Enthusiasm Uncurbed

I racked my brains for quite a while to try to find the right title to convey what exactly I was referring to. I am not sure it is 100% what I wanted but it was the best I could come up with after working night shift and getting home bleary eyed in the morning.

So in case the title wasn’t self evident, let me explain. If you are enthusiastic about a pursuit and you keep at it, the people close to you are going to inevitably be drawn in by your enthusiasm.

I have been noticing for a few weeks that when something unusual or funny happens around the house or to our family, my kids have started blurting out, I bet you are going to blog about that. A few times, the thought to blog about a certain topic hadn’t even entered my mind until someone in my family bought it up as potential blog fodder.

This past Sabbath we were 18 people staying over by us. (Actually 18 plus one gorgeous baby.)  Over the course of the day my blogging was of course discussed and once again I got suggestions about potential blog topics. I thought it was so nice how people were enthusiatic for me about something that was inportant to me.

So what I say is this. Share your enthusiasm for your joys and hobbies with those you love. You never know which of them will be your next source of inspiration.

Have you ever had people join in when you are enthusiastic?


© David M. Goehring | Flickr Creative Commons


Blogging Fun!

We all have our own opinions and views on life. We each enjoy doing different things and each of us is proud of different accomplishments. What we view as a silly or unworthy pursuit, may be a very important and fulfilling part of someone else’s life.

The other day I was reminded of the importance of making sure not to belittle things that are significant to others, even if we ourselves view them as pointless.

I was talking to two people, one of them a good friend, and told them that I have started blogging and that I write everyday. The facial expression, comments and attitude of complete ridicule and disregard that I got from my good friend was completely unexpected and really unwarranted.

Luckily for me I am in a different place than I used to me. For the most part, I don’t let other people’s views cloud my perception of myself. I enjoy the blogging. I feel it is very cathartic and helpful to me. I am also pleased with the results. So thankfully, I really was able to shrug her comments off without feeling the least bit hurt. I did tell her that it was too bad and that I was happy, so I really didn’t care what she thought.

The whole incident did make me think about how careful we have to be about how we react to other people’s hobbies, thoughts, goals and ambitions.

Has someone reacted to you in a way you did not expect? Have you ever reacted to someone else’s news in a way you now regret?


© Mike Licht | Flickr Creative Commons

It is Passover right now. Passover is a Jewish holiday with many food restrictions. Mostly no unleavened food, aka no bread.

What there is, is a lot of cooking. Especially a lot of cooking with potatoes. Lots and lots of potatoes to peel and some carrots as well. But mostly potatoes.

Did I mention lots and lots of potatoes? Here in Israel Passover is a 7 day holiday. Did I mention it was a 7 day holiday with lots of potatoes?

After Passover, we pack away our Passover dishes until we need them again next year. Usually I am quite organized with typed up lists for the following year. I write down things needing replacing, things to buy and where I put everything.

Last year I was not my OCD self and did not type up the list. So it wasn’t until after I suffered through peeling about 20 pounds of potatoes that I realized that I had written down that I need to buy a new good peeler.

Gosh I wish I would have seen that before the holiday. All I know is that I am having 18 people for the Sabbath and that is a heck of a lot of potatoes to peel. It was not fun peeling them with the lousy peeler that didn’t want to peel. Actually it was a bit frustrating.

The Lousy Peelers

One thing is for certain, there will be a big note with my lists for next year. There is no way I am not going to have a good peeler for next year’s potato fest!

Any peeler recommendations anybody?

Question mark

There are questions in life that you will be hard pressed to ever find an answer to that will be definitive and beyond dispute.

One of the questions to which I am referring is actually not about life but rather it is death. Death, the 5 letter word that has so many different meanings, fears, unknowns and questions attached to it.

Death is something that is dealt with differently by each and every person. It is dependent on your religious beliefs, your upbringing, your life experiences and whether or not you believe that there is more to the world than what we can see, hear or feel.

For me death and the questions surrounding it have followed me around most of my adult life. I don’t know for sure when my questions and fears started. I do know that aside from one friend of my parents who passed away when I was a teen, I did not come into contact with death of people I knew or loved until I was in my twenties.

I do however quite vividly remember a bible class in tenth grade about heaven and hell. The explanation we were given then about hell has stuck with me since then. I was taught that hell is basically the soul’s yearning to rejoin God, but the more sins you have the farther away your soul is from God for a period of time until you have paid your dues so to say. The teacher likened it to an avid baseball fan who really wants to sit right behind home plate during a game but instead is stuck in the last row of seats high up in the bleachers.

