Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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Soaring Like Beagle and Other Holiday Angst

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Image courtesy of picgifs.com (and I’m pretty sure Charles Schulz deserves some credit)

As I’ve written time and time again, Dr. Oz loves meditation and introduced me to my homeboy Deepak Chopra or Deeps as I affectionately like to call him.  I’m currently reading one of Deeps’ earlier books, “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire”.  As I’ve been voraciously reading the book, I found, in parts, that I had to suspend my own skepticism and embrace things that I usually find to bordering on hooey.  There are many wonderful parts of the book including a very true equation for luck.  If you decide to pick up the book, you’ll find it on page 123, “Opportunity + Preparedness = Good Luck”.  So true – I can tell you that I’ve been told, that I’m pretty lucky when it comes to finding jobs, or rather having jobs find me.  Au contraire, my freres – it’s all part of the divine equation that Deeps laid out so succinctly in his book.  I believe that Randy Pausch also highlighted this very fact in one of the best books ever written – “The Last Lecture”.  There is some degree of the universe helping me out, but most luck that I’ve experienced is self-generated, where opportunity met preparedness.

Yes, there are many amazing parts to the book and he breaks down meditation, providing this klutzy meditator with some tools to help me increase my health with this Oz approved practice, but there is some stuff that’s just beyond me.  He lost me with identifying archetypes.  I think mine may be a princess of some small nation like Denmark.  Mostly because you get all of the benefits of British Royalty (like a lovely tiara and some travel) with none of the crazy stalkers and paparazzi following you around.  I have a feeling that’s not what he’s thinking about though.  Then came the moment that I realized that I may lack the depth to pursue my goal of listening to the vibrations of the universe…In one of the blondest moments of my life, I read, “Become an eagle; experience the world as a soaring bird” (page 162) as “Become a beagle…”.   Yes, I pondered the statement and was wondering if it was possible to experience life as everyone’s favourite beagle – Snoopy.  A good five minutes of thinking later, I re-read the sentence, and boy, did I feel like a dummy.  I’ll keep trying, but I’m not so sure I’ll ever get this stuff right.  My good friend gave me a Chopra Centre gift card so that will definitely help!

You know, Dr. Oz has a huge section on how to avoid weight gain and to enjoy the holidays in a healthy way. I’m going to spend some time reading them and reporting back, but I think it’s also one of those times of year when maybe, it’s ok to say, I’m just going to give in to the dark side. I love seeing my friends and family during the festive season, but I, like many think that maybe we are taking the commercialization a little bit too far.  I celebrate Chanukah and for the most part, appreciate the simplicity of the holiday.  I was in a book store yesterday and saw a doll called “Mensch on a Bench”.  Instead of being amused by this “Elf on a Shelf” take off, I was a little taken aback.  Christmas and all of the trappings are great and meaningful if that’s the holiday that you celebrate, but Chanukah is the “Festival of Lights” – all you need is a Menorah and maybe a dreidel or two and you are good to go.  We don’t have an equivalent to Santa Claus – there is not Hanukah Harry, so Mensch on a Bench makes me feel like we are having a “me too – see, we can be fun” kind of moment.  I’m not religious in any way shape or form, but I don’t believe that we have to shape things in a certain way in order to enjoy the holidays and the more simple celebrations are just as meaningful.  I love the Christmas decorations and nobody sings a Christmas Carol better than Kelly Clarkson.  I love going to Christmas parties and joining in the fun of the season, but I am happy with the traditions that I grew up with too and have never felt that I was missing out on anything by having Chanukah. What could be better than Chinese Food and a movie on December 25th? OY VEY – is all I have to say about this Mensch on a Bench business.  Just enjoy yourself, no matter what holiday you celebrate.

Today, I’m grateful that I got to spend time with my family to celebrate the festival.  We went to visit our cousin who had a little accident and it was just nice to be together, even if it was in a hospital.  I’m grateful to my poor mother for pushing through back pain to prepare the best latkes ever and for always making the holiday about what’s important no matter what religion you are – spending time with loved ones.


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Merry Christmas – Yes I’m Going to Say It

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I decided to go for the obvious…just in time for the holidays – I’ll be writing about all that’s fun and fabulous about the most wonderful time of the year.  This Jewess is going to check out what her favourite Muslim, Dr. Oz has to say about surviving the holidays – everything from healthy gift giving, spending time with loved ones, staying cold and flu free during the festive season and just anything that will inspire you to live a healthier life in 2015.  This is the last month of my year of living Oz-ily, and I’m getting a little teary-eyed.  It went by so very fast and I’ve loved writing for all of you, so for the first time, I’m not signing off with what I am grateful for – I’m opening with it.  I’m grateful to all of you for sticking with me this year.

Now on to my little soap box.  Our holiday, Chanukah will end just before Christmas – or as we like to say in our family, my sister Donna’s birthday.  Even though I do not celebrate it, I fully support and will wish anyone that I know who does partake – a very Merry Christmas.  There is nothing offensive to me about letting someone celebrate their holiday and I think it’s about time that we stop being so politically correct.  Wishing someone a happy holiday is just generic and should only be done if you don’t know what holiday the person in question celebrates.

Have we become so afraid of offending anyone that we end up offending everyone?  Let people enjoy their festive season.  What’s next – Santa Claus will be put on a diet and we’ll stop calling him “Jolly Old St. Nick” to “the very happy, mature Mr. Nicolas” because we don’t want to offend senior citizens?  I’m surprised Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is still popular, it clearly shows favouritism since Santa asked him with his nose so bright to guide his sleigh tonight.  Dasher, Dancer and Prancer’s parents are still complaining about it to the North Pole District School Board.  Are we going to be “Rocking Around the Holiday Tree?”  Is “Away in a Manager” going to be changed to “Away in Community Housing” since we don’t want to imply that there is any type of religious messaging in that Christmas Carol?

I think it’s time that we all stop being Scrooges, Grinches and the such.  I’m hoping that you are going to wish me a Happy Chanukah, because I’m definitely wishing all of my friends who celebrate it a very Merry Christmas and tough Christmas cookies if you don’t like it.