No Music– More talking (but of course, No lashon Harah)

I often wondered what having no music over Sfirat Haomer has to do with the message of the time. of course, it makes us, (me, me) miserable, but so could many other restrictions. Why music?

This restriction has a modern day effect only a Navi could have foreseen. On the school bus each morning and evening, most people who aren’t chatting listen to music. It’s a wonderful way to recharge for the work ahead.

You have no idea how much more sociable the bus was last Monday. At first, everyone was simply kvetching and commiserating. Those who could swapped recommendations for a capella. But by the end of the long ride, everyone was chatting happily.

Even I was drawn in. Why? Though I had an audiobook to listen to– my headphones broke over Pesach cleaning! So while at first it began with some harmless conversations about ‘G-d doesn’t want to make us miserable, so obviously there’s a point to this.’ (Which, by the way, is my motto during Sfira. We’re supposed to learn from the experience.)

And yet, (gasp), yesterday I talked the entire ride home with a friend. In my defence, I was hyper and off the wall and she’s leaving for seminary next year, but still.

During Sfira, it’s nice to see that a restriction can no only upset us, but serve as a springboard for growth. In this case, the growth is in the exact area we need to improve during this time.

May our efforts in increased achdus during these days bring us to Shavout in the Bais Ha’mikdash, SOON!

A public thank you 1

A thank you to the girl who not only complemented my headband, but actually started a discussion about knitting and how it looked store-bought. I had been a little nervous about the colors and shape, so it was nice to hear.

I’m ashamed to admit that I was a little impatient– I had to run to class. But I very much appreciated the comment and I’m glad to publicly let her know.

(Great) Hair Day

I walked into school today for the first time with a major haircut I got over the break. Truth be told, I was a bit nervous, but I couldn’t exactly stick it all back on, right?

It would have been normal for everyone to comment. But not only did almost everyone I know everyone point it out– they all had something nice to say! Which tells you a lot about my former ‘style’ :)…

…but also a lot about how nice my ‘school-mates’ are. (And the teachers.)

Negotiation and compromise

A story, basically word for word as submitted by a younger reader. (Some minor grammatical fixes.)

Once I had an argument with a couple of friends about where we should play for recess. I lost the argument, but someone from their group said he’ll  play a little later. He came to me and said “I see your point but I also see theirs”. He persuaded me to talk to them and we got along. He has a heart of chesed.

Words that ‘stick’ to the heart

Someone’s having a hard day and you can’t think of anything encouraging to tell them?
Write a nice note and stick it on their desks. Tell them what a wonderful person they are. Don’t even mention the problems. Giving your name is optional. Just tell them how great they are and how much you appreciate what they do.
It’s saved my day so many times– you will feel great, and they will feel even better.

Tired of ‘You look TIRED!’

A friend of mine recently embarked on a rather major project– involving quite a few late nights. After a few of those, even the most poker face will acquire droopy eyes and a yawn.

So I had some sympathy, and I asked her, “You look exhausted! How are you feeling?”

“Oh, you… hi! Yeah, maybe just a little. But you’ve gotta be the twentieth person to ask me that today. Do I really look that tired?”

Don’t tell her that the answer to that is a resounding ‘yes!’

!מי כעמך, ישראל Far better to have too much sympathy than none at all.