Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vegetarian Update

It's official, I have been a Vegetarian for one year now. It originally started out as a month long challenge that sort of turned into a lifestyle change. I really never meant for it to be something that stuck and yet here I am, still meatless.

"I know this will be tough. I know I'll probably cry at some point. But I will at least try to do this." -Me, 12/26/11

It wasn't that tough and I didn't cry. Not even once. And I'm a huge crier so I feel like that's saying something.


(image via alejandraramos.com)

This past year has been a doozy yet I never felt like going meatless added to that. And all the drama and pain that was in this year never made me reach for some dead animal's muscle to make me feel better.

I lost some weight, gained a ton of energy, and just feel fantastic.

So, there are three main reasons I started and have continued with this and I picked up these reasons one at a time.

  1. My health
  2. The environment
  3. The animals

I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Unlike Isaac Bashevis Singer, I went Veg for my health and now a year later I feel it's now more for the chickens' health. But more on that later.
 
All in all, I love being a Vegetarian. It has been one of the best decisions of my life! And this is not the last you'll hear of it.
 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Choosing Judaism

Here's a little something I wrote for my Rabbi on how I chose Judaism.

I have spent hours trying to write why I chose Judaism. What brought me here. Honestly, it's a bit fuzzy. It was years ago that I walked away from the religion of my childhood and a couple of years ago that I chose Judaism so trying to recall what made me make that decision has been hard.
But I'll start with what I remember first.

My first Exploring Judaism class the Rabbi said b'tzelem elohim, we're all made in the image of God. He continued to explain this concept saying that we can't say homosexuality is wrong because we were all made in the image of God. This was a relatively simple concept that changed my life. It, sadly, was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing. It changed how I interacted with people. How I loved and treated people.

As I dove into books about Judaism I was completely taken with ritual and blessings bringing spirituality to the everyday mundane things. As Rabbi Lawrence Kushner said, "Judaism sees only one world, which is material and spiritual at the same time. The material world is always potentially spiritual." Jewish rituals opened doors for me to make my life holy and filled with meaning and thanksgiving. As Rabbi Harold Kushner says, "making the ordinary extraordinary."
I was delighted to search out and find blessings for nearly everything under the sun.There are no lack of blessings in Judaism.

On my first Saturday to attend a Torah Study I was blown away by the wide array of comments and beliefs, multiple translations and interpretations. But what I love more than anything, is that there isn't just one right answer in Judaism. There are many right answers. I watched as some gave their opinions with fiery passion and still walked out of the class patting each other on the back wishing each other a good shabbos. The very same people that I now say shabbat shalom to. Beautiful people who act like extended family.

I fell into the rhythm of the Jewish calendar and holidays. Like a circle that never ends shabbat returned week after week greeting me like a friend. Sitting in Friday night services I recited blessings that were foreign to my lips but felt so natural. So comforting. No matter how my week was I could return to these blessings and take comfort.
As Rosh Hashanah rolled around I nervously prepared for my first Rosh Hashanah service, but my nerves calmed as soon as I walked into the synagogue. As I recited prayers with the whole community I had this feeling I had done this before. That this was not unfamiliar to me.

I suppose this is how I came to choose Judaism. Though I would argue that Judaism chose me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brave

I anxiously await the release of Brave with Merida and her wild, fiery red hair. A princess that's not just waiting in a tower to be rescued. Merida is a far cry from Disney Princesses Cinderella and Snow White.

Bring on Princess Merida!



Link to the Brave trailer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Scars

"What's your scar from?" She asks casually.

I stop and have to think for a moment. What scar? I glance up at her as she stares at me expectantly. Her eyes dart to my arm. Oh! That scar! I look at the pale "T" shape on my arm waiting for the answer to come to me.

"It's from a go-cart accident. The breaks went out."

Her curiosity is satisfied, or either she doesn't want to pry, as my mind starts whirring. I forget people can see it. I forget it's there. I suppose we're all like that. We forget that we have obvious scars. Both the physical and emotional. But they are there and other people do see them.

The emotional scars are just as visible as the physical. I see them on people all the time. You get to know someone and you start to see them. Maybe you didn't notice at first but then you're staring at a scar, plain as day, and you think, "Oh darling, you have been badly hurt."

You don't ask though, because you're scared of the answer. It could be a tragic story. They might not want to talk about it.

But they are there. Right before your eyes. Warnings to everyone that you've been hurt. To be careful. To not let it happen again.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Judie & Kate

There was once two little girls who lived right next door to each other. Judie and Kate. They grew up together, got sick together, played together, fought together, planned their futures together. They were like sisters.

Sadly, one day that changed; as all things in life must. Judie moved away. Not to another state or even another city, just across town. But when you're young, across town might as well be the moon.

The girls continued to grow and as they did they grew apart, becoming opposites of each other. Living separate lives that rarely crossed paths.

Sometimes an entire year would pass without them talking. But no matter what, at any time, Judie or Kate could call or write a letter the old fashioned way that they liked so much, and they could pick up right where they left off.

To this day they don't see each other that often, but Kate still considers Judie her most trusted and best friend.

And while they mainly only talk when things are going bad or random moments in between, that's exactly what they need from each other. It's odd, just like them, but they expect nothing less of their friendship.

A good friend is cheaper than therapy.  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hats

I like who I am. I'm weird, sing badly and often, dance all the time, dress odd, and tend to wear a lot of hats and I don't just mean that metaphorically.

Via sheknows.com

I like me. I'm just afraid that you won't like me. So afraid that I don't let anyone see the real me. I have no idea why I am so terrified of rejection. Or why my inner world is so private that I don't let anyone in.

If I say that I don't care what you think of me then I'm lying. Boldly. Badly.

I change who I am all according to who is in the room. I can't have friends from different areas of my life in the same room with me. I simply wouldn't know who to be.

But I am trying SO HARD to be me, the integrated me, all the time around everyone. It's my goal for this year. And if that fails, this lifetime.
Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?  ~Fanny Brice
My fear is that if I'm not the true me more often, then one day I might completely forget who I am. And what fun would that be?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Death

You know how it goes, a close relative dies and your world falls apart. Again. And suddenly things that seemed important no longer are.

And it doesn't even matter how many people have died before this one, it still hits you like they are the first person to leave this world behind.

And it doesn't matter how many books were written about death, you still don't know what to think or feel.

You still don't get any sleep.

Slowly, you just have to pick your world up and put it back together in a whole new way.

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.  For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.  ~Albert Einstein