Always be Prepared

by Rachel Eisen, Director of Annual Giving

If there’s one thing my mother taught me (okay, there are many things my mother taught me, but it’s a saying, right?), it is to always be prepared.

Even if you don’t think you have to go to the bathroom, try. Don’t wait for the warning light to come to fill up the gas tank. Wear layers; pack extra underwear and socks. And in case of snow, bring home all your notebooks so you can still go to work without getting in a car.

You guessed it – I’m writing this in a big snowstorm. And it strikes me that we often view preparation as daunting.

“We should make sure we charge up the portable cell phone chargers,” I told my fiancé the minute I walked in the door the night before the storm—forget “Hi! How was your day?” It’s all that was on my mind – making sure the storm wouldn’t leave us miserable and wishing we could leave the house.

Drip the taps at night so the pipes won’t freeze. Salt the stoop; put the windshield wipers up. Charge all the devices. Stock up on snacks.

It’s overwhelming and more than a little stressful. It makes me wish there was another way to get ready for a big event like this.

And then I smile, think about my job, and I feel slightly silly. Just hours before I started thinking about my storm to-do list, I gave a tour of Mayyim Hayyim to a couple who was visiting in anticipation of an upcoming immersion. I showed them around our building, through our education center, art gallery, celebration space, and then showed them the mikveh pools and preparation rooms.

I love taking people through the preparation rooms, because it’s my own favorite part of immersing. I love pointing out our 7 Kavanot (Intentions) for getting ready—and of course in recent tours I’ve been able to show visitors our new, pictorial version of these kavanot and illustrate our commitment to inclusion.

I realize that I love this part of the mikveh ritual even more than immersing itself, because when I go through the steps of getting ready for immersing, it might be the only time in my life that preparation isn’t about what’s next on the list, or what I’m leading up to. I’m not thinking about what I need to do after I finish getting ready, or what will happen if I don’t get through an item on my to-do list. I’m only thinking about the moment—and it’s beautiful and all mine.

Mayyim Hayyim is in the business of a lot of things: celebrating, including, healing, converting, educating, transitioning, fulfilling. And we’re also in the business of pausing and preparing. It’s a place to feel like all the to-do lists of life can take a back seat to the to-do list of just focusing on myself.

So bring on the to-dos, the lists, and bring on life, but when I need a break, I’ll head to the mikveh.

We invite you to put down your to-do list and take your next break at Mayyim Hayyim. Schedule your immersion today.

Rachel Eisen is Mayyim Hayyim’s Director of Annual Giving. She usually loves to-do lists, but isn’t a fan of snowstorms.

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  • Mayyim Hayyim has updated our COVID-19 protocols. Please click here to read the latest protocols, updated as of April 25, 2022.