Stop Waiting, Start Living: Finding Joy Today

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Pesach is in the rearview mirror; what’s next on the agenda?

If you are anything like me, you are already daydreaming about the next big thing. I constantly anticipate what is next, always ticking off the hours, days, weeks, and months for the inevitable changes.

It is all a never-ending waiting game. Waiting to meet your perfect match, waiting for the wedding, waiting to have kids, waiting for the kids to be in school, waiting for the summer so the kids could be out of school, waiting for the kids to grow up and get married, waiting for them to have kids… and the cycle continues.

Waiting for Yom Tov, waiting for Yom Tov to be over.

Waiting to graduate, waiting for the perfect job, waiting for the promotion, waiting for vacation, waiting to retire…

It’s a carousel of anticipation!

But here’s the thing: if we’re always focused on the next big thing, are we really living? Or are we just being impatient and twiddling our thumbs while we wait for the days to change? When we’re constantly in a state of anticipation, we forget to savor the here and now. It is like being on a date and already planning the next one.

What if counting the days leading up to the main event can teach us to value each day? During Sefiras Ha’Omer, there is a focus on cherishing each day just as much as the celebration that it leads up to. This time period is as much about the journey as the destination.

It’s great to have goals and things to look forward to. But let’s not forget to make each day count. Celebrate the milestones and the ordinary moments that make up most of our lives. Try to find joy in the ‘now’ rather than always looking to the ‘next.’

You may be excitedly anticipating the next phase of your life, but it’s important to find beauty in the present as well. Whatever stage in life you are living, whether you’re eagerly waiting to meet your soulmate, navigating the chaotic joy of young kids at home, or experiencing the bittersweet pride of watching them grow up and leave the nest, each stage has its unique charm. These moments are fleeting and precious. Let’s not wish away our lives in anticipation of what’s next.

As you count the Omer this year, take it as an opportunity also to count your blessings each day. Commit to living fully in the present, cherishing the journey, and finding joy in every moment. Life is more than just a series of milestones—it’s the experiences, big and small, that happen in between. Each day offers new possibilities and lessons that, when embraced, can enrich our lives profoundly. Let this time be a reminder to appreciate where you are on your path and to recognize the value and beauty in the ordinary and mundane. Ultimately, it’s these everyday moments that truly shape and define the richness of our lives.

Until next time, keep counting—both the days and your blessings.

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