New year Monday
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New year Monday

Every Monday someone is starting a diet. Or a new promise they made to themselves — to be more patient, to be friendlier, to not scream at people who bring them to the brink of insanity. Every. Single. Monday.

And then, New Year’s day falls out on a Monday. It is like the ultimate whammy. Commercials for Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, Facebook ads for the diets that no one can tell you about unless you private message them — what is that about? Time to join this gym or that gym. Time to sign up for a new dating site, or for any dating site. Time to get rid of those bad habits and start good ones, or any ones for that matter.

It is the first day of the year. It is the first day of the rest of your life. Oy freakin vey, that is a heck of a lot of pressure.

One of my favorite quotes, and I have no idea who said it is, “You will never be as young as you are today…” So simple, yet so profound. So why is it so hard to just put all the bad stuff behind us and start fresh? When we look in the mirror and see that we are turning into people who we don’t want to be, how do we turn into what we want to be?

For the past few months, I have been running a support group for the sandwich generation caregivers. Please don’t stop reading if you are tired of hearing about this. Sandwich generation refers to those of us who have older or infirm parents and/or in-laws and still have families of our own that we are responsible for. So I started running this group because I needed to know that I wasn’t the only one who was going through this. That I wasn’t the only one who felt guilty or sad or angry almost every day because of the pressure that I feel.

People who aren’t going through it cannot relate to it and really don’t want to hear about it, and I totally get that. People who have lost parents don’t want to hear about it because they wish they still had their parents, and I get that too. But this group has been so helpful to me, even if we sit around for an hour and a half and complain, because, if that is going to keep us sane, then that is what we have to do.

Some people have said that I am setting a good example for my children. I don’t think this is the case, because Son #1 and Son #3 already have told Husband #1 and me that we are moving to Israel with Son #2, and that he is going to take care of us. I wonder if Son #2 knows about this. The fact that we are making him come home from yeshiva in Israel in two weeks probably is not helping our cause, and Sons #1 and 3 will just stick us in a nursing home somewhere…

So how do I become the person who doesn’t get stuck in a nursing home? How much laundry and cooking do I actually have to do when all Husband #1 has to do is watch sporting events with his sons???

No, I do not have a hangover. I am just all over the place, because it is a new year. 2018. And every new year makes you think about the past and the future. And since we have no idea what the future holds, sometimes it is a good thing to go way back in your past and remember a time when everything was good and simple and happy.

Yes, I am going back in time to the Concord Hotel. When my parents could play tennis twice a day, when I still watched Days of Our Lives, and my friend Deva and I could sit on the couch and people-watch until God knows what time in the morning. When the only care we had in the world was what we were wearing to the next meal, and which cute boys were at the hotel.

Yup, I think I will stay in that time for a few more minutes before I go back to now. To my resolutions. Which will probably only last a few hours. Oh well…there is always next year.

Banji Ganchrow wishes all of her readers a 2018 filled with good health, laughter, love, and all you wish for yourselves. For those who only celebrate the Jewish New Year, I hope things are going well for you as well…

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