Oy, What Happened?

universe closed

This is an actual road sign from Albuquerque, New Mexico, which a friend of mine posted on Facebook a little while ago.  It is a real traffic sign about two main boulevards (see here).  And in some ways it is appropriate.  I need to use Rainbow….

I have this plan of blogging the process of our congregation and the history around its early years as a form of documentation.  It’s to serve several purposes.  One is simple history.  Use the great and available technology that is here to record what and how and when as it happens so we have a permanent record for those who come later and want to know these things.  We can, so we should.  The whole new meaning of are we “saved.”

Another reason is as a means of simple communication with our members and friends – so that they and we know what is happening as it is happening.  It helps people get to know us.  That’s important.  We want people to join us – but we know that not everyone is looking for what our congregation offers.  Yes, we know it is great for us, but we need to remember that there are many people for whom inclusive, spiritual, family-friendly, musical, and welcoming are not what they are seeking.  And that is OK.  By reading the blog, people get a better sense of who we are and how we are different from what congregations were like in the “old days.”  Some of the very blogs I need to write now will address those very issues.

So why haven’t they been written already?  Good question.  Excellent question, in fact.  One I am asking myself as I write this one….  How did it happen that I did NOT blog the past 6-7 weeks as they happened?  Well…….

I do not have a good answer, actually, so it is time to play catch up.  There will be many blogs in a few days (I sure hope) to get us back on track.  Because SO much has happened since I penned Through the Eyes of My Students back in May.  Oy.  So here are some of the topics I plan to cover in short order: (I’ll come back and link them here as they are published)

  1. Our First Seders
  2. Organizing and Cleaning the Temple
  3. Settling with the Old Temple
  4. Interfaith Memorial Day
  5. Being Selected as an Inspiring Rabbi
  6. Our First Bar Mitzvah Celebration
  7. Heart and Pocket Commitments
  8. Shavuot – Torah is Received
  9. Orlando, Port Saint Lucie, Muslims, Jews, and Christians
  10. Finishing the Dissertation – and Defending It: Call Me Dr.

As you can see, there is much that I should have been writing and have not.  Yes, my plate was full.  When is it not?  Yes, I traveled to Salt Lake City in May for a few days for a conference as I do every year, so nothing unusual there.  So what happened?

Well, something that threatens to happen all the time.  My plate did become just a little too full and I did push some things to the edge.  Blogging was one of those things.  Blogging is important, but when the time crunch came, it was not urgent.  Urgent are those things that are time bound – they HAVE to be done by a certain time or else.  Grades being submitted by the deadline are urgent.  They are also important because they matter for the students taking the courses.  So that function was not optional.  Blogging, as i am now clearly demonstrating, can be delayed and brought back up to speed at a later time.  Thus it falls into the important, but not urgent category.

On the other hand, phone calls are urgent and not always important.  A man I knew in Tucson taught me about that.  He used to call me 4-5 times each day to tell me how he was haunted by evil people who made his life miserable.  Sometimes he wrote me letters which he either mailed to me or slipped me before or after services.  There was no logic to when he would call.  He would call me at 4AM to tell me he could not sleep.  He taught me to turn off the ringer on my house phone and how to set special ring tones on my cell phone.  He also taught me not to run for the ringing of the phone.  If I did not catch the phone by the fourth ring, I would miss the call – it was urgent.  But if it was at 4AM to (again) inform me that he could not sleep because he (again) had restless leg or flatulence, it was not important enough to warrant ruining my night’s sleep over.

There are also things that not urgent that are also not important – Facebook often falls into that category, but not always.  Sometimes it is important to give yourself the connection – just not for hours without a break.  Email and other “busy work” fall into the same category.  We all know things that fall into the “what I do to distract myself” category.

Time management teaches us that we need to do the Urgent-Important first, then some amount of Urgent-not important and some amount of Important-not urgent as time permits, doing only as much not important-not urgent as fits our schedule and needs or wants.  So when the Urgent-Important became huge thanks to a confluence of Pesach (Passover), the end of the semester, and the completion of my dissertation, blogging was invited to wait.

So for a while, Universe was closed for me.  I am now getting on Rainbow to go back to May, when I should have been blogging about many other things that were starting to slide by.  Come join me before I head off to Arizona for the graduation ceremony…….

Thanks for reading,

Shafir

 

 

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