Monday, November 28, 2005

The Bane Of My Existence

Raking leaves is the bane of my existence. Even worse than the actual raking and bagging is the feeling of obligation to complete this task; especially when bags of leaves are already lining the curbs next to neighboring houses. Raking leaves, like mowing the grass, shoveling snow, or vacuuming the house, all seem to be tasks that rob me of time. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe once said, "The world says that time is money, I say that time is life."

With a birthday coming up next month, someone asked me what I would like as a present. I responded with my standard answer, "More time."

Looking back at my blog archives, I noticed that I have written quite a few postings on the subject of time. It appears to be appears to be a reoccurring theme in my writing.

Below are a few of my postings on this topic

The best 2 ½ hours of the day

The Irony of Time

But You CAN Do Something

Geneivas Zman - Stealing Time From Others


At November 28, 2005 at 6:43:00 AM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

I love raking leaves--but only if they're dry and crunchy. Call me next time to get the job done.
I also mentioned before my birthday two months ago that I need no gifts, I just need time.

ASJ, no doubt it even took you some TIME to write your posts!

At November 28, 2005 at 6:46:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

>>Raking leaves, like mowing the grass, shoveling snow, or vacuuming the house, all seem to be tasks that rob me of time.

WHY ROB? Perhaps that's what you are supposed to be doing at that moment? Why not take those moments to enjoy the fresh outdoors, thank Hashem that you are healthy enough to do this work yourself, that you own [or rent] your own home, etc. etc. We have to use EVERY moment to serve Hashem!

>>As the Lubavitcher Rebbe once said, "The world says that time is money, I say that time is life."

Perhaps this fits in with your post from R. Maimon, which is really from Chazal, who said, "A person is 'recognized' from Koso [his cup], Kiso [his pocket] v'Ka'aso [his anger].

That is, does he remain a "mensch" while drinking [on Purim, for example]? When he has to "shell out" money? When something angers him? Or does he go "arois fun de Keilim" -- out of his mind???

At November 28, 2005 at 6:53:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Pearl: I certainly will call you next time I need some raking done ;) It is funny, my wife also likes to rake - yet the obligation is not on her.

It does take some time to write posts, but since I enjoy doing it, it doesn't always feel like an obligation.

Yitz: I wish I could have such elevated thoughts when I was out there raking. Thanks for keeping me in check.

At November 28, 2005 at 7:02:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

A certain very cute baby decided that 4:30 AM was a very good time to wake. He's now crying because he's tired, but he won't take a nap, because it's too early. Time's a funny thing eh?

You could be grateful that you have a yard. Imagine living in an apartment with no place for the kids to play but your livingroom.

At November 28, 2005 at 7:04:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

BTW, parents out there, how long is too long to let a three-month-old baby cry in his crib to fall asleep? He won't take naps in his crib and I'm stumped.

At November 28, 2005 at 7:22:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Alice: Till he/she falls asleep!

At November 28, 2005 at 7:38:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I agree with Yitz. With our first child we would always run and get her...and then spend the rest of the days blearly eyed. We learned our lesson with #2.

At November 28, 2005 at 7:49:00 AM EST, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

ASJ: Since you can't give anyone more time, I suggest the following;

1. Get a leaf blower. Alot more fun than leaf-blowing!

2. Read "The Phantom Tollbooth"

Alice: Get a wind-up well. My almost 3-year old kept me up all night as well. I can't ignore him, since his screaming wakes up the 6 other kids. Thats why I missed minyan (5:40 AM) this morning.

On Sunday, I showed up to minyan so tired, I forgot my tefillin at home. Luckily home is a 30 second walk from shul.

At November 28, 2005 at 8:02:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Jameel: I did not mean to imply that I do not have time for anyone. The point of the posting is that I routinely feel that a lot of my time is being eaten up by things that are not so "important".

Nevertheless, thanks for the suggestions ;)

At November 28, 2005 at 9:14:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Jameel: I assume this is what you are referring to?

Why did you like it so much?

At November 28, 2005 at 9:43:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Thanks you Yitz, ASJ, and jameel. You all said just what I wanted to hear. Now I just need to control my own guilt.

jameel: The other six kids?!!!! God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. I love homes that are full of kids.

At November 28, 2005 at 9:55:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Alice: How long did it take before your son stopped crying?

At November 28, 2005 at 10:52:00 AM EST, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Alice: G-d bless my wife first and foremost! Working in high-tech means I'm not always home to help, and she has to raise them more than myself (and she also works full time from home!)

ASJ: Its a great book about time...its a great kids book on the importance of time. Borrow it from the library. Blowing leaves was always alot more fun than raking them :-)

At November 28, 2005 at 11:18:00 AM EST, Blogger Mirty said...

I enjoy vacuuming. My dogs regard the vacuum cleaner as a large, mean dog that is prowling around their territory. They are terrified of it. While I wield the vacuum cleaner I have absolute power over dogs! And dog hair! (Which is why I vaccuum so often in the first place.)

At November 28, 2005 at 12:20:00 PM EST, Blogger yitz said...

>>Raking leaves, like mowing the grass, shoveling snow, or vacuuming the house, all seem to be tasks that rob me of time.

