Monday, May 4, 2015

#BlogBOmer: Yesod B'Netzach

Shockingly, this post is belated (as will be the next few)...but there are reasons: like an incredible Shabbat on Campus/Muslim Student Association Big Event/Sigma Family Weekend combination, a full 24+ hours in Portland (#akwdayoff) and visits with great friends (hi Shiran!). While I'm going to be making these all up, I am trying hard to be a bit more consistent for the last few weeks of the Omer. {We'll see how this/next week goes!}

In case anyone's been keeping track, my Yesod days (bonding, foundation) have been strongly bent towards the "foundation" side, people who have helped me to become the core of who I am. Recently, when I forwarded her a copy of the Meyerhoff email that came out with this initiative, my mom was excited to read ALL of my blog posts--and my dad commented that hers would come, probably after Ellie's. Well, I'm happy to have proven him wrong. This particular post, combining yesod (bonding/foundation) in the realm of netzach (endurance, victory) goes out to the one, the only, The Mom (LGW).

The Mom adopts a lot of people, here are two of her favorite adoptees! (Photo Cred:Julie Wallick)

Before I get started, I need to come clean: I have a really great relationship with my mom. When I'm in the country, we talk about 1-2 times a day (more if I'm having a VERY. BAD. DAY.) and I usually get to start off every morning walking with Ellie and talking to the Mom. She's one of the first people I call for advice, to talk something out, to hear an opinion (even if it's wrong...mine, never hers), or to share what's happening with me or with any of my friends [read: her other adopted children]. 

But why Yesod B'Netzach for my mom? The yesod is easy: she helped make me (literally) into the person that I am today. My ability to set the table correctly, act with compassion and kindness, turn up the charm (when I feel like it), give The Look, and be a good listener is mostly due to the time spent with my Mom (some credit may be given to the Dad). She spent days and dollars teaching me to find beauty in sketching, piano lessons, needlework, and other artistic endeavors, always encouraging me to go a step further (and always willing to buy me whatever art supplies I wanted [note: I very rarely needed, but "shopping is not about need"]). Also musicals. My love for musicals? COMBINED TRAIT OF MY PARENTS, but definitely more-so the Mom. You're welcome to everyone who has ever ridden in my car and saw the first pre-set of my XM radio set to On Broadway. 

The Dad (BFW), The Mom (LGW) & The Me (AKW)

The Mom is also one of the strongest people I know. She'll disagree with me (most likely as she's reading this, she's laughing while shaking her head). A woman who has built up her own business, advised others, works 80 hours a day, has more of a social life than I do, and was elected as a village justice (her "boxing" name: Judge Mental) deserves a lot of respect to begin with. To do it all most days with a kindness and compassion about her earns her even more. My mom taught me that you don't have to step on others to be strong, in fact, it's just the opposite. The strongest people build relationships with those around them and combine strengths in order to create a better community (just as long as they're not working together on committees). My mom knows what her weaknesses are (snow shoveling, tennis courts, and Ellie), but also knows that her weaknesses are only a small part of what define her. What makes us strong as people (and what we should highlight in ourselves) is honest, courage, endurance, and the constant ability to try. Because if you never try, you'll always fail. 

It's been a very tough year for both me (and for the labradoofus). And through it all, I've been lucky to have a mom who, along with multiple daily phone calls and consistent checking of flights to Eugene, will be heading out to the EUG this week in order to celebrate Mother's Day (and maybe a little bit my finally getting past pneumonia). It is her caring, confidence, charisma, and conscience that makes her such a good candidate for yesod b'netzach-- mostly, it is the way she inspires others to become stronger at their core. 

And so, I speak for all your children (temporarily adopted or otherwise) when I say "Thanks Mom!" I'm sure you don't hear it nearly enough as you're supposed to. But hey, we're kids. We're still learning. 

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