For the past few months, I've been saving a bit of money each week so that, at the summer's end, I could take a short vacation with the kids and have some money for shopping for school supplies, Rosh Hashana clothes, etc.
Yesterday, after a half a day of travelling, I was worriedly checking my wallet, trying to figure out WHERE the cash that I thought that I had had gone. Gas, dinner, giving the kids some money for shopping.....wow! It disappeared so quickly! I was going to have to take out some more cash from my bank account, which I have, but had been hoping not to have to touch (the holidays are coming up, as are birthdays for Ariella and Hagai......)
Anyway, as we sat there, eating dinner, a woman came up to me and hugged me. It was a friend whom I haven't seen in years. We made aliyah together in 1983, and in the intervening years, she's been married several times, had several children, and always struggled tremendously financially.
Now she was in the mall with her older daughter, asking people for tzdekka -- they have no food in their house ("we haven't had toilet paper for 2 days" she told me), and she was planning on staying at the mall until 23:00 so that they could bring the leftover food from the restaraunts home.
Gulp. What AM I obsessing about? At what point can I just sit back and say "thank you God. I have enough".
More than enough, actually. My kids are happy, healthy, and we have what we need. I've even been able to provide many extras these last few months -- a pool membership for the summer, some day trips, assistance for Ariella and Avishai to begin studying.....and this woman, who was basically in the same space as me 24 years ago, has to beg for money for toilet paper.
May I never loose my sense of proportion.