Hail Jochebed

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. 

It’s been almost a month since my last blog. If only we Jews had a Hail Mary equivalent... Hail Jochebed (she was Moses' mom) or something similar to clean the slate with. The accumulation of unwritten blog posts must be carcinogenic.

I think about blogging every day and try not to feel guilty. But Jews have thousands of years of inbred guilt. Heard about a study out of Cambridge  that says genes can pass memory down through generations. That’s a relief for all of us modern Jewish parents who take everything personally. Maybe it won’t be me all by myself causing the kids to become neurotic. I have help from Sarah, Rachel, Leah, Abraham, Moses, Jonah. Not to mention The Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers. The list goes on.

I’m gearing up for my 2015 resolutions early. Number one resolution: Get rid of the guilt. If only guilt were like Ray Ban sunglasses – easy to lose. But it’s not. It’s more like trying to shake your arm off your body. Near impossible. (I suppose I should use a metaphor that’s actually achievable like shaking off a turtleneck.) No knives permitted.

But then why no knives? We live in a society that removes lots of unwanted shit with knives. Wrinkles. blubber, cancers. I’m pretty sure guilt is at the root of many wrinkles and food binges. If there was a cosmetic-type surgery available to remove guilt, people would pay for it. (I have so many great business ideas it’s ridiculous. If I just followed through on one of them. Like Tupperware coffins. Or snot as a renewable energy source. No patents yet. Please don’t steal.)

And then there’s the meditation route to the expulsion of unwanted thoughts. (Just so you’re prepared for what’s coming, I’m likely to talk about meditation a lot from hereon in). A couple of friends have begged me not to go into the light and get all woo woo. I suspect I have too many snarky, skeptical, hyperactive, neurotic Jewy genes for that to happen. Although look at Jon Kabbat Zinn. He’s a Jew, genetically speaking, although he claims not to practice. His guided meditations sound like Woody Allen could be doing them.

I’ve meditated, more or less mindfully, every day since September 15th. Every day. I’m up to 20 minutes of hanging out with my breath and gently dragging my wandering wayward ass back to the moment. Not exactly sure what’s so great about the moment but that’s where I'm supposed to be. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I’m a calmer person. Everything’s relative, but I said calmer, not calm. For example, I knocked over a glass yesterday and it shattered. A zilllion tiny shards across the kitchen. In the past I would have done a freak out dance before “handling” any crisis big or small, but instead I just calmly picked them all up.

Don’t be sad about the loss (I hope it's lost) of the freak out dance. It wasn’t all that pretty or creative. I’ll replace it with something better and let you know.

The festival of lights and gallons of oil starts tomorrow night - a deep fried latke week. Good time to dump the guilt.

Happy Hannukah!


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