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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Busy with Loads of Time

A bit of self reflection before Rosh Hashana... Found this short draft from April:

I'm disappointed with myself. I cut back on work for the express purpose of being more available for my family. It's been two months and I still haven't gotten my act together. Take tonight for instance: When the kids came home from school today I served dinner and hung out with them. But then I started to feel a bit restless, and as bedtime drew near, I started marking tests when I should have been dressing the little 'uns in p-jams.

And now:

The next term I increased my teaching load from one subject to four subjects, in addition to sporadic subbing. Last week I taught 17 hours face to face! When I try to picture the amount of preparation that went into that... shudder. My kaf hakelah experience this year taught me two really important things:

1. Firstly, like the old VP at school used to say, "If you want to make sure something will happen then give the job to the busiest person you can find." I found that to be true for me personally this term. I've BH been able to keep my head over water and work out a system to still run my house and love my children (and myself!!) as a result of the busy-ness.

2. Secondly, stop kvetching. At one point during all my busy-busy-ness I made a mental switch. I decided that instead of whining that I didn't have time to breathe (which was close to true!) I should just keep going and quit complaining. What a relief that was! I actually enjoyed being busy once I stopped analyzing my life choices five times every day. I think 'saving Cheshbon HaNefesh for evening' should be my new hachlata this year, no?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Role

"...al mitzvas Tzitzis," Mussy intoned as she lifted the hems of her skirt to her lips with a kiss, "Now the girl's bracha!"

"What's the girl's bracha?"

"Hareini mekabel..."

Hmm, she might be right after all. I've spent so much of my mental energies lately analyzing my role as  wife, mom of three, housekeeper and such. Maybe it all comes down to this one bracha: accepting the responsibility of loving my family like myself, even when that entails washing their clothes, wiping spills and picking up after them. 

Thanks, Mus.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The "I" ride

My brother took me for a ride. He was quite the handful, actually. When we started out, he was ever so cautious. It was his fist time behind the SUV wheel and he understood his limitations. It took about 12 minutes to reach our destination, normally 5 minutes away. For instance, he let three rounds of a traffic light pass before making it across a busy intersection without a light. But given the circumstances, that was great. Timing does not feature as an important goal for a new driver. His focus and caution earned him many a point.


We arrived at our destination. My sister and her new husband were excited to see the fresh-faced driver at the wheel, and his enthusiasm for the trip went up a few notches. A few too many notches, that is...


"Calm down, brother." I cautioned him, "easy does it."


But it was too late. He was high.


We hit the road again, but this time the results were downright scary. His sharp turns and speed had us nervously barking orders. Three back seat drivers! He took it too far when he nearly scraped the side of a parked car. My brother-in-law made him stop, get out and look at the crash-that-was-not. BH we made it home safely, but for the next day I was enormously grateful for the solid ground under my feet.


In analysis, my brother readily agreed that the chief trouble-maker here was ego. When he understood his limitations at the beginning of the ride, brother was a star chauffer. Once his success got to his head, he was overconfident, almost giddy. Proud of his skill and showing off, our ride could have ended in disaster.


The dangers of confidence.


On the other hand, if he had been too timid he never would have crossed that first intersection. There has got to be a balance between recognizing one's strengths and excessive caution.


I'm sure he'll get better at it for the next ride...


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Everything I need to know in life I learned from a plane flight

A few months ago I stepped onto an airplane with three children and stayed there for fourteen hours. There were many other people on the flight, but those three little chocolate balls were my responsibility for the trip.


People were amazed that I was brave enough to travel solo. But there was one person who's comment really astounded. CL is a friend who I admire to no end. She comes from a similar background to mine, but she made a lifestyle choice that I envy. CL is a SAHM. My hero-style mom. And yet... and yet... when I threw the compliment back at her, "What do you mean? You are a full time mother all the time" she quickly returned with, "Sure, but never for fourteen hours straight on my own."


So I've spent some time thinking and wondering about what made the trip work. Today I came up with a new thought. Plane ride = purpose. As in, my to-do list for the flight had one item on it: take care of the children.


You see, sometimes I can have a day that is charged with meaning: a non-stop day at work, an Erev Shabbos with a long to-do list, a writing deadline or a scheduled lecture. On those sort of days every moment is fraught with meaning, every second too precious too be wasted. The day has a goal.


