Month: September 2017

7 Habits of Highly Effective Couch Surfers

Couch Surfers
Last week I wrote about how to be a great couch surfer host. After hosting a whole slew of amazing couch surfers, I’ve definitely seen how several acts, big and small, can make a guest forever memorable, and can improve the entire couch surfing experience.

Very Informative Profile

Perhaps it should go without saying that most people won’t host couch surfers with an empty profile. Few or no pictures and minimal information do not inspire confidence that we’re dealing with a real person, let alone someone who is serious about preserving the integrity and quality of the couch surfing experience.

But I’m talking about something else.

My couch surfers have been all sorts of awesome, as are a lot of people picking up and traveling the world. Let us know that we should be super excited about your visit. Let us know someone special will soon be in our home. Give us lots  of stuff to bug you about before you ever show up.

In short, you’re amazing. That fact should be evident from the offset in your pictures and profile.

Write a Letter

This was very common among my couch surfers in the United States. A few simple words are greatly appreciated. I’ve saved every letter I’ve received and I plan to save them forever. A few kind, personal words is such an easy and such an amazing gesture, and it often personalizes the experience, since unlike a house gift, a letter is usually written after the fact.
Words from a surfer:

“Thank you for making me feel so at home and comfortable. Thank you for sharing your space and, more importantly, your stories. It has been a pleasure to get to know you so far, and I look forward to keeping in touch!”

These words will stay with me forever, and so will the memories.

Gifts, the Right Kind

Before I say another word, I cannot stress this enough: No couch surfer should EVER feel obligated to give anything at all to their host. That being said, it’s often a lovely and much appreciated gesture. It need not cost much, and can still make a lasting impact.

The best gifts are ones that foster fond memories. My two favorites are regional souvenirs… or a beer.

a. On my fridge I have a bottle opener from Costa Rica. Among my books I have a dessert recipe book from Italy. And in my kitchen are a bunch of coasters from Poland. I love having things in my home from all over the world, and I love that each one comes with a story and reminds me of some of the great visitors who have passed through my home over the years.

b. Whether it’s a beer or a falafel, it doesn’t matter. You’re not really buying your host a drink. You’re creating a memorable experience together. I wander through Jerusalem’s shuk and say “That’s where I hung out with my Newfies” and “That’s where I had Chinese food on Christmas… with my surfer from China.” The beer gets drunk; the experience lasts forever.

Do Some Dishes

It is common courtesy for any couch surfer to leave your home the way they found it. And again, no couch surfer should ever feel like they have an obligation to clean anything at all in your home beyond their own mess.

That being said, I have had multiple surfers who were constantly washing my dishes. Even if I protested, before I knew it, my sink was empty. I cannot tell a lie. I am a neat and tidy person, but I absolutely loath washing dishes, and I so do miss having a dishwasher. These fabulous couch surfers know in their heart of hears that when I say “Stop, you really don’t need to do that”, what I’m really thinking is “Oh my goodness, this person is an angel who could and should stay at my home any time they want!”

A great life lesson: If you want someone to love you forever, do their dishes.

Share Who You Are

As a host, I love experiencing the world through the eyes of people who live all over the world, and people who have travelled and have seen a great deal.

The best thing you could ever do as a guest is to be yourself and share of yourself as much as possible. Pour out information about you and your country’s culture, history, and idiosyncracies. I’m super attentive and I’m soaking in every word. The more you’re willing to let me know who you are, the more enjoyable and meaningful the experience.

And never assume any detail is too small!

I’m still blown away by discovering that in Spain the word “tortilla” means something completely different than it does in Mexico, and consequently the US (There’s no wrap involved. It’s more similar to what we call an omellete. I know right! Mind blown!!).

Write a Reference

I’m kind of reference gremlin. I love them. And the more I get, and the more positive they are, the more I just want to keep hosting and hosting.

Some people have told me that they didn’t bother with references because their host already had so many, they didn’t think their own added anything to the host’s profile. This is an error. Every single reference counts, and having 200 is better than having 100. The only way to get there is one reference at a time.

I read every reference I get with relish and excitement. And it’s just about the best way for me to find out how I’m doing as a host. In fact, the only thing that lets me know I’m doing a good job even more, is when I’m asked to be hosted again by the same guest.

Report Those Who Deserve Reporting

Couch Surfing is its own little subculture of the world. Many of us take it very seriously and strongly believe in what we are doing.

