I feel like I'm often in a constant state of doing and even sometimes trying to fight multiple bad habits with don'ting (to be fair, the dos are often more successful than the don'ts), but very rarely do I make conscious decisions of the things I do.
I go to work, I work hard on our program, on student leadership, on engagement activities, on market materials, take phone calls, have coffee (frappucino) dates, have frozen yogurt group talks, get sunburnt while tabling, meet new students (and old students, and alumni students and community members!), remember names and stories...I do all of these things on a pretty regular basis among any number of other things that I've probably forgotten (like sleeping, sleeping is a pretty important do).
This year (and at Institute), I am aiming to do a lot more conscious doing...to say yes to things that I might otherwise attempt to avoid or be afraid to try. A lot of this comes from my trip to Israel this past summer (as a leader I had one rule: I would not make any student do anything I was unwilling to do...which led to my pushing myself to DO a lot!): I rafted down the Jordan (at first I was afraid), I scaled the cliffs of Arbel (the entire time I was afraid!), I climbed down into a 2200 year old cave 2 stories below the ground (I was less afraid but I stayed on the stairs due to a little bit of fear of not being able to get out).
So when I got back to Eugene, there were more things that I wanted to make sure I would consciously do.
- I started a "running" Couch-to-5K program and have students hold me accountable by posting every "run" to Facebook. I will most likely be doing a 5K by the end of the school year, but my goal is to be able to run with my dad in November.
- I am spending more time outside with my dog, enjoying both the environment Eugene has to offer and the quality time with Ellie that I don't get necessarily during the school year.
- I am going to learn Torah trope this year--something I started at Hillel Institute--but it's actually going to get done.
- I am going to do something I've always wanted to do: I am going to dedicate one hour per day to Jewish learning. I really enjoy reading Jewish texts, engaging in text study with others, learning language--and there are so many different ways to learn. So as of yesterday (August 12th), one hour a day will be dedicated to Jewish learning (which I'm happy to share on my blog).
- I will say "yes" to invitations more often and push myself to try new things--now is the time to do it, new place, new people, new opportunities for change.
Yesterday's Jewish Learning:
I've been in the midst of reading Michael Strassfield's Jewish Holidays and like learning about different traditions/reasons behind many of the actions that we take. Reform Judaism is all about "choice by knowledge" and I realize that many of my choices are somewhat uninformed--I do things because I feel comfortable with them, because someone taught them to me--but I don't always know why. I enjoy learning the stories.
Yesterday I continued/finished reading about Passover and started reading about Rosh Hashana (I had skipped around and read other holidays before) and enjoyed learning about specific times for greetings, enslavement to old ideas, routines, feelings, and utilizing both days as a sense of renewal, a second chance to try and do better in your life.