Dayenu

My favorite Passover song is Dayenu. Sung as a refrain, the word dayenu means “it would have been enough.” In context, it is speaking to the Exodus and how G-d’s miracles preserved the Jewish people through many trials and tribulations on the road to freedom from slavery in Egypt. The premise of the song is that although each miracle on its own would have been enough, there was an abundance of blessings. As I move through this season of my life, I find myself returning to this song and its message.

Last week, someone (who doesn’t know me very well) asked me what I wish I had done better during quarantine. The question was framed from the perspective that quarantine is some kind of strange staycation where I can choose to take up a new hobby or embark on a plan for self-actualization. “Nothing,” I answered. There is nothing that I regret about how I have used this time. Even the time that others might label as unproductive.

The other person was a bit taken aback. “Really? Nothing? You’re not even thinking about what you could have done better? Organized your closet, eaten healthier, worked on something around the house?”

Nope.

If I had only gone to therapy, it would have been enough. If I had only spent time on the couch petting my dog, it would have been enough. If I had only taken a meandering walk along the Bayou with my daughters, it would have been enough. I have had all these things and more.

In a time where everything feels scarce, I am grateful for this unexpected recognition of abundance and blessing. I have been surviving and, more importantly, I have survived. There is no need to put artificial pressure or expectations on myself. Dayenu.

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