Therefore, when I hear awful stories about hosts who mistreated their couch surfers in any fashion, it unnerves me. I know for every God-awful host out there, there are scores of fantastic ones. But the only way to let future guests know what they might be walking into, is to write a reference that reflects what happened, or to report the host if what they did crossed lines.

I know that when a traveler returns home from their vacation, dwelling on the negative parts of their trip is the last thing they want to do. And with each passing day, the emotions begin to wane and the likelihood of being proactive lessens and lessens.

There are many reasons why you should hop on your laptop and take care of this right away. Do it because it helps improve the entire Couch Surfing community. Do it because no one should ever not wish to be hosted by someone like me, because some other fool ruined their impression of the experience. Most of all, do it because whatever suffering you experienced should never happen to another person. And it’s your responsibility as a human being to make sure of that!

 

*Enjoying? Sign up for email updates and never miss a new post again!

*Enjoying my writing? Check out my latest eBook!

Posted by jaffeworld in couch surfing, Israel, 0 comments

7 Habits of Highly Effective Couch Surfing Hosts

Couch Surfing Hosts
One of my favorite hobbies is hosting Couch Surfers. It’s a unique hobby, I’m aware, but one I love, am dedicated to, and strive to excel at.

I’m rapidly moving up on hosting my 100th surfer and thankfully I’ve learned a few things along the way. Every time I host someone, I closely observe how people react to the experience, and I try to grow and improve at what I do (channeling my inner Avraham Avinu–Abraham, our father).

Here are some things I learned along the way that hopefully make me one of the high-quality Couch Surfing hosts:

1) Host Them the Way They Want to Be Hosted

It’s very easy to assume that someone who is visiting you and enjoying your benevolence should be hosted the way you choose. They should go to sleep and cease all noise when you want, and show up when you say. If you want to hang out or show them around or be totally left alone, they should be ready and willing to accept your whims and wishes.

However, if that’s your attitude, perhaps hosting isn’t the right hobby for you. Most of my guests here in Jerusalem are visiting for their first time ever. I can walk to the Western Wall literally any time I want to. This is THEIR vacation–their special trip–and just because they want to save hundreds of dollars on a hotel room, doesn’t mean you should dictate how their trip goes.

Be who they want you to be, to the best of your ability. If they want to hang out or be toured around the city, if they want to wander aimlessly with their travel book, if they just want restaurant recommendations, or if they just want to pass out when they arrive from sheer travel exhaustion, it’s their time and should be treated as such.

This doesn’t mean your time needs to fully be dictated by your guests, but it should minimally mean that you are upfront with what you can and cannot offer. I’ve told guests that I can’t hang out because I’m having special time with my son that evening or that I’m just too exhausted. But I always strive to facilitate a fantastic experience for my guests, and to let them know as much in advance as possible how available I am for them.

2) Be Flexible

Travelers are often very whimsical and adventurous people. Cancellations and postponements come with the territory. It’s by no means personal, and you shouldn’t ever let it get to you. Yes, it’s more fun when they come; just be ready for the possibility that it might not happen, and be happy regardless.

Never completely overturn your life; however, if it’s easily within your power to be flexible, it will make your guests feel more welcome and you feel more at ease.

Life is crazy. I used to be upset with people who were late all the time. Ever since I had children, I realized there’s always a good excuse out there. I’ve had everything from cancellations due to illness, passport issues, problems crossing borders, transportation issues, and just shoddy planning. The world is filled with mishaps. Let it go. Everyone’s better off for it.

3) Expect Nothing In Return

Some guests write letters. Others wash dishes, give a gift, or take you out for a beer. These gestures are beautiful and always appreciated. However, it is incumbent on all good hosts to expect nothing, and to be happy if nothing comes.

Hosting is about providing safe, fun, and memorable experiences for guests. And it ends there. If they want to keep in touch for years to come, that’s amazing. And if they want to crash on your couch and then disappear from your life forever, so be it. If they do all of your dishes, they are a miracle of miracles; if the sink is just as full as when they came, you still hosted someone and made the world a better place.

It should warm your heart to host travelers. Someone slept comfortably and safely because of your kind heart. This should be enough to make you happy. Expecting some type of compensation weakens the experience. Enjoy hosting for the sake of hosting!

4) Stay in Touch

Who wants to connect with someone only to have the relationship disappear forever?

I remember years ago attending an international summer camp. When we said goodbye at the end of the summer, it was a real goodbye. If we wanted to keep in touch, there were three choices: travel, call, or write letters. The first two were wildly expensive and the third was time consuming and unreliable. So falling out of touch was basically inevitable.

