Our president and the dictator of North Korea are playing a dangerous game of who has the bigger nuclear button leading to total burning, life obliterating, forest killing, water polluting, tumor spawning annihilation. Giant hail, winter bomb cyclones, mudslides, weeks of sub-zero temperatures cause misery for a quarter of a billion people on one continent alone. Every day, tragedies touch the lives of good people, friends, neighbors, and relatives. Life can be scary and difficult.
Now that we’ve established some global perspective and a clear-eyed understanding of what matters in the world, I would like to draw your attention to a small, yet chronic annoyance that affects my life in a persistently negative manner: Everything seems to be scheduled for Thursday. In an effort to be efficient, I used to tutor bar and bat mitzvah students on Thursday afternoons at the same time and in the same building as my son’s Hebrew school. Life got sticky, though, when he had occasional baseball games that conflicted with Hebrew school. This year, I thought I’d simplify my life by tutoring on a different day altogether. That didn’t exactly work out the way I intended. Now on Thursday, I’m driving Hebrew school carpool and worried about the other parents’ schedules, too, which includes the adorable girls’ Thursday play practices for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and one of the girl’s brother’s Thursday guitar lessons.
The Thursday pile-up is rampant. Work meetings, flights for business trips, special event dinners: Thursday. Lately, it seems that every other activity in our family plops itself down on Thursday. My budding Hebrew scholar’s winter mandatory indoor baseball practice at the batting cage in a nearby town is scheduled 20 minutes after his last drilling of bar mitzvah blessings. It comes as no surprise that next week, the only time available for my other child’s appointment at the oral surgeon is also on a Thursday afternoon. Jazz band practice and wind ensemble fall on Thursday evenings, in case you were wondering.
Parents visiting from out of town? They’ll be arriving on Thursday just in time for dinner.
Mandatory meeting to calm parents about the tick situation at Sixth Grade Camp? Of course, it’s taking place on the only day of the week, Thursday.
Heater breaks in the house? I’ll give you one guess what day of the week the repair person is available.
Last year, my New Year’s Resolution involved trying to say yes to more invitations and adventures, and embracing life more openly and freely. At the core, I’m a person whose idea of contentment involves being in pajamas by 10 pm reading a book in which I underline pretty sentences with a turquoise or purple felt tip pen and eating a nighttime bowl of Rice Krispies with bananas and raisins. In 2017, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, attended a book party on a school night in New York City for a brilliant college friend, managed to get myself to a milestone event for an old coworker on a tricky weekend for the family, and even drove my son to an academic challenge meet on unfamiliar roads in a distant city. These actions might seem ridiculously mundane for many people, but for me, these were steps toward greater engagement with the chaotic world outside of my home and routine.
We are halfway through 2018, and I’m still trying to figure out how to stay afloat while also saying yes to life and the invitations it presents. Except everything happens on Thursday.
Hello, whatever happened to Wednesday? That’s a day of the week, too, last time I checked. A perfectly reasonable period of 24 hours, nestled right in the middle with lots of elbow room to the right and left. What’s wrong with Wednesday? Can’t anyone schedule a little league game, clarinet recital, science fair, meningitis vaccine booster, or student government meeting on that afternoon? Hey, Mondays work for me, too, in case you were wondering.
We are at our wits' end.
I try to teach my children to commit fully to the activities in which they participate. We’re not people who dodge out early from practices, skip lessons, bail out of appointments, but this Thursday situation is conflicting with my values, and let me tell you, now I have to manage Thursday-related anxiety on top of all the driving and gear gathering. ry as I might, I just can’t juggle all of the commitments that are landing at the same time. The old saw reminds us that it takes a village, but what if everyone in your village is running around on Thursday afternoons, too? Could my son Uber to Hebrew School? (No? Probably no.)
A little research shows that Thursday is named for the Norse god of thunder, Thor—you know, the one who looks like that tall, long-haired pitcher from the New York Mets. Red-headed Thor carries a magical hammer and belt and rides aloft in the heavens in a chariot propelled by two goats, named Tooth Grinder and Tooth Gnasher. Those mythmakers knew what they were talking about when they named Thor’s animal buddies after unhealthy dental practices. This Thursday schedule is causing some serious tooth gnashing for me, and I don’t even have a goat. Although I’m sure if I had one, it would need to go to the vet on a Thursday.
So Thor, I know I’m not Norse, at least not to my knowledge, but this nice mom from New York is asking you to please calm down with the Thursday stress. Let’s spread the activities out a bit more evenly. And, if heaven forbid, the ridiculous talk of Armageddon escalates into an all out confrontation—could you slot it for Monday? The end of the week is wiping me out as it is.
Guest post written by Sharon G. Forman. Sharon is a mom, wife, reform rabbi, bar and bat mitzvah teacher, little league carpool driver, and owner of a mischievous dog. She used to be the principal of a 600-student afternoon religious school in New York City, but now is focusing on writing and teaching. The author of The Baseball Haggadah: A Festival of Freedom and Springtime in 15 Innings and numerous essays on motherhood for Literary Mama, Mamalode, The Bitter Southerner, Kveller, Lilith.org, Parent.co, and Mothers Always Write, she is still trying to figure out how to work the downstairs television.