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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Life Before Blogging

Life Before Blogging

This time of year has always been one of self-assessment for me. With both Rosh Hashana and my birthday right around the corner I can't help but take stock of my life and try to strategize about how to make the coming year a better one. I call it my "Jew Year's Resolutions."

One of the smartest things I ever did (at the recommendation of a dear friend and former teacher) was to write a list of fifty things I want for myself. The directions were pretty ambiguous - it could things I want to accomplish, material things, personal development, experiences I want to have - nothing could be too big or too small but they had to be about me. I really didn't think I would be able to come up with 50 things but in time I did. Days later I handed the list back to this teacher he took it and without reading it tore it up.

"Do it again!" he said smiling.

I was pretty surprised at his reaction, but I did do it again - from memory - it was much easier the second time around but I was pretty sure the list had changed - some things had dropped away (mostly the filler ideas I used to make the full fifty) while others became more prominently featured and detailed on this list.

When I called the teacher to let him know I had rewritten the list and liked it even better than the original list he said "Great! Let's make it even better!"

So I ripped that one up too and did it again.

My third list was the truth, what I really wanted out of life. My teacher never asked to see that list. In fact no one has ever seen it.
These days I rarely look at that list but an amazing thing has happened since I wrote that list six years ago... Whether consciously or unconsciously I've been continuously chipping away at that list. I'll have to dig it up and see for certain but I'd wager that I'm already more than half way through it and considering writing a second round of fifty. I thought this list would take me my whole life to get through but I see now that setting goals is what leads to accomplishing them.

One of my goals was to write a book supporting Orthodox Jewish women.
In my experience I've found that frum women make life so much harder on themselves than they need to, all the while keeping their suffering silent and I think...I hope... I may have something to offer to my peers based on my own experiences and the experiences others have shared with me over the years. Yes I'm well aware that frum men suffer unduly as well - maybe I can get some guest posters to help me out there- I already have ideas in mind.

ANYWAY, I actually did start writing this book shortly after I wrote that list of 50, but I lost confidence - or I ran out of steam.... Now, I realize that putting these ideas out in an open forum like a blog is even better!
In fact it's something I've been doing here and there at Ask Shifra for a while now without even realizing it and I think it's time to kick it up a notch.

I hope to start posting some of the essays that I've written in the past and penning some new ones as well. I look forward to sharing and developing my ideas about what it means to be a Frum woman in today's world with all my readers male and female alike and as always I look forward to your comments.



At 5:02 PM, Blogger Elie said...

That sounds excellent. I'm sure it will be some of your deepest and most interesting blogging.

The list of 50 goals is a great idea. I'm a list kind of guy myself; I should try one.

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

That sounds like a wise teacher. I wouldn't even know where to start such a list... which is probably why I should consider making one.

I'm really curious to see the essays... looking forward. One thing I've noticed about blogging is that to some extent, the well thought out, well-written pieces seem to cease to exist (even as some of us become better writers). It will be nice to see some of that...

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous the one who will become known said...

The one <---- Has no idea what Ezzie is talking about...

NICE! I'm looking fwd to it Shifra... I don't really understand what you mean by
In my experience I've found that frum women make life so much harder on themselves than they need to, all the while keeping their suffering silent

Can you explain what you mean more?

At 3:35 AM, Anonymous h2oil said...

it was interesting to know how a real goal list come to be...will have to work out mine and stick to it now...
thanks :)

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Methinks my previous comments was incredibly unclear. Ah well. :)

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...


At 8:42 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

I'd really recommend the list of 50 to any adult try it and get back to me - see if it doesn't rev you up to get things done!

The one - I do hope to explain more as time goes on.

Ezzie - did you mean that there isn't a lot of "good writing" on the blogs since all of us are just churning stuff out between meetings or loads of laundry?
That's true for some but I see plenty of good writing on the web.

At 3:26 AM, Blogger muse said...

So, am I wasting my life blogging?

It started as an extention to my writing which needed more outlets.


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