In this generation there’s no excuse for not keeping in touch. It’s inexpensive and easy. And the best way to truly convey you care for another, is to continuously convey the sentiment.

5) Offer Some Water

It’s not unlikely that your travelers will arrive hungry, thirsty, tired, sweaty, or some other fun result of the pleasures of travel. Not everyone is assertive, especially when they first walk into someone’s home as a new guest. It’s incumbent upon the host to ask about their guests’ needs and accommodate to the best of the host’s ability. Often it’s a glass of water. However, I’ve provided guests with everything from a place to take a quick nap to tossing soaking wet shoes into my dryer. If you’re going to be a host, might as well be an amazing one.

6) Write a Reference (Right Away)

Everyone who uses couchsurfing.com knows that references are invaluable. They’re the way that strangers can learn to trust you without any direct knowledge of who you are. The more references you have, and the more positive they are, the more likely people will be willing to come to your home or choose to host you.

They’re also, in sad occasions, the only way to protect other potential hosts or guests from the uncomfortable experiences that sometimes creep up along the way.

Being a great guest is a skill that can be honed, just like being a good host. And some people, unfortunately, are not fantastic guests. If someone was a great guest, let them and others know as soon as you can. Do everything in your power to make sure others want to host them and enjoy their company as much as you did.

7) Make Them Feel Safe

From your profile to your initial communications to the moment you say goodbye, the #1 goal of any host should be to make their guests feel safe.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard way too many stories of guests who were made to feel uncomfortable by their hosts. One thing I like to do is to send an audio message to my guests before they arrive. I found this out by accident. I leave audio messages for people using WhatsApp all the time, just because it’s a really easy form of communication, one that I can do whenever I want, and one that I can do while walking without fear of smashing into a tree. One time I left a message and my future guest told me how comforting it was. An audio message not only “proves” that there’s a real person hiding behind the computer, but they can be comforted by experiencing a touch of your warm personality.

For all sorts of reasons, I prefer to only host for one night. When my guests then go off to stay somewhere else in Jerusalem, I try to always assure them that if they feel even mildly uncomfortable with their new host, they should contact me immediately and if I am able to, they can absolutely return to my home.

It is the responsibility of all Couch Surfing hosts to make his or her guests feel warm and safe. If you ever make your guests feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please stop hosting.

OK world, invitation extended. You know you have a safe, friendly, relaxed place to stay if you ever find yourself in Jerusalem. See you soon!

*Enjoying? Sign up for email updates and never miss a new post again!

*Enjoying my writing? Check out my eBooks!

Posted by jaffeworld in Israel, 0 comments

5 Ways to Get Started on a Path to a Healthy Lifestyle

healthy lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle

I wrote in my last post about how the gym saved my life. We’re in a complex generation. Healthy food is often less appealing or more expensive. We sit all day at work. There is more incentive than ever to never leave your home.

Ultimately we’re harming ourselves, and sometimes setting ourselves on a long, slow path to endless health problems and lifestyle patterns that seem irreversible.

However, there is no such thing as being too unhealthy or too late in life to turn everything around. And your life and the lives of all those around you will be infinitely better for it.

If you’re having some trouble motivating yourself to start a healthy lifestyle, maybe this could help.

1) Exercise… but Find Something You Love to Do

First of all, you’ll find a lot of literature out there that tells you that diet is far more important than exercise for those trying to lose weight. Articles that make such claims are both entirely accurate… and wildly misleading if not utterly harmful. (Here is an example. My Google search for “you don’t need to exercise to lose weight” had over 18 million results!)

Losing weight should never be ones only goal. Being “skinny” isn’t necessarily healthy or appealing. There are many goals that in the grand scheme are more important than weight loss (improved health, better mood, more self control, to name a few). Weight loss is just an amazing side benefit.

There are countless reasons to exercise that go far, far beyond weight loss. And trust me, there’s not a single benefit you don’t want.

Unfortunately, when most people begin exercising, they grab an old, dusty pair of running shoes and hit the pavement. And within the month, their exercise craze has come to an end.

Why? Because most people hate running. I’m among them. I’ve never maintained a consistent running routine, partially because it causes pains in my calves and it’s really dangerous with my torn ACL, but mainly because I just don’t like to run.

Exercise is lots of fun. But only when it is!

I believe everyone has some type of physical activity they love to do. They just may not have found it yet. Try everything you can get your hands on! Yoga, cycling, soccer, weight lifting, BJJ, boxing, just keep trying and trying until one feels great. And when that happens, make it a fundamental part of your life. Make it a habit.

