Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Balancing Act

היום ארבעה עשר יום שהם שני שבועות לעמר
Today is fourteen days, which is two weeks, of the omer
מלכות שבגבורה
A day of majesty in a week of strength

As I start the third week of the omer the count is going well but the writing practice is challenging. I'm in a very busy work period at the moment. Three projects that were slated to happen one after the other all converged to be happening at the same time. I don't want to complain, especially in these hard economic times. But I'm only one person and there are only so many hours in a day, only so many days in a week. I'm managing to keep everyone happy and on schedule, although it is at the expense of my rest time and the time spent on this writing practice.

Which brings up the issue of practice in one's life--how to set priorities, how to find balance. I work in a business that can be 24/7, depending on the specifics of the job. When I began to take on Jewish practice, Shabbat was the first observance I took on. It was interesting to watch my non-Jewish clients be very respectful of my stand to not work on Saturdays, while the Jews couldn't figure out why I was keeping to what they considered to be an anachronistic ritual. But it felt good to stop each week no matter what was happening around me--to make a stand for my time to pray, to rest, to revitalize--body and soul.

This practice of blogging the omer is not as concrete as keeping kosher or not working on Shabbat. It is a practice that is particular to me, not a tribal custom. Yet it has its own importance and needs to be honored. And so I carve out some time during the day to write, time that could and maybe should be spent on other things that would be more productive and/or more lucrative.

Keeping to a practice has its own rewards that are not always apparent in the moment. That is certainly true during this omer period. I can say that I am learning that finding balance is not always dependent on equality of time. It's more like the balance of a board on a point--its balance come from equal weight on each side. But sometimes, when the weight is unequal, you just need to move the fulcrum.

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