Definition from the on-line article The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know (Daily Writing Tips)
Mishegas is from this week's reading: Help. Thanks. Wow. Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott.
This book can be seen as Anne Lamott's personal essay about prayer. She has been able to whittle down all the prayers that she offers to God to three forms: help, thanks, and wow. In the first section(Help) she talks about surrendering control and asking God for help. Lamott uses mishegas to name the general daily craziness of life. She acknowledges that many of her prayers (and ours) are offered up in coping with that.
After looking up mishegas, it made me think of other Yiddish words I use more than occasionally. Just this week in an email to a friend I used the word schmaltzy in describing a certain kind of spiritual writing. (Excessively sentimental, over-the-top, corny.) I also have been known to utter klutz, nosh, and schmooze. It is interesting how words from another language and culture can make their way into a different dominate culture, so much so that they become a natural way for many people to express themselves.
I think I will start using mishegas more. I like it. I think it has a more playful feel to the busy madness of our
lives than the word crazy. And I like feeling playful instead of crazy!
Until next Wednesday ~