I am so tired tonight but I wanted to write about the good things that have happened or are happening here. It is a wonderful feeling to know that good things are going on, even as there are pockets of sadness and grief around me.
My neighbor’s 16-year-old Akita, one of the gentlest dogs I’ve ever met, died today. We are sad for their family and ours–we’ll miss him too–yet for the first time, I don’t feel my own happiness over recent good tidings diminished.
The first bit of very good news is that we did receive the financial aid we asked for. This is an incredible relief. We try to make ends meet on one salary and my husband is certainly not a highly paid doctor or lawyer or similar professional. But I am so pleased that we can still provide a Jewish education for our children. It is so important to me that they have this strong start, this confident identity as they begin their school careers.
The second bit of good news is that I am gaining some perspective on the rabbi issue. I have not seen him in weeks and this is okay with me. I think that perhaps I need to be very, very, very direct with him. I think perhaps I was expecting him to have a greater sensitivity or a more perceptive sense of people than perhaps he really has.
I think I need to decide if I’m going to continue to fall through the cracks or not, and if not, then I have to make myself visible and heard. If he offers to give me a referral list of Jewish counselors, then I need to ask him exactly when he might have that for me. I think I need to pin him down, metaphorically speaking. I think I need to think in terms of tasks and deadlines with him.
I also think I need to figure out exactly what I need from him, from shul, from my shul community. October is coming fast and I need to prepare for the inevitable downturn that will accompany it. There is the possibility that it won’t be so bad this year, but in 22 years it has been hard, so I expect the worst and hope for the best.
Meanwhile my painting art therapy is going well and almost complete. I will have a whole new room within a week or two. I love to go out there now and just enjoy the colors and looking out the windows. I think when it is finished, it would be a nice place to daven.
So this is maybe my homework. My rabbi often invites people to come see him before he is too overwhelmed preparing for the High Holy Days, to talk about the past year or what they envision for the coming one. If I can figure out exactly what I need from him and from the shul, what do I need when I walk into the building on Shabbat or a holiday or whenever, then I can meet with him and tell him. I might even take relevant parts of What would I want my rabbi to know Part I and bring them with me.
I see my counselor this week. Maybe this is a good thing to work on. And yes, my high expectations. Those aren’t going away any time soon I don’t think, so they will be there to talk about. Ayelet is right that those often come from not being or feeling good enough. I know that feeling well. I grew up with it.
B’ezrat Hashem, I will have more good news on my other anxieties soon.