Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

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How the Election Made Me More Tolerant

The other day I was mad at a certain person in my life. Really upset. I was ranting and raving and venting to my husband about it.

Then I thought about it and slept on it. The next day I woke up, went about my day and thought about it. I started to realize that the other person has a difficult situation in his/her life and that’s why he/she is acting that way. And I started to understand where they were coming from. I wasn’t mad at that person anymore. Wow.

I believe that this election fever and overall stress gives me a chance to practice my skills of switching gears and seeing things from another point of view.

This Election has brought out the worst in many of us. People are bickering online and in person, on Facebook and on Twitter. Relationships have suffered as voting has morphed from a basic right and privilege into an unpleasant phenomenon of political arguments, fights and de-friending on and offline. Nobody wants to discuss who they are V-ting for (the V word) for fear of repercussions – both real and imagined.

And yet, in spite of the bickering these days  we can find some common ground between us.   Whether we’re voting for Trump, Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, a write-in random candidate, or none of the above, we all agree on one thing.

We are  completely stressed from the whole thing and we can’t wait till it’s all over.

There are many anxieties that we share and misery does love company in this case. We can comfort each other, knowing  it will eventually be over at the end of Election day. And yet.  We fear that things will drag on. We have nightmares of a repeat Gore-Bush situation of the hanging chads and recounting. We are tormented by the chances that one candidate may protest the result and maybe there will be a big ——-

Stop! Stop! Stop!  It’s no use obsessing about it. I mean that’s all we’ve (me!) been doing the last few months and it’s time to put an end to the negativity and prepare to move forward

It’s time to look at the bright side of all this. It’s time for ME to see the silver lining from all this and how everything happens for the best.

It’s time for me to realize that there is a Destiny or G-d or a Higher Power out there that is protecting us from horrible things. It’s time to do my best and have some faith.

It’s time grow from all this.

First, it’s time to be a little easier on myself. So what if I flip-flop every day and can’t make up my mind who to vote for because I like his or her stances on the issues – or because I just can’t stand the OTHER candidate. So what? Right?

Here’s my process: I listen and read everything I come across. I do lots of research. And I decide that I’m in favor Candidate A and I’m totally for him/her. I mean I think she/he is aligned with all or most of the values that I believe in. And not only that, I’m convinced that the other candidate is the epitome of evil.

And then – I go to sleep, wake up in the morning, read a few articles and voila, I’m thinking “Hey, so and so really represents my view of how things can be better – based on my values and what I consider to be important for a President.”

Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

I start to challenge my previous decision. I realize that there is a whole other way to look at things. And I make my decision to (maybe) vote for the other candidate.

This cycle repeats itself several times per week. It’s been somewhat annoying because as Election date is upon us, I’m still undecided. And I’ve even pondered voting for a third party candidate or not at all.

I’ve been thinking about this flip-flop tendency of mine and been pretty upset with myself over it. And then it hit me the other day that maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Maybe it’s actually a sign that I can see two sides of a situation, empathize with it and be able to argue both sides of the debate.

Through this election I learned that I’m fickle, somewhat gullible. Or maybe it’s just that I’m open-minded or tolerant? Hmmm. To me things are not always black and white, and that characteristic is more evident this election.

After this election is over, we will still have our relationships with friends (hopefully) and even if the issues of the election will be behind us all, we will still need to reach across aisles to feel another person’s pain and experience.

Understanding another’s viewpoint is important. That’s what I learned from this election. I see Hillary’s viewpoint and I see Trump’s. I get them both. I just have to decide which one I’m willing to give the job of President.

I’ve not made my firm decision yet on that. But one thing I’ve decided is that for better or worse – I can’t stay upset at people for very long.

And that’s something I think we all should vote for.

 

 


School Diary #2: Ten Prayers for My Students in the New Year

happy-new-year-1417950932qaU

It is the time of year for prayers for a good year. I pray for my family, friends and loved ones, and my high school students.

