Viewing entries tagged
Hebrew

L'shanah Tovah

 
Sunset in Aruba, shutting the book on another day and another chapter.

Sunset in Aruba, shutting the book on another day and another chapter.

 

I was away on "vacation" last week, but since that vacation involved watching 2-5 kids between the ages of 6 and 10 for great portions of the time, I didn't do much relaxing. I've had a couple days off since I got back though, for better or worse, and have spent that time thinking a lot about the turning of calendar pages and turning of the leaves.

Friday was a new moon - a time for new beginnings and new intentions - and last night signaled the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I don't know about you, but I've had a rough 2016 and I'm very ready to move on to a new year so I will happily welcome 5777 and bid adieu to the past. (Any year that begins with David Bowie dying can't possibly go well; I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.) I believe strongly in the energies of the universe, changes in the seasons and the calendar pages falling away as time passes and using those times to harness energy in our own lives. While autumn can be seen as a time of hunkering down for the hibernation of winter, it is also a time of preparation, which is a word that syncs up nicely with the start of a new moon cycle and a new year. What is there to prepare for? What do we want to manifest in our lives in the coming month or year?

I'm taking some time today to define what I want the near future to look like... It's been a very turbulent year, to say the least, with a lot of uncertainty and self-reflection beginning with my birthright trip in January and continuing into the present. It certainly feels like life is tossing me about right now and it's hard to find my footing in the storm. So I'm ready for the winds of change to pick a direction - they can keep blowing tempestuously, if I just knew which way to go!

So no big news to share today, folks, just wishing you all a happy, healthy, and sweet new year (or new moon, or new month). May we all find the sweetness we seek in the coming days, whether that's a job that leads to financial stability, a gig that is artistically fulfilling, a relationship that is inspiring, or something completely different!

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Jonas Killed my Netflix

This past week, I did something crazy, for the 21st century. I didn't watch Netflix, for an entire week. I binged on the first half of Jessica Jones during the snowstorm, and finally started watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia before bed, but then I stopped.

Most of my Netflix watching happens while I'm doing something else - cleaning, cooking, going to bed. I tend to opt for the familiar background noise jokes of Parks and Rec over watching something new that I'll actually sit down and pay attention to. And yet, I manage to waste so much time browsing through the endless options in the streaming library before resigning myself to a comedy special I've probably already watched once that week. Or I get up in the morning and say, "It's only nine, I can chill for an hour and start being productive at ten." But then by ten, my roommates are awake and have joined me in shouting all our favorite lines, and then suddenly it's noon and I have to rush to shower and eat something before leaving for work, without having done anything productive that morning.

The great, somewhat-accidental disruptor to that unproductive routine was my decision to learn Hebrew, and my friend's generous choice to send me the Rosetta Stone program to learn it. I love learning languages and got hooked on Rosetta Stone immediately. Now it's the first thing I do when I reach for my computer in the morning and the last thing I do before I go to sleep. I stopped putting Netflix on to fall asleep to, so that I could allow the Hebrew to sink into my brain and keep working while I slept. (This paid off - a couple nights ago I actually had a dream that I was using Rosetta Stone and was literally learning Hebrew in my sleep.)

In addition to Hebrew, during last Sunday's snowstorm one of my roommates started teaching me the basics of guitar. I've wanted to learn for years, and a day with nowhere to go and no way to get there anyway was the perfect opportunity. I started by learning five basic chords, and by the very next day started looking up guitar tabs to start learning songs. 

A week later, I've studied Hebrew and practiced guitar every single day, but not watched Netflix once. I've worked on this website; I've submitted my play to a few development opportunities; I've cleaned the apartment - and that's all in my free time, outside of work. It's remarkable how many hours there are in a day when your time isn't eaten up in twenty-two minute blocks that somehow become three hours when you aren't looking. A week later, I've finished two Hebrew units (four sections each, comprising approximately 35 lessons apiece), and my guitar playing, while far from perfect, is flexible enough now to afford me the ability to play a range of songs. 

I haven't given up Netflix for good, but this week of cold turkey put into perspective how much time I let myself lose to watching John Mulaney comedy specials in the last few months. Jonas killed my Netflix usage for a while, but he kindled a fire in my Ravenclaw heart, sparking again my love for study and learning. He trapped me inside my apartment, but let me grow in knowledge and skills, reminding me of my aspirations to always be a smarter and more versatile artist than I was yesterday.

This  beautiful lady doesn't belong to me, but I haven't been able to put her down since my roommate let me pick her up a week ago.

This  beautiful lady doesn't belong to me, but I haven't been able to put her down since my roommate let me pick her up a week ago.

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