True, someone might argue that your choice is not the most well-rounded form of fitness and has fewer benefits than another. However, three facts:

  1. Any exercise is better than no exercise. And the exercise you do is always better than the exercise you don’t do.
  2. All forms of exercise are beneficial.
  3. And the exercise you love is the exercise you can stick with for the long haul.

2) Read Read Read

A common problem many people have with the health and fitness world is the contradictions within the literature. I read articles about exercise and nutrition every day and it can get overwhelming sometimes. In one sitting you can find one “expert” telling you breakfast is the most important meal and another saying that skipping has essential benefits and is the secret to fat loss. One will tell you to do an exercise, another will tell you that same exercise is dangerous. Someone says something is a miracle herb, another says it’s an expensive placebo at best.

What can we do when the health world is filled with endless contradictions?

Sadly, nothing.

It has been and always will be frustrating.

So why do I bother with these articles, and why do I recommend others do so as well?

It’s all about knowledge, boredom prevention, and figuring out what works for you. Yes, there’s way too much information and loads of contradictions. There are also gems of ultra-important wisdom scattered everywhere. The more you learn, the more you find what’s consistently recommended or where the food or fitness industry is being disingenuous or downright manipulative. You’ll constantly gain new insights and motivation to try things you’ve never tried before.

Most importantly, the idea that everything is the same for everybody is foolish. When  you continuously try new things, you continuously learn more about yourself and what works and doesn’t work for you. And you can get closer every day to the look you want and the optimal health you deserve.

3) What the Doctors Didn’t Tell  You

I understand that I’ve had worse luck with doctors than most people. I have few if any stories of doctors helping me with any of my health problems, and fewer positive stories of navigating the system–in America or Israel–with any any semblance of success.

What fascinates me is not what doctors have told me throughout the years, but what they never bothered to mention. What I learned on my own. I can count on one hand the amount of doctors I’ve been to in the past five years. Why? Because I eat well and I exercise regularly. What the doctors somehow neglected to tell me was that almost every health issue I’ve ever had would simply go away if I were healthier.

And go away they did. Chronic heartburn, stomach issues, back pains. Everything just fizzled away and I’m healthier now than I’ve ever been, and completely medication free.

Sadly, I have no medical background or research to back up my claims. I just have the personal empirical evidence to support them. Lose weight. Close your laptop and take a hike to the local gym. Put down your doughnut and make yourself a grilled chicken salad. Watch as your maladies and symptoms melt away alongside your excess weight.

4) Know Yourself

It’s so easy to believe there are easy fixes or magic formulas that work for everyone. This is what the health and fitness industry would like you to believe. It keeps them in business and, sadly, it’s what we all want to hear.

Unfortunately, life’s not that simple. And to live a healthy lifestyle takes a lot of getting to know all about yourself.

Like many people, I need to go to the gym at the earliest possible moment. If I don’t, there’s a stronger potential with each passing second that I’ll end up not going at all. Some people like workout partners; others, like me, prefer working out all by themselves.

A great example from my own life is my relationship to junk food. There exist people in this world who can eat a couple of cookies and then push the bag to the side. I have an insanely hard time relating to such people. For me, it’s all or nothing. I have to treat myself like an addict. If I eat one cookie, all my cravings surge back, and whether I like it or not, you can kiss that bag goodbye. So it’s been over two years now since I’ve eaten any cake, cookies, ice cream, or candy. The cravings are gone and I don’t miss the junk.

But this isn’t what everyone needs. This is what I need.

Leading a healthy lifestyle should be like a giant personal experiment, constantly exploring who you are and what works best for you. If it works, make it a part of your life. No gains? Move on. But always know that we’re all unique, and our paths to get to the treasure will all be different.

5) Tell the World

There are few things in life that give me more pride than seeing my hard work payoff in the mirror. And everyone loves a good success story!

Post everything. Take pictures before you get started. Show everyone your before and afters. Show everyone the medallion you received after your first 5K. Tell the world how you conquered a lifelong food craving. Brag about how you went from a life of Twinkies and aching knees to a figure a professional model would be jealous of. We’ll all happily cheer you on and help your successes snowball.

*Enjoying my writing? Check out my books!

*Enjoying? Sign up for email updates and never miss a new post again!

