Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

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Simchas and Stress

This morning I woke up feeling charley horse, achy, and with a sore throat. As I reached for the Advil, I wondered why I was feeling this way. True, I had attended an out-of-town  family wedding the night before, and yes, I had traveled quite a bit the past few days both by plane and by car. But I didn’t do much exercise to warrant all the achy feelings; aside from a little bit of circling around the bride in a joyful dance, I didn’t exert myself too much. I didn’t drink any wine, so no excuse for a feeling of a hangover, and I didn’t even stay up too late.

So why was I feeling this way? Well, to quote my friend, a Bubby: “traveling and simchas are always exhausting.” (a Bubby quotable quote!)  There is just no way out of it.  If every day, we have the usual stress of work and the phenomenon called life, then when we travel on vacation, and/or when we participate in family occasions, we have a unique form of stress: SIMCHA STRESS.

Simcha Stress:

This unique form of stress- (for those planning it, and for others who are close to those who are planning the event), manifests itself in  heartache or physical aches. Simchas, which are supposed to be happy occasions, are peppered with little annoyances and bumps in the road. Simchas, which are joyous weddings, engagements, bar mitzvah’s, and graduations are often accompanied by deadlines, pressure, lists, shopping, expenses, and endless details that cause lots of tension.

Simcha – which means “happy” in Hebrew, produces anything but simcha, for many. But at the end of the day, no one is changing the word, “simcha” to “lachatz” which means pressure in Hebrew. Nope. No one is saying, “hey, can you come to my lachatz next week to be held at the Hilton Hotel?

 Time to Smile:

No Jewish person on the East or West Coasts is inviting their friends to their wonderful Pressure Party. Not any time soon.

You see, even though I have experienced my share of stress amidst simchas in the past (including the achy shoulder that I have right now!), I still feel that no Jewish family should be without a steady stream of simchas – happy occasions — in their life.

Stress and all. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Time to Count our Blessings:

I believe that simchas are what keeps us going. Simchas are the water that G-d sprinkles on our souls to fertilize our spirits to grow and soar. Simchas give us that message that G-d loves us, that life is good, that we are blessed, and that it is okay to feel happy and celebrate.

Simchas are times to socialize and accept mazel tov wishes.

And most of all, simchas teach us priorities, and help us realize what is really important. Even when little things go wrong and glitches arise, we keep our simcha as our goal — our families’ and friends’ happiness and joie de vivre.

Because when it all comes down to it, we can deal with a little bit of burnt chicken, canceled guests, and rain on the outdoor ceremony. After all is said and done, we can rise above the little inconveniences and feel gratitude to G-d for providing us with loving families, children, and grandchildren with whom to plan and celebrate simchas (and pressure too!)


Mazel Tov! It’s a Bubby! (and a book!)

By now, most people who know me, are aware that I am releasing a book (Mazel Tov! It’s a Bubby! – with Israel Bookshop Publications; Sept 5, 2012), please G-d. The past few years of conceiving the idea, writing, editing, submitting, negotiating and polishing my book has been quite an exhilarating journey. And the fact that from the time I was notified that my book will be published until the actual release is a total of nine months, is only one of the reasons that this experience is similar to having a baby.

At this time, to use the pregnancy analogy — I am in my third trimester, ninth month and I am feeling the gamut of emotions. Excited (it is thank G-d a huge accomplishment), nervous (what if there are mistakes….), impatient anticipation (feeling like this pregnancy is dragging), gratitude (to G-d for bringing me to this stage), and many other feelings.

I look forward to keeping you all posted on the developments of my book release. I hope to have please G-d, a book signing event. The location, date, and time will be announced shortly on this blog.

Stay tuned for more.


Needometer Check

Every now and then, I like to check my “needometer.”  Similar to the odometer on my car, my needometer measures how high or low a particular factor in my life is moving. What is this factor?  Ahhh, my needs. As I get older, I like to think my neediness and insecurities diminish and my confidence and gratitude for what I have increases.  But in reality, the neediness does lurk beneath the surface – even at this stage in my life — and I have to keep it in check! Continue reading


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