I read two posts this week that had to do with Aliyah; both were very encouraging to me.
The first one describes the "Five Stages of Aliyah" (is that like the Five Stages of Mourning??), which include Euphoria (we all know how long that one lasts), Panic, Depression, Adaptation and finally, Acculturation. Going through these stages can take some of us years. For myself, I can safely that the euphoric stage has long since passed, and that I am often stuck in the panic and depression stages. Every now and then I get a glimmer of adaptation. I'm not sure acculturation will ever happen. In any case, I was happy to read this piece because it showed me that what I am feeling is pretty normal.
The other post discussed Attitude. I particularly liked this comment, posted by Rafi G.:
"attitude is the greatest necessity. I remember when I was in yeshiva, someone sat down at my table at breakfast and poured himself a bowl of cereal. he then ate it while complaining the whole time that the cornflakes were not crunchy enough."
That comment made me smile, because it brought back the memory of me handing the kids the Telma (Israeli) brand of corn flakes when we first got here. I had decided to buy it instead of the Kellog's brand, which was readily available, but cost ten shekel more. My kids tasted the cereal and announced, "Wow, these corn flakes are much crunchier than the ones in America!"
So even on the days when I'm in the throes of Stages Two and Three, I try to maintain that Positive Attitude, especially for the kids. I know why we are here; I knew it wouldn't be easy. Still, I believe I am where I belong.
As for the title to this post: this morning, as I stepped out of the car, I looked down on my feet, and was puzzled by my dirty feet so soon after I had showered. When I reached down to rub the dirt off, I realized that my feet weren't dirty, they were tanned! It's that mideast sun hard at work. I, who normally have the whitest legs in town, am now being held up by a tan.
Now that was a totally unexpected benefit of living here...
The Stuff That Lasts, Part Deux
1 week ago