My other eitza, ASJ, would be to make Aliya. Let see:

"Raking leaves" - although leaves do fall in Israel, it's rare that it's on someone's personal property. Usually, the Iriya [city hall] takes care of it with garbage disposal!

"Mowing the grass" - well, most of us live in apartment buildings, and we don't have front lawns or backyards to worry about. Those on the smaller yishuvim, kibbutzim & moshavim probably take turns at this.

"Shoveling snow" - right! The rare snow we get here usually melts within a day or so.

"Vacuuming the house" - right, again! We have stone floors. Sure we clean them - but you haven't lived until you've done Israeli "sponja". Just ask Jameel!

At November 28, 2005 at 12:31:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz: Aliya? have never mentioned that before ;)

At November 28, 2005 at 2:22:00 PM EST, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I'm with you--I hate raking leaves. It seems like such a waste of time. Tomorrow there will be more anyway.

But then again I also hate making the bed--it's just going to get messed up again.

At November 28, 2005 at 2:30:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

aHA!! Finally someone who sides with me!

At November 28, 2005 at 3:01:00 PM EST, Blogger Alice said...

How long does he cry? Anywhere from 25 min. to 90 minutes, even if he's exhausted, fussy, full, changed, comfortable, etc. Of course one is always just guessing with these matters, but I think he just wants his mommy. He loves to sleep on me in the rocking chair and will nap for two hours there. But in the crib, 20 min. max. even though he NEEDS IT! Argh. Our household can't function with him sleeping on me all the time. Plus he won't go down for Patrik or even sleep on him like he will with me.

At November 28, 2005 at 5:20:00 PM EST, Blogger Yehudi Yerushalmi said...

With me it is washing dishes. Dishwashers are still a bit of a luxury item in Israel.

Once again I have missed the boat in commenting on a previous post of yours.

A few (humble) suggestions when it comes to learning something difficult.

1. Learning with Artscroll makes the learning go much faster, but you then have many more facts swiming arround in your head. If you try struggle through it without the english side (with the help of a dictionary such as the Practical Talmud Dictionary), it will go much slower at first, and you WILL have to struggle, but you will DEFINATELY understand it much better in the long run, and it will be MUCH more rewarding.

2. Torah Nikneit AlYedei Yisurim. The more you struggle with the gemorah - only using Artscroll as a last resort - the more you will progress (you will be amazed at how fast you progress).

3. For a bit of Chizuk, I recommend learning a bit from the first few chapters of Mesilat Yesharim (in english) for 10 minutes before gemorah. It explains the (mystical) power of learning Torah even if you don't see the relevance or understand it properly. Also see what I posted here on my blog regarding this:

Hope that helps, and didn't sound too bombastic.

At November 28, 2005 at 5:22:00 PM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I actually can appreciate (sometimes!) seemingly mundane tasks like washing dishes or raking leaves - what better time for uninterrupted thinking and reflection?

At November 28, 2005 at 5:53:00 PM EST, Blogger Jen said...

I like the spirit of your 2-1/2 hour post. It seems that I, too, give my all at work and have nothing left for hubby at the end of the day— unless we go OUT, and then I am recharged. It's too too bad.

At November 28, 2005 at 7:05:00 PM EST, Blogger Tamara said...

Your post today about time, or the lack thereof, made me think of something Rav Kook once said:

"One of the purposes of the disclosure of the esoteric mysteries of the Torah in this world is to view the secular from the vantage point of the holy, to realize that in truth there is nothing totally secular in this world."

Perhaps his wise words will put your leaf raking in a whole new perspective!

At November 28, 2005 at 7:26:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yehudi Yerushalmi: Thanks for your comments on my Gemara posting. Your defintely have some good ideas. I liked your posting from Rav Simcha Wasserman and have put a link to your blog on my blogrolling list.

MCAryeh: I wouldn't expect anything less from someone like you!

Jen: Thanks for your thoughts on my old posting. I always like hearing your perspective on things.

Tamara: That it an excellent quote, Tamara. Thanks for sharing it.

At November 29, 2005 at 12:24:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...


Since this is a post about time, another "eitza" we did when the kid were young was - put the crying on a "timer." When our child is crying, we lose a sense of proportion about time - mere minutes can seem like an eternity.

By putting on a timer [even on your digital watch] for say 10 or 15 minutes [or whatever length you choose] gives you a realistic assessment of the time. We found that almost always, the crying would stop before the timer would ring!

At November 29, 2005 at 5:25:00 AM EST, Blogger Yehudi Yerushalmi said...

Thanks for the link

At November 29, 2005 at 6:52:00 PM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Thanks Yitz. Last night I slept on the couch so as not wake the baby with my sneezing and coughing. Without me in the room he slept for 8.5 hours, no fussing. I then gave him the 4:30 bottle, put on the lullabye tape and split back to the couch and got three hours more. As you said, he only fussed for like 15 mintues. I think the fact that we are in the room with him has prompted us to give up when he actually would have simply slept more. Interesting how parents can complicate things, eh? We are just as 'fussy' as he is!

At November 29, 2005 at 6:53:00 PM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Now I'm not sure where my husband will sleep when he gets back from his business trip.. : )


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