As a teen, I thrived off days like that. (read: nights) I would wait until the night before a report was due to get started.... and always got an A. "A" for adrenaline that is... Always ready last minute and still great quality. This style of working unfortunately became second nature to me. I say unfortunately because preparing lessons last minute is not so well suited to a mothering lifestyle, when children also have last minute needs. I keep trying to complete tasks before they are due, but there is just something magical about the last minute rush.  Until today, I never stopped to analyse the quality of the time.


What changed?


Today was rather ordinary. No work today. Kids slept in, when they work, I fed and dressed them, dropped the oldest at school and went to a shiur with the girls. We came home around 11:30 and I fed them lunch, then settled everyone for naps. But they wouldn't sleep. I started to feel pressured... until I realized that there was nothing urgent waiting to get done. So I chilled. But it felt odd. I'm always so busy, running from one thing to the next... and here there was nothing to get done... I had no excuse to get annoyed. Odd.


So I slept with them a bit. Then I woke up, wandered around the house, looking for something to get busy with. Tried clean up, phone calls, diaper changing... Can you read the boredom in this recounting of my day? Then I stopped to myself and thought, "hey, what's my purpose?"


Light bulb moment.


Life is always so pressured that I run from task to task without looking at the overall picture. But today was so low key. Notice the difference? On an airplane I have one goal: look after my family. When I'm hours away from an assignment's due date there is one goal: complete the assignment. Erev Shabbos? One goal: cook, cook, cook.


Notice a trend here?
Pressure gives purpose.
More pressure gives more urgency to that purpose.


So it looks like I've got to analyse what my overall purpose is on an everyday level. I've got to mimic the sense of mission I feel on a long plane flight and apply purpose to charge the regular in between moments.
Ah, now I've got a busy item on my to-do list! Yay! Time to run off and get busy again...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mommy

Crutches aren't much fun. Oh, they look exciting as a kid. Those so afflicted revelled in the attention. Not me. I was proud of my never-cast-never-accident claim to fame. In fact, when my daughter hurt her finger last year my shock was largely centred on "that happened to my daughter?!?". So when I found myself swinging around with a sprained ankle three weeks after my third was born I was none too pleased.

The biggest irony of the whole event, though, is all about my momma. You see, for five years I have been saying that my goal in life is to be just like my mother. And she had also just sprained her ankle. Only that wasn't what I meant!

What I really meant was I wanted to imitate Mommy's...

1. EMPATHY: My mother is the best listener you ever meant. "How to Listen so Kids Will Talk?" That's her. She totally integrated those principles. And more, because many an adult finds themselves spilling their deepest and darkest to her on their first encounter. I think it's defiantly because she just listens, empathises and never passes it on.

2. INTROSPECTIVE: Not only did my mother listen to us, but she taught us how to listen to ourselves. She trained us to dig deep, think about the why. Twas rather cute to overhear my brother concurring that he enjoyed her penetrating questions because it taught him to think.

Which brings me to the next quality...

3. NURTURING: Mommy relishes caring for other people, mostly through food. She loves hosting people at her house. My grandparents call her home a "magnet"

4. MINIMALIST: My mother is not into things. Take the living room for example: Three couches in her house were originally purchased for my father's bachelor apartment more than 25 years ago. They look super masculine and are covered with couch covers. I could never endure that but Mommy cares not a hoot. There is another, simply gorgeous couch in the front room, but that one is an inheritance from her grandmother.

5: LEARN AND GROW: Sure, the Magnet attracts those with physical hunger, but spiritual-seekers can be found there as well. Twice a week she opens the door for shiurim with two popular lecturers and a dance class, too. That's pretty incredible on its own, as my dining room is suffering from the Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome more often than not. The thing that really gets me here is her face when she sits and listens to the classes. My mother is drinking the stuff up! She's for real about it, too. Listening, learning, taking notes, discussing, internalizing, and growing. Always growing. Once when I called and asked, "How are you today?" she responded, "I'm working on my Bitachon." What an answer! Mommmy, you are AWESOME! I've learned from my mother that life is a continuous journey and I can keep on improving.

Mommy, thank you. I am still learning from you. I watch you and am amazed at all you do and juggle. Hashem should bentch you with a gut gebentched yohr where you continue to inspire others and your challenges should be cast away like my crutches.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jury Duty (Guest Post)

My sister Chava is the most awesome person you'll ever meet. Fun, active, thought-provoking and just gorgeous. She wrote an incredible piece on her jury experience this week. Enjoy!