For some reason that description has scared me more than fiery pits.

Embrace Death

Over the years I have had many sleepless nights worrying about death. Almost to the point of panic attacks at night when all is quiet and I am trying to fall asleep. Thankfully I think I have put most of that to rest.

I have spent countless hours discussing death, learning about death and learning how to accept and cope with death. I have also been present at numerous deaths. Over the years there have been times when I felt that people were waiting for my shift at the ER to come and pass away. Something that in some ways pleased me but also scared me at the same time. I felt that the people’s souls who passed away wanted me to be there for their loved ones at that particular moment. It’s odd to describe, but that’s what I felt.

I know that I have a purpose here in this world. I know that I have things to accomplish and things my soul has come here to learn. I believe one of the things I have come to do either for myself or maybe to also help others with is to learn about death, how to cope with it and to search for answers about what there is after our body is no longer.

My problem is that I am a very concrete person. I need proof. I need unequivocal proof. But maybe that is meant to be part of my journey as well. To learn to feel things and believe what I know in my heart is true, whether I can explain it or not.

I believe in reincarnation. Some in my religion believe in reincarnation, while others do not. That is also something that took me a long time to come to grips with. The not knowing for sure if I was going against my religion by believing in things my heart was telling me was true. Even writing about it now on a blog where I know people who know me will read it made me hesitate a minute. Not because I think I am wrong in what I believe, but rather because do I want to possibly be looked upon as someone who has lost my mind. I haven’t, so I am writing this.

Maybe some of my fear of death comes from the way I have died in previous lives. I was told that in one of my previous lives about 100 years or so ago I died from cold exposure. Not an easy death. Maybe that is part of my issue in this life trying to understand and embrace the fact that life is but a short blip in our total existence.

I do have to say that knowing that I have previously died horribly and look I am here again has given me some strength. It’s kind of like, hey I’ve done it before, it can’t be that bad. Wierd I guess, but still it does give me a small measure of comfort.

So what do I believe? Believe but can’t prove. I believe that our life here on earth is only a small tiny part of our total existence. I believe that hell is our reviewing of our life after we die and seeing and understanding all the hurt we have caused other people.

I believe that how we view death and the after life will have a lot of impact on our soul right after we pass away. About how confused we are or how comfortably we glide into our new existence.

I mostly believe that we are here on this earth to accomplish things our soul planned for us to do. If you take the time to listen to your body and your soul, you will be put on the path that your soul planned for you to take. We just need to listen and to use the gifts we were given. We need to never give up hope because everything we do our soul learns from and we take with us.


© Marco Bellucci | Flickr Creative Commons

© Oisin Mulvihill | Flickr Creative Commons

This blog post was written for writing workshop #19 run by Josie at Sleep is for the Weak. I chose the third prompt: Write a story or a poem or something descriptive to try and share your view of what happens when we die.

I know that Robert Frost (or at least I think it was Robert Frost) said that “good fences make good neighbors”, but I don’t think that I necessarily agree. Sometimes fences are good, like for keeping your neighbors’ dogs from pooping on your lawn, but I digress.

I believe that getting to know your neighbors and being on friendly terms with them really adds richness to your daily life.

I live in a town of about 1500 families and that number is growing rapidly. The neighborhood in that town that I live in is a close knit community.

Out of the approximately 35-40 families that live on my block, there are only about 6 or 7 who I do not know. The kids in my community play outside together, they go to daycare, school and after school activities together.

We don’t think twice about borrowing things from each other. When our appliances break down, we help each other out until theya re repaired. When we need help or babysitting, we watch each others kids.

When there is a happy occasion or sadly when there is an illness, death or tragedy everyone bands together and lends a hand.

My life would be very lonely if it were not for the friends and neighbors I have in my community.

I have a hard time understanding how people can live next door to each other for years and not even know each others names. Maybe that is normal adn I am just lucky.

I think it’s not necessarily just my specific community because in the previous community I lived in it was the same way. I think I am lucky that I live in a country that is known for its warm hospitality.

In my case, being associated with a synagogue as well increases the sociabilty of the community and the feeling of togetherness.

Right outside my door is community of warm and loving people who care about each toher and the community.

I am lucky and blessed.

This post was inspired by the prompt of “outside my front door” at The Gallery Week 5 run by Tara at Sticky Fingers.

An upset stomach and diarrhea is not pleasant when it involves people. I now have the pleasure (NOT) of letting all of you know that an upset stomach and diarrhea when it involves dogs is most definately not pleasant. I am sure it is not pleasant for the dog, and I am now damn sure it is not pleasant for the people in company of said dog.

