My Judaism is Complicated These Days

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The High Holidays have come & gone, & I feel weird.

This marked the first time in 14 years that I haven't worked for a Jewish organization during this season — not since college.

When you work for a Jewish organization, you have off for every Jewish holiday (& there are a lot of Jewish holidays). You always know exactly when the holidays are coming. You prepare for the holidays through the work you do & the conversations you have. Your out-of-office message during the holidays references the holidays: "Our offices are closed in observance of Rosh HaShanah. L'shanah tovah!"

When you do not work for a Jewish organization, I am finding, the holidays sneak up on you. 

Voices I Love: Content Creators with Disabilities

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Cartoonish graphic of a man in a wheelchair holding the hand of an able bodied woman with two corgis in the grass in front of them
Image by Pixabay user elf-moondance

Something you might not know about me is that I'm passionate about disability rights & inclusion. I attribute so much of my interest in these topics to Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, z"l, my late mentor, who died in 2018. 

In 1999, Lynne sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury when her Jeep skidded on black ice. And though medical issues plagued her for the rest of her life, she went on to become a noted disability rights activist, turning the worst moment of her life into one of its biggest opportunities. And in 2007, I started working with her at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. As a legislative assistant, my portfolio of legislative issues focused on civil rights — including disability rights.

Why Don't We Tell Each Other the Bad Things?

Monday, September 6, 2021

Sometimes I wish it were acceptable to just, like, ask everyone for their absolute worst life updates. We all feel so inclined to give the good updates — I'm enjoying my new job, we'll start looking for houses again soon — & it just doesn't feel appropriate to give the bad ones. 

Don't you kind of feel like it would be helpful, though? To know? 

Sometimes, when you're the one going through the muck, it can be all too easy to feel like you're alone in struggle. Sure, we know, in theory, that everyone is going through something; "Be kind," Mother Theresa taught, "for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." 

But when everyone is doing such a damn good job of hiding their battles, it can feel like you're the only person in the world who's floundering. 

Help, I Can't Stop Watching Disaster Movies

Thursday, September 2, 2021

What is it about a global pandemic that makes me want to watch movies about global pandemics? I mean, fine, only two of the movies on the list you're about to read are actually about pandemics, but still, the idea stands. Amid humanity's worst, why do I also feel compelled to watch fiction about humanity's worst? 

I don't know the answer, but... well, I'm doing it. Here are some of the movies I've watched recently & how I'd rate them on a very formal scale of one to 10. 

What I Read in July & August

Sunday, August 29, 2021

I've done a pretty solid amount of reading in the last two months, even though it doesn't really feel like I have. I mean, I've also binged Chicago PD & FBoy Island, & I got way too sucked into playing this stupid cell phone game (I never play cell phone games!), so honestly, I'm surprised I made the time at all.

But I did. I finished 11 books in July & August, & while most of them weren't knockouts, all of them were decent reads. I'm on the lookout for a really good thrilled, so if you have any ideas, hit me up, will ya?

Adventuring in Ohio: My Weekend Visiting Mount Vernon

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

This post is a paid partnership with Ohio. Find It Here. & the Mount Vernon Arts Consortium. As always, all views are my own.

One of the things I’ve missed most during these pandemic times is travel. In 2019, I traveled out of state at least once during every single month of the year!

As travel returns & places start to open up, I’m still not quite comfortable making bigger, out-of-state treks. So when I was invited to visit Mount Vernon, OH, for a weekend getaway, I was thrilled to experience someplace new & fun & so close to home.

Remember my mom, Joyce? Sure you do. We got on the road on a Friday after work, & made the two-hour drive from Cleveland to Mount Vernon in time for dinner. Here are some of the highlights of the weekend, all things I’d recommend if you make a visit.

My Life with Unmedicated Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Thursday, August 12, 2021

In late 2018 & early 2019, I wrote a lot here about my experience seeking a diagnosis for my sleep issues – namely that I was sleeping all the time. I started seeing a neurologist, underwent a 24-hour sleep test, & was ultimately diagnosed with three sleep disorders & prescribed medication to help. I took that medication diligently & enthusiastically for a year. 

For various reasons, though, I've now been unmedicated for more than a year, & it's going... OK, I guess. Sometimes better than others. But some people have asked what happened with my sleep disorders after I stopped writing about them, & there's been some progress in terms of possible treatment for my primary disorder, so I figured it was time for an update.

What I'm Struggling with "Post-Pandemic"

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

First things first: I don't like using the phrase "post-pandemic" because we are still very much in the midst of a pandemic, even when it doesn't feel like it. Worldwide, 3.9 million people have died of COVID-19, & the delta variant & others are real & threatening. 

For the purposes of this post, though, saying "post-pandemic" really means "post-quarantine." Now that restrictions have lifted & life largely feels safer (for me as a fortunate, vaccinated, science-beliving American human), I'm struggling a little bit. That feels unfair, doesn't it? We've all struggled enough during quarantine; now we have to struggle coming out of it, too? 

How I Take Breaks During the Remote Workday

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Before a work call the other day, my boss asked us each to come prepared to share what we do during the day to keep us happy & motivated throughout the workday. 

She talked about her love of fancy non-alcoholic drinks (like the iced cardamom rosewater coffee with honey she'd just made), while other folks talked about what they're inclined to do during their breaks, like gardening & walking the dog. I don't have a dog or a garden, but after decade of that work-from-home life, I do have a lot of little tricks for break-taking & motivation-stirring. 

Here's are 10 ways that I work small breaks into the day & how the activities I choose help my brain recharge for the work to come. 

What I'm Looking Forward to for the Rest of the Summer

Friday, July 9, 2021

One of my favorite things about summer (not the heat) is looking forward to all the adventures on my calendar. That wasn't a part of summer 2020, for me, as we didn't go anywhere, for the most part. We ate on a patio once or twice, but even that felt fraught. It was a summer of fear & indoorsiness.

But #vaxxedgirlsummer is here! I'm not yet fully vaccinated, but I'm one shot down & still hopefully riding some antibodies, so I feel relatively safe. I'm still not ready to hop on a plane or head to a crowded concert, but I finally feel ready to hit up some events & spend time with friends & family.

Here are some of the things I've looking forward to for the rest of the summer. How about you?

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