Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Welcome, 2015!

So it's the secular New Year, a time when lots of people make resolutions. I don't have any new resolutions to share right now. Rather, I find myself checking in with my intentions as of Rosh Hashanah/2014-2015 school year.

This year has been designated as a scaling-back year. The biggest part of that was taking a hiatus from my writing group and, hence, my novel as well. I've done very little volunteering and am taking stock of some questions about my work.

Instead, what I find is I'm settling into inhabiting my life. This has become a major phrase for me. It means
moving slower, sitting with ND when she is working on a project instead of running in and out of the room to multi-task. It means going to bed early and getting to talk to my spouse every morning and night and not just the ones when we somehow find time around our to do lists. It means getting rid of stuff and trying to keep my house a little cleaner and neater. It means sometimes reading during the week and not just on Shabbat. It means having guests for Shabbat more often, but also accepting them helping me cook. It means meditating, although only about 5 minutes in the morning and sometimes at night, but actually reaching the point of doing so for a minute or two in the middle of the day as well. It means not taking much work home. It means exercising a little more.

I have questions about it.

I see some of my peers powering through life with ridiculously long hours and more money. I see peers going out to events in the evenings all dressed. I also see a couple precious peers (many not living here) who have always lived this way and wondered why I was moving so fast.

Is there anything I'm missing?

This is still a steady question of mine. I do miss writing. I've been dabbling in other questions:  Questions about work, about religion, about health and relationships. The usual. But I'm keeping them more private now and this is a little harder. I guess I'm used to at least posing a more public persona to others and seeing how they respond to me, if they happen to see what I present.

It reminds me of when I was at Oberlin... I had planned to do a semester abroad because that was what many students did and I chose not to go to Israel as I had originally thought was the thing a good Jewish girl does. Rather, I went to Ireland to see who I was religiously and otherwise without the pressures of looking at what a good Jewish girl does, without looking to my peers for guidance (as you see I'm wont to do). It was a fruitful year, a meaningful one where I learned much more about myself than when I was surrounded by others. This is much like that, seeing where I stand when I'm standing a bit more on my own.

I miss writing. That's an important piece, and it's why I'm here now. In the past I've blogged or spent time sending in my regular two submissions weekly to my online writing group. But I've only been writing quietly in my journal. I miss writing more and for an audience. But maybe it's good right now to keep my thoughts more private. When I'm public, I become competitive, seeking to say as well as I can whatever I know about Judaism, about parenting, about teaching, about how I think the world shall be. When I'm writing I try to present myself at my strongest. Even my fears of illness and such that I write about, I write about as though no one else experiences them in quite the way I do. I feel like I have to pose larger than life.

Well, this has not been a great health year for me. Still recovering from a week long sore throat right now, in fact.  I think (hope) I'm getting a handle on it now, but I've had a nasty cold each month this year, but I had a moment around one of these times that made a major impression. In fact, I reference it in the last blog post I wrote here. As I mention in that post, I went deep into a place of vulnerability. In fact I told her I felt like a little wisp instead of the powerful person I try to feel internally other times. So she smiled and referred to me as Her Wisp. That is a part of me, and one I want to value more. That wisp goes with my silence, my privacy, my slowness right now. And inevitably, I think, it will change the form of my strength.

I miss when I was a powerhouse teacher and writer, but I think in some ways I'm a better person to know right now. I think I am calmer, and listen better. And with that, I'll say no more right now.

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