In April, I left the work I had been doing since 2014 to take on new projects. I am learning (and teaching) a lot more about the inner aspects of Torah. I am (finally!) meeting new people. I am eating better quality food and I am trying (truly I am) to overcome my natural night owl tendencies.
A successful day now is one in which I've been able to help someone else. I am directing my energy toward preparing myself for redemption more than ever. I avoid posting controversial opinions on social media and routinely unfriend or block people who spew negative energy into cyberspace.
I'm working on my emuna all the time, looking for God's Hand in world events and focusing on the big picture, endeavoring not to get preoccupied with the details.
As I emerge from the torpid months of COVID, I feel like new growth on an old vine.
But also well-rooted.