Inspiring Snippets, or, Something I Wish I'd Written Myself So You'd Think I Was Awesome

I'm taking a class this spring at the JCC that's called "Foundations of Jewish Family Living." I know, I know, don't start groaning. Our teacher is phenomenal and every Wednesday we get lots of inspiring material. Last week we got a handout with various quotes and blurbs on it and I wanted to share this one in particular:

Kavanah (which means "intention")

I love to change the world,
   but I rarely appreciate things as they are.
I know how to give,
   but I don't always know how to receive.
I know how to keep busy,
   but I don't know how to be still.
I talk, but I don't often listen.
I look, but I don't often see.
I yearn to succeed,
   but I often forget what is truly important.
Teach me, God, to slow down.
May my resting revive me.
May it lead me to wisdom, to holiness,
   to peace and to You.

---Rabbi Naomi Levy, from To Begin Again


Really bad poetry and letting go

Things in a tall stack
That were neat and nicely wrapped
Soft ribbons that curled
Gradually her boxed emotions begin to unfurl

Bits and pieces of some time ago
That she thought she'd let go
Maybe swept under the rug among the dust bunnies
Hidden, but not forgotten.

The pieces are starting to fit together
Memories, experiences, conversations, situations---
Molded her, shaped her.
And were set aside in shiny, perfect packages.

She can't let go. She hoards them all.
And there she sits, surrounded by gifts she's afraid to open.
Not knowing which to open first, what will be inside...
But knowing that she has to act in order to survive.

Do you think we can ever truly let go of things? What does letting go even mean? Is letting go the same as "forgive & forget?" If we forgive, do we have to forget? CAN we forget?


Gratitude With Attitude Tuesday

If you'd like to play along, please join Think Tank Momma and link up!

Dear Self,

Thank you very much for hitting a parked car this morning. I am so thankful that you misjudged the width of that Jeep's fenders or whatever as you pulled into your parking spot. I am really excited that my rear fender is hanging off while the other car sustained minimal damage. ANd it's fabulous that my adjuster can't look at my car until tomorrow morning. Now I need to find someone to help me jerry rig it so it doesn't fall off tomorrow on my way to get the repair estimate.


Dear Girls,

Thank you very much for complaining about missing your play date because of the car accident. And I know the reason for the accident was that I was pulling into a bakery to get treats for you and your little friends. You really don't need to keep reminding me that Daddy doesn't know about the accident yet. He'll find out soon enough.


Dear Bakery,

Thank you very much for tempting me with your delicious treats while I am trying to behave and have lost eight pounds since New Year's. I guess I should be glad I had an accident and therefore skipped out on the bakery altogether as I sat on the phone for a half hour with my insurance company and cried my eyes out.

Trying to lose another few pounds

Dear Woman Whose Jeep I Barely Hit,

I know it sucks that I hit your front fender. I also know you were working when it happened and I'm sorry my timing sucked. However, I was a basket case, apologizing left and right and gave you all of my info quickly. And you were still rude and short with me. Cut me some slack. Your car had a few minor brush burns and likely all will easily be buffed out. My adjuster has probably already called you and your repairs (if any are required) will be taken care of promptly.

Having a Nervous Breakdown and Just Need You to Forgive Me


Memoir Monday: The Cool Girl in Grad School, or Why Gravity's Rainbow is My Least Favorite Book

Today is Memoir Monday, hosted by Travis at I Like to Fish. Head on over and check him out to see what all the fuss is about!

When I was in grad school, there was a girl in my program whom I idolized. She epitomized everything I did not: strength, confidence, intelligence, and independence. She had a funky cropped haircut, wore tiny glasses, and came to class wearing her vintage cowboy boots almost every day, no matter the weather. Coincidentally, her name was Erin.

I remember the day she officially became my girl crush don't worry Natalie Portman, you will always be # 1. Sitting in our Postmodernism class discussing Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, she was completely at ease, while I was sweaty and nervous. I remember curling into my chair trying to disappear so the professor wouldn't call on me. If you've never read this book, don't bother. It's unbelievably complex with about a bazillion characters, dialogue that drons on and on, and lots of talk about sex and drugs and weapons of mass destruction. I never finished reading it because I couldn't comprehend a word of it. Stupid didn't even come close to describing how I felt in that class on this particular day.

The professor started a discussion and I remember Erin was the first to respond. The words that tumbled out of her mouth took my breath away. "I found this really accessible," she said, crossing one leg over the other. She continued but I didn't hear a word of it.

I dropped out of the Postmodernism class later that day after dissolving in a puddle of tears in my advisor's office.

I've been carrying this around for so long--this feeling of not being as good/as smart/as fun/as awesome as the next person. And you know what? I'm done.

I'm not a quitter.I am not going to be intimidated by cool girls in cowboy boots anymore. Or anyone else, for that matter. I am learning what I'm worth.

You'd better watch out. I'm gettin' a pair of cowboy boots.

**Congrats to Mindy of The Inquisitive Mom who won my Funky Mama cd giveaway! Mindy, it will go out in today's mail! Thanks for entering, everyone!**

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