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In my hangry (hungry and angry) state whilst wrangling mildly repentant children on Yom Kippur, I got to thinking. Surrounded by saltines and raisins (the meager rations provided to the small humans), I thought about how fasting, abstaining from something, does not (outside of Yom Kippur) need to be an unpleasant experience. Separating yourself from things, both nice and pointy (either metaphorically or literally), can be healing.

So now, let me present you with Megan’s Super Shiny List of Alternative Fasts:

Consider going 25 hours without:

Procrastination:

I had two weeks to write this piece, I’m writing it about 30 hours before it’s due. Procrastination isn’t your friend. A day without procrastination could be rough, normal or liberating depending on who you are, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Passiveness:

I am a queer Jewish lady existing in the world. I let things that bother me slide because it either doesn’t seem worth the hassle to deal with, I feel bad that I feel bad or I don’t have the brain power to say something about it. I smile and shrug and move on. While there are definitely times to let things go, minority folks regularly have to let things go for the comfort of others. So, what if you put your comfort first?

Forced Cheerfulness:

It’s not OK for a cat-caller to tell you to “smile baby,” so why should you do it to yourself? If you’re upset, let people know you’re upset. I am not advocating that you start breaking windows or setting things on fire, but you owe cheerfulness to no one.

Say you’re hurt, having a bad day or just feel off. Don’t refrain from being transparent about your emotional state simply for the comfort of others.

Self-Deprecation:

Oy, this blog post isn’t that good; I should probably stop writing it — NO! The world is ready to tear you down; you don’t need to help it! Let yourself be your biggest ally and loudest cheerleader. There’s a world of difference between throwing yourself a “Yes, I’m Amazing” parade and hanging a sign around your neck that says “Bad at Being a Person and Stuff.”

You are good at stuff. I promise.

If you’re having an off day, I bet you’re still good at breathing, pumping blood or simply existing. Start there and the rest will get easier.

I hope that 5779 is a year of peace, growth, good food, good friends and minimal spam callers.

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