Well, 2016 is in full swing, holiday vacations are over, and it’s back to the grind. Somehow, two and a half weeks have passed since I last posted and I don’t know where the time went.
Anyway, I’m hoping everyone is enjoying the new year, although the post-holiday winter blahs usually sneak up right after the New Year and punch you/me in the gut. I’ve experienced them this year, but not to the same degree that I did back when I was in Indiana, the temperatures were in negatives, there was ice and snow on the ground, and I pretty much hated life. I can’t explain how much I don’t miss getting off work at 3am and walking across a three acre parking lot to get to my car while the wind rolling off the Indiana plains pretty much tore through me. Sure, it rains so much this time of year here in the Pacific Northwest that waterproof jackets aren’t really waterproof and I can’t go into the city to work without getting soaked to the bone, but at least it’s in the 40s, and I love the rain!
I’m now two weeks into my Judaism 101 class at the synagogue and I have to say – my mind is blown in the best possible way. I’m learning so much, and it’s fascinating to re-approach God and scriptures from a Jewish perspective. I’m learning quickly that, to properly understand and embrace Judaism, I have to slough off all of the Christian knowledge and traditions and beliefs and approach the subject matter with an open mind and heart. I’ve attended several Shabbat services now, and I’m feeling compelled to start observing Shabbat in our home, at least to some degree. Because I’m studying Judaism through the Reform movement, there aren’t the mandated requirements that Orthodox or Hasidic Jews would have to follow when it comes to Shabbat and other aspects of Jewish life. I’m loving what I’m learning, and the rabbi leading us is an intelligent, educated, funny woman, which I really appreciate. My husband has asked me several times if I’m converting and I honestly answer that I don’t know. It’s far too soon to know that for sure. Do I like what I’m learning? Yes. Do I feel connected to these people? Absolutely. Do I feel that I could find a spiritual home within Judaism? Absolutely. Do I have any inclination or desire to return to any form of Christianity at this point? Absolutely not.
In happy news, the Psoriatic Arthritis flare-up that has been making me miserable since November is finally under control, thanks to my new medicine (Cimzia), increased Methotrexate dosage, Prednisone, and my awesome new rheumatologist. He’s a great doctor and I finally feel like my hands are in good hands. This particular flare-up has been brutal, so relief is welcomed.
And then there’s writing – my fiction muse is alive and well. I have a story in my head screaming to get out. I’m slowly getting things down, but I have so much to do between work and all the homework for my Judaism class that I’m left with very little time to do anything else. There aren’t enough hours in the day, nor is there enough energy in my brain and body to have time to do everything.
Oh! Last thing! I had the privilege of getting to watch the USS John C. Stennis leave port at Naval Base Kitsap – Bremerton on Friday. We live across Sinclair Inlet from the base and shipyard, and the aircraft carrier was just departing as I headed to my doctor’s appointment, so I got to watch it for a bit. Such a cool experience, and I wish safe passage and a quick return home to the sailors and airmen aboard!