Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Deja vu all over again

היום חמשה עשר יום שהם שני שבועות ויום אחד בעמר
Today is the fifteenth day, making two weeks and one day of the omer
חסד שבתפארת
A day of loving kindness in a week of compassion

I'm feeling a sense of deja vu pertaining to my service to my Jewish community. I'm connecting the time now to the era in my life when I was at the threshold of my career as an editor, working at NBC in New York.

I see repeating patterns in the way I'm being treated and how I am reacting to that treatment. I understand how I need to work with what power I have--in the first case, as a union worker who can't be fired without VERY good cause; in the second, as a congregant who is a free agent and can choose to walk away. With the first experience, I learnt how to navigate a bureaucracy, and how to use memos to document my side of the issues. Those skills come in handy now, albeit on a smaller scale, with emails replacing memos.

I'm not going to go into details here--this is not the correct forum. I can report that one advantage of age is gaining perspective on the history of one's life and hopefully, taking in the lessons contained therein. But all of my years don't prevent my emotional reactions when buttons are pushed.

I will take the lesson of this day of loving kindness and compassion to realize that it is because I care about doing everything to the highest level, whether it's editing a news show or coordinating a religious service, that brings out this passion. And while I need to maintain a mindfulness of not hurting anyone with the barbs that strong emotion can bring, I can also use that passion to bolster my inner strength against those who wish to keep me from moving forward. That did not succeed thirty years ago, and it's not going to happen now.

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