B. Shira Levine
Navigating new wilderness

Elul Day 2: Shofar in your face; physical health habits

Shofar: Instead of trying to find a venue to hear it, I decided to just blow the glass (vegan! non-smelly! from Israel!) one we have.  So I did, downstairs in the middle of my living room.  And then I went upstairs and blew it in the general direction of my husband and recently-awake 1-year-old.  Luckily, Emet laughed!  And then I went into my 3-year-old’s room and blew it in her face (reaction: “too loud! five more minutes!” — we have a threenager!)

Psalms: Our family sat briefly on the couch this evening while I sang Achat Sha’alti to everyone — mostly the traditional melody and Kirtan Rabbi’s. During this time, my husband smiled fondly at me as my daughter stood on the arm of the couch and repeatedly yelled “watch this!” and fell backwards; my son climbing all over me and trying to head butt me in the process.  I also am trying to listen to Jewish music only — so I listened to Joey Weisenberg today, focusing on psalms.

Accounting of Soul: During aforesaid couch psalm time, we also asked each other about something in our soul we’d like to change. I can’t remember what was said due to all the climbing and jumping, but everyone did answer.

Today was the second day of my juicing, and very illuminating about my terrible eating habits — nay, complete disregard for my physical health.

  • I am a vegetarian, which makes people think I am healthy for some reason. I am not. I eat complete garbage all the time. When we were considering moving to this location, I was worried about going to McDonald’s too much. I hardly ever went there.  I gradually increased my frequency of McDonald’s visits until I was going multiple times a week, getting my standard “buns and mustard” as my a cappella group calls it (cheeseburgers with no meat), and hot fudge sundaes.  There was a period of time where I had daily egg and cheese biscuits from Chick Fil-A too –they BUILT one right next to my house on the other side!  I also have zero regard for portion control.
  • I don’t exercise. Well, I walk some for Pokemon Go. But really, I don’t exercise.
  • I have never been a regular drinker, but for the past several months I’d go out 1-2 times a week and drink at least 3 drinks; and maybe drink 1-2 glasses of wine the other days of the week.
  • I was reasonably satisfied with a caffeine level of one coffee in the morning and one Coke zero in the afternoon.  That has exploded to … coffee continuously all morning until I switch to Coke Zero.
  • My sleep habits are bad — I use phone in bed, and I can’t sleep without medication and usually listening to a TV show on my headphones.

OK, well that’s it for today!  No deep conclusions here!  It’s actually really fun listing out a bunch of flaws, recognizing them as flaws, and not YET trying to fix them. I highly recommend… also will update you as it gets to the harder part.

About the Author
B. Shira Levine writes about Jewish spirituality and observance, parenting, intersectionality, and the U.S. and Atlanta Jewish communities. Views are her own and not those of her employer, synagogues, or any other organization.