Self Care in the Wilderness

November 2, 2013
NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo (Photo credit: underdutchskies)

As my life gets more chaotic with the process of moving (cleaning out one place, settling into another, with all the attendant messes involved) I notice that I’ve gotten less regular about posting here.  So I am taking action! I registered for NaBloPoMo, It’s a lot of things (click on the link to learn more) but for me, it’s a commitment to post every single day in the month of November.

This is how things often happen with me: if I want to prioritize something, there’s nothing quite like making a public commitment to it.  So there it is: let’s see if I can keep blogging while my life gets scattered all over San Leandro, CA.

“Home” is such an important place, and it can be such a slippery concept when we are under stress. I am living in two places right now, not fully in either, and the division is stressful. My office is in one place, my bed in another. Most of my clothes are in boxes, and I already know of one thing that probably got packed when it should have gone to Goodwill. Or maybe it didn’t. Nothing is sure anymore except that a lot of stuff is lost temporarily.

Our ancestors spent 40 years in the wilderness, wondering when they would get home to a place they had never seen. A whole generation had to pass before they could get to where they were going. Right now I can identify with them, even though I’m only moving a couple of miles, because I have pulled up the roots in one place and not yet put them all the way down in another. I’m living out of boxes, out of my car, and my car is a mess. When I think of it this way, though, I can’t fuss much: by the end of the month, I will be home. And in the meantime, writing this blog will be a fixed point in a moving universe, something that always helps me feel more secure.

When in your life have you been stuck in between? What did you do to take care of yourself in the meantime?


A Comment on Comments

December 27, 2012

English: Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

Dear Readers,

I’m on vacation for the moment, just checking periodically to clean up spam comments.  I’ve noticed a trend on my blog of people leaving comments that have nothing to do with the topic of the blog entry. They’re basically using the comment section as a little soapbox. Some opinions I agree with, some I don’t. Some are expressed rudely. Some have such poor spelling and grammar it takes a major effort to figure out what they are saying and even then, it’s a puzzle.  Thank goodness, wordpress does a nice job of weeding out the commercial comments before they even hit the board.

Today I went through and un-approved the rude comments, the totally off-topic comments, and the unreadable comments, and it occurs to me that perhaps I should articulate a policy about comments, since now I’m deleting some things.

Here’s the deal:

1.  I love a good discussion.  Feel free to disagree in the comments, or to question what I’ve written.  That is the best possible use for comments.

2. I don’t love off topic rants.  If you want to reach a wide number of people with your soapbox, go build your own blog and build your readership the hard way. Comment on the topic at hand. If there’s a topic you wish I’d address, put that request in the comments – that’s fine. But don’t just post an essay out of the clear blue sky, because it’s wasted effort – I’ll delete it. I do this not because I disagree (or agree) with you, but because I want to be respectful of my readers’ time and interest.

3. If you are rude, talk about “idiots,” or attack another person or group of persons with your words, I will delete the comment the moment I see it. Do that stuff somewhere else, please. Doesn’t matter if we agree or not, it’s gone.

4. Not everyone is a ba’al hadikduk [master of grammar] but please do try to make your message intelligible. If English is not your first language, just do your best and that’s OK – I do understand. However, if I can’t make it out at all, I’ll delete the message whether English is your mother tongue or not.

5. Finally, if you’ve made it this far, don’t let this fussy post of mine prevent you from commenting and questioning my posts.  I really do love a good discussion, and we can only get there with a comment.  Disagree, question my assumptions, ask questions, whatever – mazal tov!  I love that stuff.

As 2012 comes to an end, thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate the readers who follow me regularly, and the people who follow tweets and other breadcrumbs to come check me out. In the coming year, I will try to post more essays and “tips for beginners” of interest, and make the time you spend reading my blog worthwhile.

Blessings to you in the secular New Year!

– Rabbi Ruth Adar


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