I just got back from spending the first half of this wonderful three-day weekend up North (north of where is up to you to know!). I figured I’d get ahead on the routine and give myself a break from blogging tomorrow.
Day 16: Create a Budget: I signed up for one of those websites. Hah, ironically when my bank account does not look so good. It will look much better by this Friday (pay day!).Hopefully this is a step on a good path to better and wiser financial planning. I’ve always been good and careful with budgets, but now that I’m paying for a lot more out of my own bank account now that I’m not on a meal plan and have to pay rent, I need all of the organization help I can get.
Day 17: Talk to 3 strangers: Hah, when I read this one on the first day I was excited to do the Fight Club version: get into a fight with three strangers, but it turns out talking to three strangers is pretty cool. This weekend I spent Shabbat about an hour and a half’s subway/bus trip away, and talked to not three, but around 10 new strangers. With the three year old, I talked about how knee pads are good for bike safety and how I live in a neighborhood that is very far south. With the five year old, I complemented her shoes and she complemented my skirt, and I also told her about how I live in a neighborhood that is very far south. With the seven year old, I had to explain why I lived outside of my parents’ house even though I wasn’t married, why I went to college away from my parents, why I wasn’t married yet, why I didn’t have children, and the details of the weekly Torah portion. I had a wonderful dinner with the Rabbi and Rabbanit of the congregation, in which we discussed Jewish philosophy. The next day I got to meet someone with whom I discussed cleaning out bookshelfs and old books we liked while growing up (Ramona Quimby is a hit! I stayed quiet about my love of Phillip Pullman books as it received a verbal lashing). This weekend I really went out of my comfort zone, maybe more than I would have by just striking up conversations (I did this Thursday night as I took the subway home from a bar with some law students, but we had been introduced by a mutual acquaintance beforehand). This time I went to a community completely different from mine, slept and ate at a home that isn’t my own, and had to commit to being there 25+ hours in advance. I’ve done this a few times in the past few years in various parts of the world (well, okay, three), and it has been great to see other communities for the most part – the only completely nightmarish Shabbat was when I decided to spend Shabbat in Tzfat when I studied abroad in Israel last year. After the really cool first few hours in which I got to take a tour of the beautiful city and got to hear a really great, non-crazy lecture on Kabbalah, I had an awkward wardrobe malfunction, got followed around town by a sketchy man offering to host me for “drinks,” got followed around by another couple related to said wardrobe malfunction (more of a “shame on you” following-around than a “hey baby let’s get drinks” following-around), had dinner with a family that objected to “Arab-Lovers,” felt lovesick/homesick, et cetera et cetera et cetera, so that memory generally makes me think twice now about accepting or pursuing invitations to spend Shabbat anywhere not within walking distance of my apartment since once you’re there you’re there, but this time it was wonderful and I am really glad and thankful that I had this opportunity.