My 20/20 Resolution

My 20/20 Resolution

When I went to sleep last night it was 2019, and when I woke up this morning it was 2020.
But except for the change in the date in the corner of my computer screen, the new year went completely unnoticed in my religious Jerusalem neighborhood. No New Year parties, champagne, greetings, etc.
But, nonetheless, this morning, I was thinking about this new calendar year, and about how much I would love, this year, to enter 20/20. A year of clear vision.
And in particular, I would like to gain clarity about a particular issue I struggle with a lot–self-esteem.
So it’s fortunate that for the last few weeks, Rabbi Nivin has been discussing how commonly we human beings base our self-esteem on the wrong things (by the way, mazal tov! This month marks my 10th year as a Nivinite!:)
That means that a woman might feel bad about herself because she thinks–I’m not organized/thin/successful/calm enough. Or because she thinks she’s not a good enough wife/mother/daughter/Jew.
But the truth, Rabbi Nivin explains, is that the only thing we how power over, and thus the only thing we should actually base our self-esteem on, is our effort. We are responsible for our effort alone, since the impact of our effort, whether our effort succeeds or flops, isn’t in our hands.
And that’s the mistake I make constantly. I feel bad about myself because nothing in my life, however hard I work at it, ever seems to be 100%. My mothering, my waistline, my floors and counters, my moods and my thoughts.
So my 20/20 resolution is–to TRY…
To not feel bad about the weight I gained over Chanukah. But, rather, feel good that I kept my diet yesterday, and am trying to be thin.
To not feel bad that my house is messy after a lot of hosting. But rather, to feel good that I cleaned my kitchen this morning and had a cleaning lady over yesterday, and am trying to get my house in order.
To not feel bad that I’m a distracted mother lots of the time. But rather, to feel good that I read Yoni a bedtime story every night, and am trying to be with my kids when I’m with them.
Happy 20/20, to one and all!


  1. Todah Chanah Jenny for your inspiring post. I’ve been feeling down lately that my house is always disorganized no matter what I do. Our entire family isn’t as observant as I’d like us to be. Homeschool is always getting interrupted and railroaded. You reminded me that I am responsible for my effort and intention. The outcome is in the hands of HaShem. I also remember from your interview recently that I need to write down 10 successful things I accomplish each day (no matter how small), and ask what is the next step in Avodat HaShem.
    Sorry this post is a bit choppy. I have a houseful of sick kids today.


    • oy, refuah shlema!
      and by the way, I decided to change my 10 accomplishments to 10 things I tried to accomplish, even if it didn’t work out

  2. I’ve been to your house, although it was quite a while ago, and I thought it was a very comfortable and nice place to be, not messy, just normal. If that helps. I feel like if I go somewhere that is super neat I’m just worried I’ll break something! So now that I have my own home I also try not to keep it too neat because I feel like it makes it more comfortable that way. I think sometimes what is meant to be “perfect” is not the best (I remember Rebbetzin Mina Gordon said something about parenting that was similar in a comment on your blog and I still think about it, how wise it was). I really like it how honest you are about these things. I hope it helps us all to avoid unnecessary stress over these things and concentrate on what matters the most. I really appreciate learning that from this blog in the years that I’ve been reading it, even before becoming a mother myself.

  3. Hi, b”H, I watched the Siyum HaShas yesterday live streamed. I don’t have words for the hakaras hatov I feel to HaShem for guiding me back to Yiddishkeit and to Him. One of the speakers was Rav Yissachar Frand, a Rosh Yeshiva in Baltimore. Reading this blog, I’m reminded of a truth he repeated several times, in relation to our tendency to judge ourselves for not being “perfect”. He said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good”! Holding idealized images of who we “should” be and how things “should” look, feeling it’s never “good enough”, makes it impossible to do and be the “good” we already are!
    Thank you for your blog!

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