This month I returned to the classroom after over 5 years since I’ve taught in a formal classroom. This opportunity came up early in the summer and I decided to dive in again to my old love of teaching English, literature and writing to 9th and 10th grade girls.

Each one of my students is a unique soul.

Here are some hopes and goals that I have for my students. They will work hard in my class and hopefully achieve success. For the 10 months of the school year, I have 10 prayers for my students to find, experience, feel, develop, learn, value, improve, grow, achieve and work…and so much more.

woman-teacher-cartoon

I PRAY THAT:

  1. … each student finds and experiences her unique gifts. Whether that be writing poetry, essays, decorating bulletin boards or participating in debates.
  2. … each student feels accepted and loved by her teachers and peers.
  3. … each student develops self-control to regulate her classroom behavior.
  4. … each student learns accountability for turning in assignments and being prepared for class.
  5. … each student values the process of making errors and growing from them.
  6. … each student is comfortable asking questions when she doesn’t understand the material.
  7. … each student improves organization skills, including keeping books and papers in order.
  8. … each student grows in her capacity to not only hear, but listen to peers and teachers who are speaking.
  9. … each student achieves the social skills necessary to work in groups with her peers.
  10. … each student shares a love of books and the written word.

I ask G-d to allow me to provide an environment in the classroom that encourages my students to blossom in the 10 ways above. Amen.

Stay tuned for weekly Teacher’s Diary updates.


The Tipping Point

We all go off track. I know I do. It can be falling behind with our financial budget,or getting lax in meal preparation or gaining pounds on the scale.

A Slippery Slope

A Slippery Slope

Or it could be feeling as if our spirituality is slipping or our social life is waxing and waning.

When any one of these incidents of slippage occur, an avalanche of sorts happens. The domino effect causes lots of things to just fall apart in our lives. How depressing.

Nope. Actually I see it as an opportunity for growth. Yep, when we analyze what greased the slippery slope in the first place, we get to realize how to fix it. Continue reading


Happiness is…

Remember the Peanuts characters? Which one was the character who used to say “Happiness is…?

Happiness Is...

Happiness Is…

Was that Lucy? Or was it Linus? Or was it Charlie Brown? Or maybe it was Snoopy?

I don’t recall who it was, but I do find that these days more things make me happy.

And more things make me sad.

But still –  this post is focusing on what makes me happy. Continue reading


My New Tagline: Grandmas and Stretching

Anyone who has been following my Bubby or Grandmother blog since I began back in June 2012, will be familiar with my tagline under the main title of “Bubby Joys and Oys.” — -A Place for Bubbies to Kvell and Kvetch. Continue reading


Sharing Sad Feelings

I can’t even bring myself to write a chatty and cheery blogpost. The past few days have been very sad ones for all of the world and especially America. The Connecticut tragedy is something that is unfathomable, and beyond belief. To use an old and tired cliche, I cannot wrap my head around it. Continue reading


The Aftershocks of Criticism

It happened yesterday. I thought I could push it off for at least another few months. But alas, the inevitable occurred. Deep down I knew it was bound to happen, but I was in denial and I was enjoying the honeymoon. And when it — the inevitable –happened, it hit me between the eyes. I felt the sting for about a minute. Then the pain , having reached its peak, began to subside. After several minutes of deep breathing, I was fine. Yes, I survived and yes, I am here to tell the story. Continue reading


Practice Makes Perfect

After almost two weeks of non-steady blogging, I have some ‘splainin to do!  Well actually, instead of excusing or explaining why I have not been consistent about  my daily blog, I will move forward and reflect on what I have learned during that time. Yes, it was a very busy time for this Bubby. Busy cooking, entertaining, cleaning up, planning, hosting, and eating. But through it all we had lots of fun, and I like to think I learned a few things along the way.