The court room is tense. The room is silent, everyone is following directions, there's about 40 people and I'm #3. The judge begins asking each person questions. #1 then #2 and suddenly my hearts racing and I hear the judge say #3! I am sure everyone can see my heart pumping, my red face and my shaky voice. All eyes are on me. I'm talking to the judge! The judge keeps reassuring us, its all good, no need to worry, there's no right or wrong. My turn passes.
 
For the next group question you have to raise you hand to answer yes, and I again, this time way more relaxed, raise my hand and answer the judges questions. Not so tense and scary after all.
 
This experience hit home. This is exactly the time frame we are in right now...that tense aura of the month of elul, hearts pounding, shofar is blowing, it's time to do teshuva, Rosh Hashana is near, we are going to be judged. And... The judge, Hashem, the king, our father is out in the field so close to us, smiling, reassuring us, telling us to come and ask whatever we like. Now's our chance! Take advantage! It's really not all tense and scary...it's our father asking us what we want for the new year! Hashem is telling me to come and ask! What am I waiting for? Ask!! Make the keili!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Foucs on Food #1: AROMA

Garlic.

How many ways are there to slice it?

Newest trick: Put a clove into the pan while roasting chicken. The aroma it lends to the food is incredible! Sounds simple? Maybe. But did you know that you don't even have to peel the thing???

The peel is so small, slim, paper-thin really, you would think it hardly matters at all. Still, the chef explained that it creates more sweetness when you leave the peel in. We can skip the mechanics of that one - the cool thing is how well it ties into the upcoming Yomim Noraim.

When the new year chugs in, there's always a lot of hype about resolutions, making them stick... one technique out there is baby steps. Still, I often want to feel grand and create a whole new me overnight.

The answer is a slim as a garlic peel.

Even the tiniest things can make a whole world of difference and draw an incredible AROMA into the food. One slim little change is all that's needed.

Now that's doable!

K'siva V'chasima Tovah :-)

Monday, July 29, 2013

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Texting has destroyed my ability to write!!!

Suddenly, I find myself ending sentences in multiple exclamation marks. The shorter the sentence, the better. Ugh. I tried writing an article for a local magazine, but I kept on restarting. I just couldn't get the words to flow. I used to be able to churn out an article or post with ease. Write a few paragraphs on a given subject in passable English? Sure, just give me twenty minutes. And here I am... choppy sentences and all. What happened to me?

Recently, I even caught myself thinking in text. The thoughts scrolled in, bit by bit, with a  brief interlude to type the words, as though they were coming across a whatsapp chat. Now this has got to stop!
There was a little bit of myself, the author in me, that had just started emerging, but since I joined the ranks of smart-phone owners... gone...

So here I am, forcing myself to write out a thought in more than the top sentence. I'm not particularly pleased with the piece, but forcing myself to let it out there anyways.

Because the only way to improve my writing is by writing.

TTYL!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Positive Reinforcement

My happiness
bubbles
Sometimes the silliest things make us happy.


The school I work in takes report cards very seriously. Let me make that really clear: The school I work in takes report cards very seriously. I had never seen anything like it before, and it hit me like a ton of bricks on a clear day the first time I had to write them.


When I was in school, I got an "A+" (most of the time...) and a little footnote "1" for "pleasure to have in class" and "23" for "too talkative". That was it. Clean and simple. Probobly took a grand total of thirty minutes for a teacher to fill in the appropriate letters and numbers. Oh yes, there was an option to add an additional comment on the back, but there was never more than a scentance or two between my 20-odd teachers.


Anyways, the report cards I have to write are from a different planet entirely. Here's a sample...
Yah. Intense. The part that didn't make it onto the screen (!) was a course descriptor I wrote for my subject. Anywhooo.... it's a rather intense process, and I'm B"H in the final stages of it now. But I noticed something interesting. My absolute favorite part is watching the little red bullet next to each student's name turn green when I've finished her report. I actually yelped, "yes!" Just so thrilling. Oh, the small pleasures in life...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Make learning compulsory and attendance optional.

When I first started teaching, I modelled my style after a favourite High School teacher of mine. Like me, she was young, with-it and taught Jewish History. Thing is, she didn't quite have the best classroom management techniques. She prepared short lessons, designed to fill only 1/2 to 3/4 of the allotted time. Then we'd gather 'round her desk and chat. Sometimes she didn't prepare at all. None of us minded. We felt very close to Ms. Young - we were her first students ever, we celebrated her engagement, wedding and the birth of her first child throughout the four years she taught us. But I was never scared of her. Not the slightest.
 