Posted by jaffeworld in Fitness, Health, 0 comments

10 Ways I Survived Being Apart From My Children

I SurvivedHow I Survived

Last year was hell for me. Living almost four decades with the primary goal of being a family man and exceptional father, only to find yourself an ocean away from your most precious commodities, is jarring at best. Downright destructive at worst. I found myself seeking ways to fill in the gaps in my life. I needed outlets, ways to occupy my time, thoughts, and emotions, so that not only would I not go insane, but I was able to actually maintain a fulfilling life, until I could embrace my children once again.

These are ten ways (many of which I will write much more about in the future) I occupied my time that kept me breathing, and kept me smiling, while I readied myself to return to my children. This is how I survived:

1) The Gym

I used to be chunky. And living a healthy lifestyle was far, far from a goal of mine. About 15 years ago I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and it finally hit me that a few decades of not taking care of myself had taken its toll. I started laying the foundations for a complete life overhaul, realizing that not doing so literally could kill me. And then I proceeded to do the classic process of yoyo dieting. I lost a ton of weight. Gained it all back. Did the whole ordeal over again. And I swore to myself this would never happen again. The next time I got serious, it would be for good.

And there I was, with all the time and motivation in the world. I got my weight down to where it needed to be, went to the gym 5-6 days a week, and immersed myself in a healthy lifestyle. I can honestly say the gym saved my life. Yes, of course my health was fantastic and I looked much better. But more than that, the gym became my therapy. Days I couldn’t go were painful, and if something ached physically, I just worked around it. The good feelings the gym produced in me kept me breathing, kept me living, kept me happy despite feeling at all times a hair’s breadth away from breakdown.

World Gym, you deserve to know, you may have literally saved a person’s life.

2) Volunteering

I was very fortunate to find an organization in Kansas City that organized volunteering exactly the way I like it: Hands on, super busy, and non-stop from the time you arrive until the time you leave. These were volunteer activities that were not about donations or photo opportunities, but amazing organizations that legitimately needed help. And lots of it.

I was able to sign up for all sorts of programs, sometimes several a week. And I always left feeling, in whatever small way I could, like I made the world a better place. When I was up at night staring at the ceiling, wondering how I got to this crazy place in life, the days when I volunteered, I went to sleep content. I went to sleep knowing somebody, somewhere was better off because of my efforts. I may have not been there for my children the way they needed, but at least I was able to still do my part for the world at large.

3) Hosting Couch Surfers

I was reading a fantastic book (OK, fine I was listening to it in my car), and there was a whole section about how to make travel affordable. The author mentioned a website called Couch Surfing, a site for travelers who are looking to simply “crash” with some well-meaning folk who just love to have passersby stay at their homes. I was instantly intrigued (though not as a traveler).

I started hosting people left and right. By the time I left my Kansas apartment, I had hosted 31 different people (including a Tasmania-based death metal band called Psycroptic!) and I was psyched to keep this hobby going in Israel (at the time of this post I’ve hosted 58 surfers from nearly 20 different countries in the ten months I’ve been in my little Jerusalem apartment).

Hosting couch surfers is an unusual hobby, I’m aware. There are some obvious benefits to doing so. I now have friends all over the world, which is definitely wonderful.

But I think there’s a much deeper reason why I do this. A husband and father are (or at least should be) givers. People who give day in and day out to others, with no expectation of reward or even necessarily gratitude. And there I was, hosting people all the time who could use some shelter, a warm blanket, a glass of water, and a place to charge their phone. And once again, I got to give to others and be who I was meant to be.

4) UFC

It’s very odd not growing up a sports fan in America. It’s like you’re living in a universe different from all those around you. They’re excited by things that bore you and they speak a language utterly meaningless to you.

For nearly four decades I had no clue what it was they were excited about, sitting baffled as the conversations went on and on, replete with intricate statistics. I couldn’t understand it… until I found myself rattling off fighter statistics in the midst of a long and involved conversation about upcoming matches. Something happened. Four decades of confusion finally made sense to me. I had to find the right sport… but I was officially a sports fan.

And the timing couldn’t have been better. What a relief from the realities and craziness of life to immerse and lose yourself in the beauty and intensity of such a remarkable sport! (Not convinced I stumbled upon something special? Check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P85JNd1OYv4 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q_XT3aF64w)

5) Clinging to My Community

Sometimes the solution is hidden in plain sight. I could have been anywhere when my kids left me. But I wasn’t just anywhere; I was in the heart of the warmest community I’ve ever been.

