Those Annoying Thoughts I Have
This morning I was dropping 4-year-old Yaakov off at gan when I saw another boy getting dropped off by his older sisters. I know that other boy’s mother, she is my older daughter’s principal. And not only that. She is an excellent principal. With just the perfect combination of passion for education, love for her students, and a thick skin to make her very, very good at what she does.
And just thinking of her, and her major contribution to educating the next generation of Jewish girls, made me feel bad about myself.
I have a BA, I have an MA, I’m a smart person with certain abilities. And what am I doing with those abilities? Taking care of errands, phone calls, and doctors visits in the morning (with a bit of blogging squeezed in) and hanging out in the playground, and then in the kitchen (feeding and then cleaning and then feeding again) most of the afternoon.
And then a really funny thing happened.
Later this morning, I had to pick something up for my husband in Kiryat Belz, and I saw a Belzer woman walking home from the grocery store pushing her shopping cart. And I noticed that in her cart she had 8 bags of flour. I imagined the hours she would spend today baking challos and cakes, filling her apartment, and even the hall outside her apartment, with that heavenly, fresh-baked smell which is such a rarity in the Weisberg home.
And just thinking of her, and all her home-baked goods, made me feel bad about myself.
It’s kind of like it never ends. Seeing this woman, and seeing that woman. And feeling badly because this one has a career and I don’t. And this one makes her own challas, and I don’t.
I think stuff like this all the time, but I am noticing it more now because I am taking Rabbi Nivin’s new “Belief Notebook” chabura. In this chabura, every day we need to write down a disempowering experience we had. And then write down the false belief that caused us to feel disempowered, followed by the true, empowering belief which would make us see how silly we are to get so down on ourselves all the time.
For example, my belief notebook entry today was about the principal.
I wrote, “False belief: True success, fulfillment, and meaningful contribution to the world only come from employment outside of the home.”
Then I wrote, “True belief: I can be a successful, fulfilled person who makes a contribution to the world through caring for my family and myself and pursuing projects from my home.”
The goal of this chabura is that we will create a “Belief Notebook” containing our false beliefs followed by the true beliefs, which we can review whenever those same old, same old disempowering thoughts come up.
Sounds good. I hope it works. I really need it!