My head told me that I ought to be modelling after my Math teacher instead. Mrs. Math was scary! We did our homework nightly (though it meant schlepping home a textbook and notebook), studied hard for our weekly tests and were silent as the grave in the classroom. There was a stretch when I tutored a fun-loving classmate for a few months - even the Clown of the Class wanted to do well in Mrs. Math's class. Still, I have fond memories of Mrs. Math. By the time we were in our second year with her, she was telling us stories and there was a lovely atmosphere, but still very formal. It was clear that Mrs. Math was boss.
 
Make learning compulsory and attendance optional.
 
That wasn't necessarily Mrs. Math's mantra. Her's was probably more like, "I am KING" - because she was! Still, I think adopting that line would make for a classroom where the learning is much more effective. Whatever has to happen will happen, but I as teacher have one strong goal for each lesson. A mission, if you will. And I'm out there to make that learning happen! Be there or be square...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yummy and Healthy

"Lollies," my son fondly stated, "we can only eat one. It's not healthy."

I could almost hear a deep sigh. Such trauma for a three year old. He wasn't finished. Daniel had prepared an entire thesis on the subject that he was preparing to expound on the topic, right there, in the back seat of the car.

"Some foods are yummy, but they are not healthy."

Yes, my son, such is life...

"We can only eat them on Shabbos. Like lollies and cookies."

"Daniel," I asked him, "What about strawberries? Are strawberries a treat?"

"Yah." a little wag of the finger accompanied the next injunction. "But only one."

"Why?"

"It's not healthy."

The laughter bubbled up inside of me, but I squeezed down the lid to maintain a straight face.

"Sweetie, strawberries are yummy AND healthy."

Oh.

"What about watermelon?"

"Yes, honey, watermelon is healthy."

He thought he could push his luck, "Chocolate?"

"No, chocolate is not healthy*. But we can have some for Shabbos."

He smiled, and settled back in his seat contentedly for the rest of the ride.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Experienced and Sparkling

The girls simply sparkled that night! They wore white caftans speckled with a shimmery gold design that glittered and sparkled in the reflection of the disco lighting above. Though I only taught a sprinkling of them, my heart sang, dance and cheered them on. An entire grade put on the most beautiful production, with their topics of learning interwoven between sparkly scenes of drama, music and dance. Truly an event to make a teacher's heart sing with nachas.

It was endearing to watch the girls as they bit their nails, threatened to throw up/faint and just plain freaked out in the wings. "I feel like we haven't rehearsed enough!" Shainy* confided as she waited for her cue.

Their sweet nervousness over a short-lived performance cast my mind back to my first days of teaching. I was never prepared enough. There was always one more source to look up and one more worksheet to write. Ah, the sparkly confidence that piggie-backs on four years experience... Lessons that I thought were vital were oft disposed of as I waved goodbye. Worksheets and booklets that I had toiled over for endless nights were shredded to bits by the very girls who I thought would treasure them. While I, too, was once a nervous wreck before performing on stage, I now scoff at my own daily platform. What's the big deal? I preach to some 30 students several times daily. It's my job.

And yet, and yet, sometimes there will be a moment of fear. It could be after a long vacation, when starting with a new class. Sometimes I speak at other venues, and the butterflies flutter and prance as I attempt to sparkle on the stage. It's part of the job. I prepare as best I can - you know the routine... I wear my best shaitel, my most flattering outfit and take great pains with my make up. I stand up there and do the talk, doing my best to ignore the dancers in my belly. Sure, I get over it, I move on. But it takes time - the first time I spoke for a group of older women I finished two hours worth of classroom material in just 40 minutes. I was that nervous. "Oh, are we done?" they wondered. The shiur was meant to last an hour, mind you.

On a certain level, then, I get my students. The others might have thought them silly, but they were entitled to their nervousness. Part of the act, y'know?

Either way, they really sparkled during the show...

Sparkly inspiration thanks to:
Mama’s Losin’ It
 
To be continued...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

It could take a good two, three hours to prepare a solid 45-minute lesson. What about when you up the ante? After researching, writing the lesson, preparing worksheets and a follow up quiz, I decided that my Jewish History lesson on the life of Shlomo ibn Gabirol needed some more pizazz. It was late enough, trust me, but the perfectionist in my soul must've had a good dose of coffee because there I was, enhancing the lesson.

