My Pandemic Mitzvot Keep Me Optimistic

18 Mar

I already wrote about the libraries closing and my decision to giveaway some of the thousands of books I am not taking to our new, downsized home. But in the few days since I wrote that blog so much more has happened. Yesterday all schools were asked to stay closed until April 6. Then today, the governor ordered that schools shut their doors for the rest of the school year.

That is unbelievable and truly an unexpected event.

I work at a school. A small, private school for students who do not do well in a traditional setting. This order to close school leaves us all gobstruck and flabbergasted. But with all the schools and libraries closed, books are not only an important release from stress, but also an important learning tool. Where will the children get books to read if the libraries, schools and stores are closed? So I believe my decision to share books is more important than ever.

The requests are coming in. Mystery, romance, funny novels, memoirs, thrillers, fantasy, children’s books for all ages. But I find myself not just saying yes and just handing them a book, I find myself searching through my books to find something that fits the person who requested a book.

Books to give away on my front porch.

I give each person between two and five books. If I have a series, I give them all the books I own in that series. I also offer options to some people, as I have several books I think they might like. I let each person make the final decision. No feelings hurt. But so far, everyone seems to like the books they took from my front porch.

My pandemic mitzvah (good deed) decision is bringing me joy! I think I am, or should have been, a librarian. Trying to match books to people elicits a smile in my brain. A little click occurs and I think, ‘Eureka, perfect fit!’

Eight people have requested books so far. I hope that many more do so. I would be glad to give everyone I know a bit of joy through the gift of a book. But I can only help out those who live within my community.

I think getting the books make them happy as well. I leave them in bags on my front porch. People come by and take the bag labeled for them. Since we are keeping socially distant, I don’t go outside to greet them. But a couple have knocked on the door and given me a smile and a wave and a thank you through the glass.

Some friends who have not requested books have noted what a great idea this is. And a kindness. Kindness goes two ways. People need books. It brings them relief from stress and escape from situations. I get joy by finding good homes for my books. It is so nice to know that another reader will open the pages and be transferred from the somewhat harsh reality of a Coronavirus pandemic, into someone’s words and imagination.

But books are not my only pandemic mitzvot. I am calling house bound people. I am sending notes to the people I usually visit in an elder care facility. I am trying to be upbeat and positive. Sometimes I fail at that, but I am trying. And most of all, I am trying to take care of my husband and myself. We are continuing our exercise, we are eating healthy and I hope we are maintaining our spirits.

I think that by doing something positive I can take a bit of stress out of my life and the lives of those around me. So remember, even if you cannot see your friends, you can call. Even if you cannot go to movies or libraries or concerts, there are many ways to listen to music or read. Take a walk outside. Call someone at home to brighten their day. Doing a mitzvah during the pandemic is my choice to keep optimistic.

9 Responses to “My Pandemic Mitzvot Keep Me Optimistic”

  1. Amy March 19, 2020 at 11:46 am #

    You are so right—doing good for others gives not only others hope, it gives the giver hope. Keep it up! And stay safely at home.

    • zicharon March 19, 2020 at 2:57 pm #

      Thank you. I am mostly at home. We do go for walks and over to the new home when the work men are gone to check it out. In a way it is very peaceful for now.

      • Amy March 19, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

        It is indeed. We are doing the same (but not the new house—we did that eleven years ago!).

      • zicharon March 19, 2020 at 6:57 pm #

        We just had some bad timing! To say the least.

      • Amy March 19, 2020 at 6:58 pm #

        Well, maybe it will end up being good timing. Something to distract you and to look forward to.

      • zicharon March 19, 2020 at 10:41 pm #

        I am sure it will give us stories to tell for the next 20 years. 😊

  2. Sharon March 19, 2020 at 3:02 pm #

    It’s certainly a time to step up and shine, to find something positive each of us can do and do it. Your postings have inspired me to step up 🙂

    • zicharon March 19, 2020 at 3:27 pm #

      I am glad that I am a positive inspiration.

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