Making Do

Last week the strap of the FitBit I bought on eBay two years ago broke; eBay is my favorite place to get new-in-box personal electronics that might otherwise wind up in a landfill. I wear the FitBit every day but Shabbos, and it seems the tension on the plastic strap that holds the buckle caused it to wear through. With a few clicks (back to eBay), a replacement band was on its way, but what was I going to do in the meantime? Getting the Fitbit has really turbocharged my walking habit, and I have a goal of logging at least 7,000 steps each day.

One of the ways that going low waste these last few years has shaped me is that it has really sharpened the part of my mind that looks for alternatives and possibilities. Was it possible, I wondered, I could fix the strap myself, at least enough to last until the new band came? Super Glue in hand, I decided to give it a go. A few minutes later, the strap was holding fine, and I was off to work. Although the replacement strap has arrived, I’m not prioritizing putting it on since my repair job is holding so well.

Then this week, the button that makes the cord on my hairdryer retract came off. I was able to put it back on, but a plastic piece is broken off, so I know that repair will not last like my watch band seems to be doing. While I was drying my hair that morning, I thought about whether I would get a new hairdryer when the retract button breaks in an unfixable way. On the one hand, the hairdryer works fine. It dries hair, which is its primary function. On the other hand, I specifically bought this hairdryer because the cord retracts into the body. I like things tidy, and having the cord wrapped around the body of the hairdryer just bugs me. In the end, I decided I’ll have to wait and see until the button actually breaks and then decide what to do. Maybe I can make do with the dryer.

Photo by Mariana Silvestre via

For Pesach, we have to have a making-do attitude. We don’t have all the foods we usually have, and our pots, pans, and other kitchen tools are limited. But we still need to make delicious meals with dishes that befit a yom tov table. Despite making do and doing without, Pesach is abundantly joyful. There is just so much simcha!

My kids start talking about the holiday foods they can’t wait to eat as soon as we start the first cleaning tasks a week after Purim. Non-gebrokts brownies and lemon bars are their favorite. The first Pesach with COVID, my husband and I were racking our brains for ways to make the holiday special without guests and chol hamoed. Along with awarding “Pesach points” with prizes for being helpful and doing chores, we held a schnitzel cook-off, with the parents doing the cooking and the kids voting for their favorites. When the votes came in, they liked Daddy’s breading but Ima’s frying. So now we work together to produce what my kids like to call “Achdus Schnitzel.” The reminders to make that have already started.

Pesach reminds me that limiting my choices and not having exactly what I want doesn’t have to mean feeling deprived. It’s an important reminder and one I hope to carry with me throughout the year.

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