I gave my eyes a vigorous rub, and clocked in another hour or two to create the slideshow, animation, or interactive activity that would really help my students take home the learning in a very real, long-term way. (Amen!)

If you are lucky, you teach two parallel classes and can use the same lesson twice. And then it's over. All the materials get filed away neatly (I wish!) into a binder or digital folder and hibernate for another year.

What's the point? I spend all this time in resource creation, and it gets used once. Shoin.

So I think about sharing my resources on a public site,but it's tough. It's my baby. I've put my kishkes into the thing, and it would just hurt to let go of it. Sure, it would be nice if my work got more mileage. Don't get me wrong, I share materials with my colleague, and if a specific person asked for a slideshow or whatever, no problem. But to upload all my resources so some random, ungrateful individual can download, delete my name, and present it as their own. Ugh. I guess I want the personal recognition. Maybe it's just an ego thing...

Sure, I can upload as pdf, or video file, but it just doesn't help the teacher to the same degree if the file is static.

But how can I expect to use free resources when I have such a difficult time spreading around my own wealth?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Squeaky Clean on Shabbos Morning

The children dawned before the sun that fateful day. I rubbed my bleary eyes and schlepped my aching muscles out of bed. No point in two of us being zombies, I figured. I shut the door behind me, leaving DH in his nice, comfy bed. I gathered up the children, and together we dined and played for nearly two hours.

By 7:15, I realized that I was squinting at the clock through bleary eyes. I held on until 7:30, then gratefully headed back to bed, "your turn!"

Mmmm....

At a quarter to nine, DH came in to tell me that he was on his way to shul. "Don't worry, I'm getting up." The little ones came in a few times, tried to cajole me out of bed. I sent them off for a banana, Lego, crackers, anything really, and rolled over. At one point, he asked me to open a bottle of long-life milk, and I told him they could unpack the box into the shelf.

At 9:38 (!) I heard some strange noises. "Is she ok?" I asked the big brother. No response. Yikes! I rushed out, cautioning myself all the way, "Any mess is worth it. I got a good rest. It's too late to change it. No need to get upset."

And. What. A. Mess!!!

She looked something like this, minus the bathtub, of course
Yah, shampoo. It seems that when they graciously stacked my groceries, they found a bottle of shampoo. Big Brother decided that Little Sister's hair could use some spice, and there she was...

Squeaky Clean.
 
Thanks, kids.







Thursday, November 8, 2012

New!

Have a lookie over at my new page. I've posted a slideshow I made to show in the classroom tomorrow. Parsha Class.  If you'd like to use the original file shoot off a quick email.

Catch you later,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Red-rover Elana, red-rover, Dina. Batya started so Elana came. Elana started maybe."

The chanting grew louder, quicker tempo. "Red-rover Elana, red-rover, Dina. ..."

What were they on?

I peered over the top of my scuffed list and stared at the girls in front of me. There were five of them now, enthusiastically chanting a string of nonsense. "Can't I study in here? There's a quiz in a few minutes!"

"But we are studying!" they retorted and continued with the inane chanting.
Or so I thought.

My classmates had discovered the Magic of Mnemonics.




Fast forward a few years.

I am at the door of my Jewish History classroom, test piles tucked under my arm, when I hear it. Strange tunes being repeated, from one girl to the next. I listen closely - those words sound familiar. Ah, of course. They are studying for my test. A surge of pride electrifies me. I've made it! I've presented my students with a course of study serious enough to prompt the creation of crazy mnemonics. Childhood dream, fulfilled.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

She was dancing before she could walk

My little one buggied and cheered through her morning music session. She totally digged the instruments - shakers, triangles, tambourines, you name it. She went through them one by one.

Most importantly, she walked across the room to retrieve those items. I find it intriguing to note that only when she really, really, REALLY wants something, when there is an all-important (fill in the blank) then she'll go for it. She hardly notices that she is walking. And that's when she makes her best efforts.
Willpower!!!
There is nothing that stands in the way of will

A Test of Integrity

I tapped my foot impatiently. The bell had already rung, and the other class would need all the time they could get. 'Thorough Student' hurriedly scanned her last sheet, and gave me a sheepish grin as she handed in her test paper. At last!

