Wednesday, January 4, 2012

my elusive staff

ok so first of all, i have discovered something AWESOME about blogging... I am now finding it a lot easier to be objective about my life experiences because I am articulating them in this forum and then I can review them and actually process my thoughts and reflections, leading me to actually learn something from what I'm going through- incredible! for example, in my last blog i wrote about how the stress i experienced during a particularly long day seems to have mainly come from 'technical problems' in my life and that clearly there must be solutions for them... soooo, perhaps only because of this blog, i am actually going ahead and trying to find said solutions! yay!

which brings us to the question of my staff... ha... yes remember my self-imposed title of CEO? well, it's about time i got some serious employees in this joint, right?! hmm perhaps, although at this point they are all only imaginary people who live in my head! although one of them is actually a long-standing and faithful (imaginary) employee... she is my housekeeper Marina, who, when I can't believe all the housework that stands looming in front of me, I call out to and ask her to take care of it! My husband also gets a kick out of calling upstairs to Marina to come take care of the dishes or bathe the baby! Now, what, you may ask, is the point of an imaginary housekeeper, since she never actually shows up for duty? Well, just the very idea of someone coming in to save the day can do wonders to soothe the soul! By having a laugh and getting out of the gloom/stress that might be impending (or already there), and feeling like the weight is not all only on our shoulders, we might just get feeling light enough to go ahead and do it ourselves...

But the same is actually true of our relationship with G-d. You see, the Jewish understanding of G-d is that He is an all-powerful, all-knowing, infinite being that created, sustains, and is constantly involved with all aspects of Creation. That means that if I can't find my keys, I slept late, or I stubbed my toe, these are all Divinely Inspired incidents. (We don't reserve only serious events in life like illness, birth, or finding our soulmate to ascribe to the Will of our Creator- every single thing that happens in the world is also a reflection of His Will). So what does that mean? It means that there is an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving (oh yeah, forgot to mention that one!) Creator of the world who is involved with every aspect of my love, and who I can turn to whenever I need something, ANYTHING!

The Rosh (Head) of our Yeshiva (Jewish Learning Institution), Aish HaTorah, Rabbi Noah Weinberg of Blessed Memory, used to give a great example for the way we turn to G-d in prayer (excerpted from a longer article called "How to Get Your Prayers Answered" which I really recommend taking a look at!):

"You live in a small town in Midwestern America. There is an extremely large and unsightly pothole in front of your house. For the last four months the local municipality has ignored your insistent requests to have it fixed. Finally, in an act of frustration, you call the White House and ask for the president. (Hey, it's worth a try.)
To your utter amazement, the president himself gets on the phone. You quickly explain your problem. The president listens for a minute and then hangs up. You don't really expect anything to be done about it.
The next morning you look out your window and, lo and behold, the army corps of engineers is busy at work fixing your road. The President of the United States took your request seriously and sent in the troops to help!
That is what it means to get your prayer answered.
Now who is the one person who can always get through to the president?
The president's son, of course.
That is our relationship with God ? Father and child. Just as a parent fulfills a child's request, so too God answers prayers. The Infinite Genius Who created every molecule on this earth, can alter the course of existence in order to answer your prayer.
To really talk to God, you need to know He is willing and able to do it all. Otherwise, you're only talking to your finite concept of God ? and not to our true Father in Heaven."
(full article at http://www.aish.com/sp/pr/48965861.html)

ok, so back to my Marina example... so let's say you're faced with a daunting task and you're feeling slightly depressed because you're not quite sure how you're going to tackle it (and therefore you're feeling kind of alone and incapable)... so according to this, you're really not alone, AND you're totally capable!! that is, so long as what you want to do is in line with the Will of your Creator (i.e. what is good) (e.g. if you're trying to rob a bank this prob won't help you too much), you can just call out to G-d and ask Him to pitch in or at least show you how to get going! And you know what, it works!! (Hey this is way better than no-show-Marina)... anyways, it is worth a try!

Now on another note, i want to tell you a little bit more about the non-imaginary, real staff people I am trying to find! I have decided that I am ready to up the amount of outside assistance I receive in order to better the general well-being of myself and my family (one of my Rebbetzins (rebbetzin=female teacher and/or Rabbi's wife) once told me that when her family was young and she was on her own with a few little kids, one of her own teachers saw her and thought she looked kinda frazzled and asked her "Are you getting enough help?" and made her think very seriously about it, at which point my rebbetzin kind of collapsed and realized that she was running on empty and she did indeed need (and was entitled to) getting some more help! And by the time she taught this to me, she had (kanaina hara- Jewish expression meaning, like 'don't jinx this' or 'no one should be jealous of this thing which is a blessing') several more children, and she said that this realization changed her life, and allowed her to be happy and more-present with her children, and all around, more highly functioning!

So now I believe that I too have arrived at that point in time where I just need more help, and I have to accept that that is ok. Many Jewish women suffer from what's referred to as 'martyr's syndrome', where we think we have to put ourselves way at the bottom of the list, completely neglecting ourselves while going to super-human efforts to give, give, give, give to all those around us... however this is not a Torah perspective and we must recognize that this is unhealthy, and not an ideal (even though it is so common). Rather, we are queens and must treat ourselves as such!

so for me, practically speaking, that means i am now looking for regular cleaners as well as a mother's helper/babysitter every afternoon/evening of the week (niiiiiice)... ha meanwhile, i hired a potential candidate for each of those two positions this week, only to have them both quit before they ever even started! bah... so the search continues, but at least we're looking... (anyone with leads for such peeps in jerusalem, feel free to send 'em my way!)... or if anyone wants to come be my au pair and sleep on my couch (note: no extra bedroom) then come on over!

on that note, i would like to give us all a blessing that we should let ourselves get the help we need, and remember that we are like royalty and deserve all the good in the world (and in fact our loving Creator is the one and only destination to get it from!)

much love,
julie

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