On Finding Joy in the Age of Trump…

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On Finding Joy in the Age of Trump …

Each morning my head has its exercise. I hang my head in shame; I shake my head in bewilderment of what our country has become; I close my eyes in hope. I tell myself that despair is not an option, that I must summon energy from somewhere to make my voice heard, although my staunch Republican senators and representatives toe the party line, and I live in such gerrymandered districts, both state and national, that I realize that my comments, my votes, will be lost in the netherworld of the minority.

And sometimes I must look for joy. Most mornings I find it in my cats, who sit quietly with me as I read the paper, write in my journal. Some days, they climb into my lap, both of them, and take part in my 10-minute meditation.

This past week, we celebrated their fifteenth birthday. (I’ll save you googling – that is 77 in human years.) They are brothers and have never spent a day away from one another. Like all of us, they have their squabbles, but most days you can find them only feet apart.

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We celebrated their Cat Mitzvah two years ago; this year, they had a Quinceneara celebration. They appeared unimpressed, even when offered crumbs from their cake. But we humans, we celebrated. For we must take our joy where we find it.

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On Mitzvahs

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On Mitzvahs —

A mitzvah is a blessing, freely given, and I was the recipient of many this past Sunday. I was surrounded by some of my tiny family, and by those craziest of my cat-loving friends. For we celebrated the Cat Mitzvah for our two thirteen-year-old cats, Buster and Butterscotch. One friend advised that it should have been Katz Mitzvah, but, alas, her suggestion did not reach me until invitations had been sent.

And, as so many parties that are really for the grown-ups rather than the children (or cats, in this case), it was I who was truly blessed. To share good times, good conversations, to be happy to squeeze around a table meant for a much smaller assemblage and enjoy bumping elbows and spilling barbeque sauce. To laugh when we ran out of white wine sangria and find that somehow instant lemonade appeared in the refrigerator, to be  poured by a guest so comfortable that he felt it was his own home. Well, isn’t this the best of times.

In this turbulent time in the world, in our country, in our personal lives, how wonderful to stop, to savor, to appreciate that we are surrounded by mitzvahs, if only we look.

Another Sunday, http://www.cynthiastrauff.com