I hurried up the aisle, set to gather my materials and head into the next lesson. And stopped. Two students from the other class, Dafna* and Miriam* were reading something in the front of the classroom. I could almost feel the niggling question mark hovering in front of them. As I neared my desk, the corners of my mouth turned down into a grimace, a frown, and then a terribly astonished face. I actually felt this transformation, bit by bit.

The girls sensed me approach and guiltily fled the room.

What to do?

What to do?

I slowly piled the completed test papers and made my way into the hall. What to do? I met a teacher on the way, and whispered my dilemma. "I would fail them," she recommended, "just a full-out zero." I couldn't do that. I just couldn't.

A few anxious girls met me at the doorway, and I quickly answered their last minute queries and sent them to their seats. The class rose respectfully as I entered, and I wondered still - What to do? I distributed test papers to the rows nearest me, and paused again before I reached Dafna's seat. I returned to the teacher's desk, wrote her name and drew a star at the top of her paper. I gave out the rest of the tests, found Miriam and marked hers as well. "What is that?" she worried. I still wasn't sure what it was. "I just need to mark your paper." I told her.

 What to do? What to do? What to do?

I wandered through the aisles during test time, pondering all the while. In the end, I let Dafna and Miriam complete and turn in their test papers like the rest of the class. They are strong, diligent students, maybe not the top of the line, but good students nonetheless. I just didn't have the heart to fail them.

I'm going to speak to them, I think. Maybe when I return the tests on Monday, or maybe during lunch time tomorrow. Perhaps I should have spoken with them straight away, but I just didn't have the words. What to do? What to say? Still, this is a teachable moment, and I won't let it slip through my fingers. After the lesson, I spoke with a few people to work out a little routine. I'll praise them for their drive to succeed, discuss integrity and analyse bein adam lamakom. Then I'll put the question to them: What to do, girls? What should you do?

*Names were changed to protect the privacy of students

How would you have dealt with this little scenario?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Finger-full of Fresh Values

A visit to the emergency room should be enough to give a mom a fresh perspective on life and fill her with gratitude on account of her family's good health.

My initiation that fateful Monday was emotionally taxing. It is a rite of parenting, they tell me, but it took at least a full week of chiropractor visits, sick days from work, tehillim, public weeping spells, countless emails and probing phone calls for me to recover. It was a minimalist Shabbos, just challah and tuna, and most often I was curled up on the couch or rejuvenating undercover.

By the next week I was sufficiently back to normal. When friendly/curious/nosey people queried after her finger, I was honestly responding, "she's fine, B"H. Its just a cast, it doesn't bother her at all." At that point, it wasn't bothering me either.

Then Thursday dawned. Time to trek back to the hospital... I decided to travel by public transport, and I'm glad I did, since I was able to write the next segment to my short story. A change of scene can really serve to fire up the imagination. People-watching, particularly amongst a crowd as diverse as a hospital or train, never fails to spark my creativity.

Additionally, people watching is an inspiring, gratifying activity. An activity I refer to as "perspectivizing". It creates perspective, shifts focus, allows a person to reevaluate her life, goals and grievances.

Today is Thursday. I'm back at the hospital again. Waiting and watching. I may look bored, typing here on my phone. But boredom is as far as the moon, so long as I'm equipped with a pen and my imagination. To be quite accurate, my pen is lying neglected in my bag, along with my notebook. Once, they were my constant companions, but life's a-changin' friends....

Either way, here I sit, waiting for my turn, watching the other patients, and thanking Hashem for my handful of tsores.

(TBC)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On a Guilt Trip

The moment I pulled the car into park, Guilt knocked on my door. Actually, she just barged in unannounced.

"You should have picked up Daniel!" she accused.

I reached out to switch the car back on. A quick look at the clock told me it was a futile effort. 12:28, the little guy would already be nestled in his cot by the time I'd arrive. Waking him and transferring him to the car would spell the end of this nap time. Been there, done that. The result? Frustrated mother. Sort of defeats the purpose of early pick-up, if you ask me.

So I snapped up Mussy's coat and headed into the house with a clear conscious. Well, almost.

Guilt wasn't quite through with me yet, "Then you should leave a few minutes earlier!"

Sigh.

Why do I go through this again and again? As soon as my work hours have ended, I speed out of school fueled by Guilt.

If only it was this easy...
Why do I feel like a bad mother if I am not mothering all day? Why do I feel a need to be constantly ON? Maybe it's a good thing. It means that I focus on them with all my being. But the guilt, oh the guilt... how to do away with the guilt?

Then again, maybe I am guilty.