Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Caring for the Self

So April hasn't exactly gone as planned. This month was supposed to be about learning how to bartend, mix drinks, man the crowds. Projects were lined up and canceled at the last minute, much to my disappointment and dismay. But the show must go on.

We all know my dreams of shadowing an aquarium animal specialist/diver or a zoo keeper for a month didn't work out. And believe me, I tried. I called the National Aquarium in Washington, DC, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, and the National Zoo in DC. They all have, get this, a 100 hour minimum volunteer policy and a time frame of at least a year. Unless you are a college student with free Sundays or a retiree, who else is eligible to volunteer for you? Why is it so hard to just go and watch someone do their job and learn about it? I would love to have someone come and shadow me for a day and see how the consulting world works or how to manage two kids under the age of four for thirty hours alone. And how does the aquarium or zoo know if I could be one of those undercover millionaires like they show on TV looking to donate. Trust me, if I could get in there for a few days and just watch them work, I'd be more than happy to make a small donation to their organization. Free labor and money, who in this day and age would turn that down?

Guess there is something to be said for television cameras.

Anyway, so in between planning May's public speaking extravaganza which is turning out to be quite a handful, I decided to dedicate April to self care. A friend of mine recently did 31 days of self care for the month of March and that inspired me. When do I have time for a pedicure? To go shopping for a new dress for the Passover holiday? It was also about celebrating the experience of being a woman. I had my eye brows done for the first time in 32 years. Something most of my friends began in high school! I bought some new eco-friendly and non-toxic make up. Formaldehyde-free nail polish and mascara that doesn't contain tar. Yes, ladies, read your labels. I had my haircut per my semi-annual schedule into a new style and even ordered some new curl gel. A lady can dream of curl control, can't she?

But the highlight of my month so far, which is quickly coming to an end, has been a visit to such a beautiful Jewish ritual bathhouse (also known as a mikveh in the Jewish world) in my hometown of Boston, MA. Actually, Mayyim Hayyim is located in Newton, MA and is just a wonderfully designed and warm place for women to experience such an elevated act. For the many reasons people turn to the mikveh, monthly rituals or other life cycle events, this mikveh elevates those moments in its beauty, design and peaceful presence. Stay tuned for more on my experience at Mayyim Hayyim when I serve as a guest blog on their website coming soon.

And alas, May is creeping into my mind with next week's arrival. I have a public d'var torah (speech during a Saturday shabbat service) at my synagogue planned for May 14th and another for Ohev's plaque presentation for earning the ENERGY STAR label on May 16th. I am also working on an article for the Brandeis magazine on my baking shadow month, a guest blog on Mayyim Hayyim and another guest blog for the Committee on Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) based on my ENERGY STAR accomplishments with Ohev. Did I mention we are the first synagogue in the USA to earn this distinction? Very cool indeed. So, already as you can see, I will sure have my hands full next month. With a few days left in April, maybe its time for me to slip into some cozy slippers and have a hot cup of tea to take in the relaxation before the fear of public speaking becomes my next task to tackle in front of a huge crowd of people in their underwear (if only).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Onward and upward

Dear Blog,

I haven't forgotten about you. Nor my steep task at hand. I have been working so hard on so many projects, sometimes I fear I have bitten off more than I can chew. Here I am, less than a week before Passover, and in between the plane trip planning to Boston (Go Red Sox!) and the hustle and bustle of work, here I am in the throws of April with my blog project screaming for attention.

I will not let April become the forgotten month. Progress will be made. Bartending is the theme for April and with two wonderful bartenders at my service, I have gigs lined up for Saturday and Sunday nights of this week alone. How much serving I can do is still yet to be determined due to liability and regulations. But the fun of being in the bar, learning from the masters at hand and helping where possible, entices me. The loud music and flashing lights of a club always result in a good time but to me, a hometown Boston gal, the appeal of the local bar with the folks relaxing to laid back tunes is also a fine environment. More on the bar scene to come.

For now, I am typing away trying to make a deadline to be featured in Brandeis Magazine as part of an issue featuring food. My baking month is being highlighted for efforts shadowing an alum. I am also working on pulling together a plaque presentation for my synagogue's ENERGY STAR certification and coordinating May as public speaking month where I grapple on several occasions with my fear of speaking before a crowd, both large and small. But alas, I am ahead of myself.

So fear not, I am busying myself with all this all encompassing assignment and remaining true to this project in my 8th month. Passover in all of its glory will not delay the departure of this train. I will fit in serving a few beers, or watching drinks be served and learning more of the behind the scenes of the bartenders world. So off I go in my scheduling, writing and planning. The plane tripping and family consumption of the mandatory matzah will be mixed in as well. Perhaps the mix of Passover and bartending has a real connection underneath it all. You know, the 4 cups of wine being served by someone else at the table to signify royalty to a people who were once slaves. A night out at the bar made complete by a tender serving up a frosted glass bottle or a fruity drink with an umbrella to celebrate a night out with friends.

So the blog world continues and so shall our relationship. If not for another 4 months or so. Then who knows what will become of these thoughts, these experiences and these dreams once I hit 33. Perhaps a book. Perhaps a slip back into the every day life. Perhaps a continuation of finding my niche in this crazy world of possibilities. What I do know is that I am getting ahead of myself. Its only April and spring is still deciding whether it wants to come this week. August seems so far away so I will remain with my clinking glasses and bowls of snacks and prep for my upcoming night at the bar.