2 Av 5774
I think I need to expand this blog a bit. So far I’ve written mainly about my studies, the books I’ve been reading, my struggles with Hebrew, and of course the situation in Israel. But there’s more to me than just “guy who is working towards conversion.” So I really should address some of that here, as well.
That said, my posts here are going to move towards “my life, with Judaism” instead of “Judaism, with mentions of my life here and there.” Judaism is important to me, always will be important to me, but there is much more to me than just my Yiddishkeit, and I ought to be acknowledging that. In doing so, I will probably highlight some of the things that I struggle with that are not G-d or Judaism. So:
I tend to be one of those folks whose temper will smolder for a long, long time before blowing like a powder keg. I hold grudges – I admit it. It isn’t just what my mother did to me; it’s my inherent nature, I think, to hold a grudge and bide my time. I know that it’s a mitzvah to forgive and let go, but it’s one of those mitzvot I struggle with.
I tend to be a starter, rather than a continuer. I’m good at beginning things – I go all-out (witness, for example, this blog). But then I kind of peter out and move on to other things. I have learned not to do that with my teaching, and I doubt that I’m ever going to do that with my Judaism, but as it becomes less of a new thing and more of a given, I am going to settle down and it probably won’t be as front-and-center for me as it has been. It’ll just be part of who I am, part of my life.
I tend to be a negative person, and I’ve been trying to change that with daily gratitudes and prayer. But my default still tends to be “I can’t” or “that’s not possible,” especially when confronted with something new and unfamiliar. I think I want to get better at saying “Give me some time to think about that,” which is something I rarely got to have as a child and young adult.
Despite being a better starter than finisher, I tend to get into mental ruts. I get “stuck” and I don’t want to change – for example, my main music for the last two months has been Neshama Carlebach, the Josh Nelson Project, Aryeh Kunstler, Dan Nichols, and Matisyahu. Now, that’s great (and I’m learning a lot of Hebrew this way), but my partner has been twitchy because it’s all I listen to. I don’t know why this is. It just is.
I finished grading and applied for unemployment yesterday. It was wrenching. I have a long history of feeling like that’s a bad thing to do, but right now, I have no choice. I can’t teach classes that aren’t meeting until September, and I have no guarantee that my classes scheduled for the coming year won’t be canceled due to budget shortfalls or drops in enrollment. So, I have to file for unemployment. Two hours later, I got an e-mail asking me to interview at a local community college for an adjunct gig. That’ll happen on Thursday. My first words when I saw the email were “Thank you, Father!” so I guess that’s an indicator of my increasing religious mindset.
I have a list of things that I was going to blog about, but lately they don’t grab me the way they did when I first wrote the list. I may comb through them and see what, if anything, grabs me – but I’d also like to know what you all would like to read. Any questions? Please ask them here.