Last week when we visited the California Science Center with all of our grandchildren, we saw an exhibit displaying the various forms of animals.One of the points of the display was to demonstrate how many of them perform quite high on intelligence tests and games.

Are animals really just as intelligent as humans? I honestly had my doubts about that exhibit in general, because it claimed that dolphins, crows and dogs and several other animals  are excellent at problem solving, communicating and other skills. For example, we watched on video a chimpanzee perform a numbers game with 100 percent accuracy. The exhibit demonstrated  how chimpanzees are cognitively able to memorize the placement of  a sequence of up to 9 digits that a computer lays out on a screen in specific positions.

Well, our grandsons played the same numbers game, and so when three generations of Hendeles members – ranging in ages from 4 to 59 — tried out the task, we were only able to perform up to 5 or 6 digits on the screen with perfect accuracy. That was in the five minutes that we stood at that exhibit and played the game. (We actually got quite engrossed — that-is me and the 4 and 5 year olds!– but my other sons were rushing us – “come on already….we have to move on…”)

I’m guessing that had we stayed there for another 10 or more minutes, our skill would have increased to similar to the chimpanzees. (or maybe not? hmmm) ..Even the sign next to the exhibit stated that the chimpanzees had a LOT of practice.

So practice makes perfect – is the way the saying goes.  But actually,  we humans don’t strive for perfection. That’s what I keep telling myself when I cook my eggs, run out of the house, and forget about them, and then wonder why I burnt the eggs for the third time in several days. (What’s that smell? I think when I walked into the house today after a myriad errand-running.)

Yes, it’s  not about perfection. It’s a matter of getting it more or less right most of the time. The food is delicious (that’s what they told me most of the time), the kids are happy (except when they are fighting), the adults are relaxed (more or less), and the Bubby is having a blast with all her nachas (all reading Bubbies may fill in the parenthesis here). The air conditioner broke last week (only the upstairs unit that-is!), but did work for most of the holiday. And now it works again!

My housekeeper decided not to show up a few times the past week (“sorry Mrs. Miriam, yo no puede trabaja pour usted manana…”) . But that’s okay. She showed up last week on Friday, and sent her sister-in-law another time (and a friend another time, and a cousin another time). So that’s more or less okay. Look – who asked us to need those cleaning ladies as if our lives depended on it??

It is how we perceive it. If we perceive it as an OY experience, then that becomes the reality. But, if we perceive it as a growth and learning experience, then that makes all the difference.

Practice Makes Perfect. Shmerfect!   And just like the chimpanzees, we can achieve our goals with lots of practice.  But – more appropriate to thinking, creative humans — not necessarily to perfection.  3 out of 4 – that’s 75 %! Now let’s try for 9 out of 10?  Go for it!

Have a great Fall 2012!


Fuhgettaboutit!! (and other great techniques!)

I have some friends and acquaintances whose initials of their first and last names are CC. Some even have the middle initial C, making their name CCC. A few of my friends are speech and language pathologists whose credentials are CCC. (Certified….something or other…I”ll google it later!). But, today’s brief topic is a different type of three C’s.

I read it on a 12-step list of concepts, relating to my struggle with overeating…and my powerlessness over food.  Rabbi Dr.  Abraham J. Twersky, expert in relationships, self esteem and addictive personalities, talks about it in all his Torah-oriented books. It has become one of my mantras for living and self-growth: I didn’t Cause it. I cannot Cure it. I cannot Control it.

There, you have it. The next time someone in my life’s comments or behaviors are particularly irksome, annoying, or inappropriate to me, I can simply accept the reality that I cannot fix others. I can only change myself.

All very simple sounding, and quite obvious. Yet this quotable quote  is a reminder to me to focus on myself in growth, and “fuhgettabout” the others’ annoying stuff —- because I can’t do a thing about it anyway!

Okay – off to do my day now! Have a great and productive day!

Remember the CCC’s! They can really help out in a pinch!


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