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With COVID, ‘it’s Groundhog day. Every day.’

My child wears the same shirt every day.

Admit it. Yours does too.

If it wasn’t during the COVID pandemic, I might admit to being lazy, to having ignored the fact that he took the shirt out of the hamper and wore it again.

But that’s not the case. The shirt he wears every day is clean.

As a full-time working mother, never before have I had more time to do laundry, to be one with myself to face the monotony of life. I meet my match in dishes when I pass through the kitchen and continuously head to the basement to throw in yet another load of laundry.

It took a few days to realize it. My kids would wear their clothing, put them in the hamper (okay, that’s an outright lie. They’d put it on the floor and then I picked it up and put it in the basket) and then I’d throw in another load. Only too often, the same outfit would again emerge clean and be worn again the next day.

It’s Groundhog day. Every day.

But there must be a better way to push through the daily grind, to stay future-focused while being bogged down with the daily present.

The laundry is done. It’s time for sorting. There’s only one job left -– the kind that leaves you satisfied yet infuriated, complete yet disenfranchised, together but apart –- the matching of the socks. No matter what I do, there’s still more left unmatched. The job is never complete.

And then I find it – the lost sock – and with it returns hope. For a moment, my dreams become possible, new hope emerges. I remember again what life is really about, that my efforts truly matter, and that every struggle is real. Though the days seem to repeat themselves on end, I take comfort in the familiarity of it all.

As I watch the laundry cycle complete its final spin, I realize that perhaps I too have come full circle.

Meira Spivak is the director of Oregon NCSY, where over the past 14 years she has been developing Jewish educational programming for teens and parents. Additionally, she serves as the director of Camp Kesher, a growing summer camp in the Pacific Northwest. She is also an emerging leader in the application of the Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) method of creativity.

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