So a little tip for all of you who have dogs or for those of you who are taking care of other people’s dogs. When you are having a big family meal and gathering in your house and your dog has an upset stomach, leave him outside. Or at least leave him outside until the meal is done.

Last night was the first night of Passover. As is our custom, the extended family got together for the traditional Passover Seder and meal. We were 20 people staying over and being hosted by my sister in law and brother in law. They live on a kibbutz and while we all fit and are able to sit comfortably, with the amount of people we were there was not much room other than the seating during the meal.

My brother and sister in law have a dog, as do their married son and daughter in law. My niece and nephew went away for the holiday but left their dog in care of their parents. I now think that they went away and left the dog because of the fact that the dog was having a stomach and bowel control issue. (Just kidding guys. I know your dog is another kid to you and your plans were made in advance.) In any event, the poor dog was having terrible diarrhea.

We sat down for the meal and at some point both dogs came in and sat under the table. We were enjoying our meal with great gusto when all of a sudden we heard a great big wet fart. My 12 year old daughter looked at her father and laughed because she thought the noise originated from him. It hadn’t.

All of a sudden someone realized that the dog had made a puddle of diarrhea. Actually, I think everyone sitting at that end of the table realized it all at once because I have never seen a room cleared by an odor quite as fast as that room was cleared.

As soon as my husband realized that a pooing dog was the culprit, he jumped up because he thought the dog might have pooped on his shoes. Two minutes before the dog had been sitting right by him.

My poor sister in law and brother in law now had the pleasant task of cleaning up after their sickly “granddog”. Like it wasn’t enough housing and cooking for 20 people.

But we learn something from everything life throws at us. This has been a very helpful lesson and maybe someone else will be spared the same experience. Just remember if you have a full house, don’t let a dog with an upset tummy in.

By the way, in case anyone wondered. After the “incident” was cleaned up, it didn’t stop a single person from continuing to eat.

So does anyone else have pet mishaps they would like to share?

A list

Like everyone else, I too am sometimes guilty of worrying about what others think. I too sometimes tailor my actions to something I think might be more acceptable to others.

I do have to say though that over the years I have learned to assign less importance to what others might say or feel and to do what I feel and think is right for me. I am not saying I ignore others or their requests or insights into my personality. (Though sometimes I do.) I am not saying I don’t like or crave approval and validation by others. I am human so of course I do. All I am saying is that when push comes to shove, in order for me and the people around me to be happy, I need to be true to myself and listen to my heart.

Recently I have been rather surprised by how so many talented writers/bloggers have been having an issue with what they write, whether their content is appealing to readers and their issues with success. Just the other day Josie wrote about her insecurities at Sleep is for the Weak. As usual, her doubting herself really had me stumped because she is an amazing writer and photographer and she has inspired many people with her writing workshop and prompts.

Mark Twain said “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”

3 of 8 Girl dances (jumps) at water's edge on Morro Strand State Beach
I have heard some other takes on that phrase that include:
“Live every day like its your last.”
“Love like you’ve never been hurt.”
“Work like you don’t need the money.”
“Live like heaven on earth.”
“Live like you give a damn.”

Josie, for you and for another good friend of mine who is an amazing writer and who also struggles with the whole issue of success I have now coined the phrase “Write like no one is reading.” Actually I wrote it a few days ago when I responded to your blog post, but still….

What I am saying to you and to all the other talented people out there who are doubting their way is this:

Write for yourself.
Be true to yourself.
Write what brings you joy and makes you happy.

Whether you are a singer, a dancer, a worker, a writer or anything else in life, do those things that make you happy. But most importantly do them for yourself. Not for anyone else. Not for anyone’s approval. For yourself.

When you are true to yourself and worry about doing what is correct for your heart and soul, you will blossom in all aspects of your life. You will achieve confidence you never had. You will truly enjoy the things that are important to you and make you happy.

Sure you may go through ups and downs. That is life. All I am saying is to have the strength not to lose yourself along the way.

And for those times when things are tough I have found this picture and excerpt from the photographer Todd.

“It isn’t how you’ve succeeded in life that matters, it’s how you’ve held yourself when things have fallen apart.”

I believe that if we are true to ourselves and live like no one is listening, watching or reading we will achieve everything we hope to and we won’t have too many moments where we feel things have fallen apart. Just be true to yourself. And Dance, Sing, Write and fulfill your dreams whatever they may be.


© Miss Izs | Flickr Creative Commons

© Mike Baird | Flickr Creative Commons

© Todd | Flickr Creative Commons