I’m a New Yorker, born and raised. Yes, I often talk too quickly, and I still have this entrenched belief inside me that New York is better than everywhere else, and I feel subways are the absolute best form of transportation. The problem with being from New York–or seemingly anywhere along the coasts–is you miss out on this amazing gem known as the Midwest. It’s affordable, friendly, and surprisingly fun and entertaining.

The Overland Park, Kansas, community became my family away from my family, and I loved being a part of something so special. And despite only living there for three years, and despite the craziness that I went through while there (divorce, kids moving away, the end of my teaching career, etc), I oddly feel a stronger connection to there than anywhere else I’ve ever lived.

And I very proudly wear my Kansas City t-shirt all the time!

6) Clinging to My Parents

There are no two people in this world who I trust and appreciate more than my parents. They’ve given me four decade’s worth of reasons for this. They exemplify the true spirit of selfless, unconditional love. And they’ve been with me every step of the way without missing a beat.

And I could NEVER have done this without them.

I’ll never forget the time when my ex-wife had to have emergency gall bladder surgery. My parents dropped everything (including cancelling a non-refundable vacation) to come help us and be with us in our time of desperate need. We didn’t ask for it. They just did it. That moment was the day I learned the difference between family and friends. Close friends are fantastic, and can become like family. But true family is on a whole different level.

7) Clinging to My Friends

That being said, my friends were right behind my family in helping me survive that fateful year. Whether it was listening to me, housing me, drinking with me, or just reminding me all the time how much they cared, I will never forget how amazing my friends were when I needed them the most. And I will never be able to adequately convey my gratitude.

8) Going Beyond My Comfort Zone

In my situation, the norm would be to regress. To become less of a person, so to speak. The best one could hope for might be to maintain status quo, to at least not become a worse person.

But that’s not in my nature, and it’s not the person my parents raised me to be. Yes, my life was in turmoil. Yes, I was sad and battling vigorously against depression. But stagnation is not who I am. If I’m not growing, I might as well not be here at all.

And the best way to grow, the best way to challenge oneself, is to fight against that obnoxious little voice we all have in our heads. That little voice constantly reminding us that it’s easier to stay home, relax, and do nothing. That little voice that says it’s OK to be sad and alone. That manipulative little voice that tries to convince you that it’s fine to just stay the same forever.

I did a lot of strange things that year. I’m proud of most of them. But I’m more proud that I just followed where life took me, agreed to do things outside my comfort zone, and kept on learning, adapting, growing, and persevering. I didn’t just survive. I grew.

9) Enjoying Whatever Connection I Still Had

My kids are young. I knew that part of my agreement in which I allowed my children to leave was that I would be Skyping with them twice a week. Thank goodness for such technology! However, what I did not know–and what no parent should ever have to learn–is that parenting small children is all about touch. Skype is great, but not nearly enough. And that sharp realization was so very painful.

That being said, I had what I had, and it was fundamental that it become central to my life. I did whatever I could to never miss the calls. I tried to give my full attention, despite all the technical mishaps, the craziness that could come along with children who don’t understand the technology, or somehow managing fighting children via a computer screen.

And despite the financial and logistical challenge, I came to Israel for my son’s Bar Mitzvah, knowing full well that I didn’t want to go through life thinking I could have been there and wasn’t. And when he came to visit me for two weeks that summer, I made sure we had the most unforgettable two weeks of his life.

It’s all just nuggets. But I clung to anything and everything I could.

10) Holding on to Hope

I dreaded returning to Israel for countless reasons. And I knew returning a year earlier was not within my abilities. But that’s where the treasure was located, and I knew what my future held.

If I thought for a moment that my life with my children would be relegated permanently to Skype chats and extremely rare visits, I would have been broken, no matter what I used to heal or distract me. But there was an end. Returning to my children was not a possibility; it was an inevitability. And it kept me alive from the moment I said goodbye until the moment I was able to regularly hug my children again.

* * *

That year was a nightmare for me, one I wouldn’t wish upon anybody. However, through my pain, I learned new things. I grew as an individual. I became a better version of myself. And I put myself on a never-ending path of becoming a better me, one that is enhanced a thousandfold when I’m with my children.

Maybe you’ve suffered or are suffering. I would never be so insensitive as to belittle your pain. However, fight through it. Find the right distractions. Discover new things. Grow through the difficulties. Even if it challenges you, the pain should never break you. Find out how you can fight back in your own unique way, and you’ll find yourself emerging on the other side a much better person.

 

*Enjoying? Sign up for email updates and never miss a new post again!

*Enjoying my writing? Check out my eBooks!

Posted by jaffeworld in divorce, Health, 0 comments