The Test: 42 days later

Remember the challenge posed by The COB (colleague of blogger):

Can I be wildly cheerful and hopeful for a month?

(subtitled, “can I arrange for DNA dialysis for a month long infusion of Mary Poppins’ genes?”)

Let’s review how I did:

  • I started singing show tunes; The COB kept correcting my rendition of the verses and made some snarky comments about my ability to carry a tune.
  • I tried to twirl and toss my hat like Mary Tyler Moore; there is no room to twirl in the streets of NYC.
  • I ran around the secretarial bay near my office because I believed the kids’ song, “happiness runs in a circular motion”; I got dizzy.

I don’t think I got the point of the exercise. But I did loosen up a little (okay, a teensy bit).

The New Me (In the Test, Day 7-ish)

It is hard to describe how I feel as I watch the events unfold around the world, but let me try:

say you are in a bath (reading a book, sipping red wine in the hypothetical awesomely fabulous Manhattan apartment) and you pull the stopper to let the water drain.  At that exact second, you hear a big BANG from somewhere.  So what do you do?  You put the stopper back in the drain and shiver a little.

Powerless and with shivers of fear.  (FYI:  I don’t live in the hypothetical fabulous apartment, I am drinking an unfortunate Sauvignon Blanc (I don’t even like white wine) and I have no time to expand my intellectual acumen (maybe when my son is 10).)

In truth, I never thought anything was out of my control until TLP (the little prince) was born.  Now, I worry about the world after I am dead because (I hope) he (and his children) will still be alive. THAT makes what we do now even more important.  Because we all know that the harvest reaped in two generations will be directly related to the seeds we sow now.

My mom always believed that if you can’t change the big things, then start with the little things, but you must always, always, strive to repair the world (tikkun olam) — תיקון עולם

Here is the difference between Mom and me.  Mom just did things.  I, first, need a whole new outfit and work-out regimen.

Did you think I could stay so serious and not deflect my fears, hopes and dreams by lapsing into (sometimes, forced) humor?  DO YOU KNOW ME?

Sooo, deflectors are engaged.

One has to have strength to repair the world, no?

Ok, so let’s critique my old gym regimen, also known as, NP2 — “no pain, no pain”:

  • 3 times a week, get on the stationary bike for 30 minutes, but quit after 25 minutes.  Don’t even break a sweat.
  • Think about doing sit-ups. Hyper-ventilate about the anxiety of dealing with my expanding midriff. Suck in my stomach and do something else.
  • Do push-ups because I actually can do them.  And not the girl-y ones, either.
  • Do back muscle exercises because I don’t want to stoop too much in my dotage.
  • Talk to some people, less now that some gym friends have moved to other locations.
  • Notice the time and realize I have to get home.

There was a time when I could suck in my tummy, arch my back a little and my stomach would be flat and my breasts “perky”.  One cannot leave on memories of prior glory.  Starting tomorrow (because I am drinking wine and might hurt myself if I tried it out now):

My new, Spring, regimen, also known as SPB2 — “some pain, but buff”:

  • Buy some new outfits for my new gym state of mind.
  • Do Michelle Obama arm exercises because we all deserve to look like we could go sleeveless on national TV.
  • Do something cardio for 40 minutes. And actually break a “glow” but no sweat because I am becoming more genteel (and eccentric) as I age.
  • Stop watching the TV because next year Oxford English Dictionary will declare “pundit” a synonym of “idiot” and people who watch pundits “vidiots”.

I promise, Mom, in the midst of my self-absorption, I won’t forget about tikkun olam.  For your grandson and your great grandchildren.  For everyone’s children and grandchildren.

תיקון עולם

The test: day 4 or 5 or so; Purim

I was at a Purim party at the synagogue.  At Purim, kids (of all ages) dress in costume.  I am not sure why, although in the Story of Esther, King Ahashverosh has a party at which Esther (with the help of Uncle Mordecai) saves the Jews from death at the hands of evil-doer Haman.

It was primarily a kids party with associated adults expected to dress in costume, as well.

The theme of the costume party was “under the sea.”  I put on an old blazer that I used to wear to the office, over a t-shirt, sweater and jeans.  So, I came as a lawyer and lawyers are often referred to as sharks.  So it was a come-as-you-are party for lawyers.  The one time being a lawyer has been an advantage.

One of the rabbis asked, “how goes your month of cheerfulness and optimism?”

Uh oh, CLERGY is reading my blog.  Actually, that may, in a convoluted way, validate my sometimes sanctimonious attitude.

Wow, this month of optimism and cheerfulness is getting really, really awesome.