Friday, June 21, 2013

How do you mend a broken chain

My post today is inspired by part of the JWRP itinerary which includes a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.  I remember when I walked through the museum.  It felt raw, and part of me felt like I was a piece of a broken chain.

My mother's parents left Lodz, Poland in the later 1930's as things were getting unstable.  They left their families behind and started a new life in Uruguay (and later moved to Israel).

My mother said that one uncle was sent away to Russia and survived the war.  He married a non Jew, and as far as she knew, no one ever heard from him again.  Everyone else died in the Shoah, the Holocaust.

My mom knows very little of her grandparents or even great grandparents.  We know that one was a Mikvah lady.  We know they were Orthodox Jews.  That pretty much sums it up.

It makes me sad that all their stories are gone.  I don't know how they lived or what happened to them.

My mom lost touch with her brother who may have some of this information.  I recently wrote in to Yad Vashem to see if there was any testimony on my relatives that died in the Shoah, but they didn't have any information either.  I feel like every route leads to an end with no answers.

Part of me feels that every mitzvah I do, is also for them.  In their memories, in their honour.  They died because they were Jews, and I will live and teach my son to love our Jewish spirituality, to find G-d-liness in himself and his neighbours.  And I hope in some way, that will mend the chain.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A bit random

I wanted to write when I started this blog, but then life gets in the way mixed with a lot of self doubt...

I have been dealing with a bunch of little life things, little stumbling blocks but certainly not life altering.  My car got rear ended coming off the highway.  The insurance claim was easy to handle, and I would have my car repaired but then...I discovered a leak over my kitchen sink a few days later.  This one scared me.  The sheer enormity of the repair job.  The water leaked from a pipe on the first floor into the ceiling, down the wall behind the kitchen cabinets and onto the hardwood floor in the adjacent dining room.  The backsplash needs to come down and be replaced and who knows how far this water got inside the house.

I was scared.  I was scared that insurance wouldn't cover this huge repair job.  I prayed.  A LOT.  A said a Tehillim (Psalms).  I asked some people to pray.

I heard from the insurance adjuster this morning and the leak came from a cracked pipe above the kitchen and it only could have happened within the last few days so...they are covering the repair of the wet stuff, and we need to cover the cost of the plumbing (this part I expected).

I was in the car (don't worry, I pulled over) when I got the call, and the first thing I did was Thank G-d.

I've also been down on myself because of my lack-of-career.  I read about so many inspiring people, some my age, some even younger.  They have accomplished so much career-wise.  They have families, they're generous and leaders.  I feel inspired in an envious kind of way, but then I don't know what to do with that inspiration.  

I need to start setting some personal goals.  I want to relearn Hebrew and become fluent again.  Other than that, I don't know where to aim.

Every night I pray for clarity and gentle guidance from G-d.  I feel a bit like I am stuck in one of those enormous corn mazes trying to find direction.
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

What do you do?

The typical questions are often asked of me when meeting someone for the first time: birth location, marital status and current employment status.

"I'm a stay at home mom."

"Good for you!"

I never really know what people mean when they tell me this.  Are they really that impressed that I change dirty diapers and clean toilets?

I'll be honest, I wanted to be a stay at home mom for my son's first year.  I didn't have a job anyway, and there was no maternity leave to worry about.

My son is 20 months now, and it looks like I'll be a stay at home mom (SAHM) for a bit longer.  Probably indefinitely at this point since the number of employment opportunities is somewhere between slim to none.  Much closer to none than to slim.

I know part of me should be entirely grateful to be home with my son, and I am.  Another part of me feels like I wasted almost 7 years of my life in university.  I worked very hard to get my B.Sc and my M.Sc.

I feel I have yet to have an actual career because I've never worked at any job for more than a few years.  It isn't like I switched companies to do the same job.  I have worked in high tech, fitness training, environmental consulting, drug prevention and one actual chemistry research job.  Each for a few years at a time.

I'd be happy to create myself a job, I just don't know which direction to aim.  Maybe I should just work on being a better SAHM.