5 commandments of returning from vacation.

Assigning myself 5 commandments of going back to work after a somewhat off the grid week of vacation.

  1. You are not limitless. Saying no is not a special occasion; it’s a standard.
  2. You are not 2- or 3-dimensional. There has to be more than work and home.
  3. You are not worth any less than your peers. By definition you are at least equal.
  4. You must take your pulse. Recharging is mandatory for phones and people.
  5. You must seek the bigger picture. Every day, just a little bit.

In the meantime… a few hours of freedom left.


10 things about turning ten (celebrating a decade of lizrael update)

Where’s my cake? lizrael update turns ten-years-old today!

That’s six months longer than I’ve lived here. That’s two more years than I’ve been married. That’s five more years than I’ve been a parent. That’s as long as I’ve been out of my first university.

It’s the longest-running project I’ve ever undertaken, with no deadline or end in sight. I’m proud because as a kid and past my teens, my creative pitfall was (and still is) not finishing what I started. I’m probably a bit insane because… really? Who’s blogged for ten years? Who is still blogging in 2014??

Finally, not finishing what I start is worth something.

Here’s to you, once-newfangled writing format I was skeptical of back in 2004 and needed good friends to convince me to try! Thanks for all the good times, the learning times, the up-till-4am-fixing-this-goddam-thing times!

Here are ten things I have to say in honor of my blog turning ten:

  1. In the beginning, I was tracking my move across the world. What I quickly realized was, it was also a way to exercise my writing chops without feeling like homework.
  2. My advice to others: If journaling feels good to you, and you stick it out for those tough first 3 months, I mean three years, I mean forever – it just becomes part of who you are and how you communicate and relate to the world.
  3. ^That said – blogging has majorly evolved in the last decade; that’s probably an understatement. So now you might consider photoblogging, microblogging, Twitter, public Facebook profile, or 39573485 other ways to build your space online in the way you like.
  4. I’m in a relationship with this thing. Sometimes I want to hug it. Sometimes I’m disgusted and want to look away. Sometimes I want to twirl in a field of lilies with it.
  5. Reading old blog posts is like looking in a really distorted mirror.
  6. So much has changed! I started with a private site on LiveJournal, converted over to Blogger, then WordPress.com, and finally WordPress. I did open a Tumblr account ages ago, but didn’t it feel it would work for me.
  7. In a way, getting into blogging turned me on to my career. Among other things (hi, thefacebook), it was part of a greater culture I joined when I graduated from university with my first degree (in nothing practical).
  8. Thanks to all the people I’ve met over the last decade! Seriously – I’ve met tons of readers, fellow bloggers, fellow expats, aliyah-curious – some of whom I’ve spoken to from across the world and met for coffee, some of whom I’ve corresponded with for months till meeting them in person, some of whom have become friends. Like, real-life friends (hi SG!).
  9. I’ll admit: there’s a lot I don’t say. There’s been an internal conflict about being private vs public. Gave up privacy years and years ago. You a pay a price.
  10. I’m glad to be creating some quirky/fun/sentimental footprints for my kids to discover one day.

Blogging may be in or may be out. We can call this something else from now on… content creation, sure. Living online. Personal branding. (It used to be an ‘online journal.’)

Whatever it is…

Whether it’s out there for the world or in a word doc…

Whether it’s for kids or friends or no one…

Whether it’s proofread and polished or riddled with typos…

I do highly recommend carving out a space, sharpening your style, building a bit of yourself in some corner of the written world.

Aright, back to blogging.

lizrael update: 4 facts till I reunite with coherent thought

Happy March! Since it’s been quiet around here, I’ve provided a few quick facts:

  1. Fifty-Two Frames isn’t the only thing going on in my life, but I have felt uncharacteristically quiet for a long while now.
  2. I haven’t been working since beginning of February. More on that another time.
  3. Sometime in the next few weeks we plan to get a baby out of me. Pretty much as ready as.
  4. I miss running! It’s the season and every time I see a Tzur Hadassian making their rounds, I really miss it. I’d like to do the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem half marathons in 2015.

There. I hope that unblocks things a bit.

Fifty-Two Frames: Self-Portrait

First off, I started participating in Fifty-Two Frames exactly 52 weeks ago, January 2012, and this week I completed it, in time for a new round called 2013.

Secondly, this week’s theme was a good one. It had the potential to be awkward, narcissistic, lame, or reflective. Sighofrelief it became the latter.

This week I was lucky to find myself in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. You know that wonderful mosaic statue park, right outside the kids’ petting zoo area? It’s my favorite part of the entire zoo. The statues are beautiful, kids can climb on them, and just eyeing the colorful tiles makes me feel creative. While there last week, I noticed a few of the abstract stone creatures had mirrored mosaic tiles so I took advantage and experimented. 75984758461 photos later, I had a few to choose from.

Now for the reflective part… I’ve been around a little while. Three decades. I’m a lot of things. I’m a writer, an amateur photographer, a blogger, a student, a former junkie of a few left-behinds. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter. I’m a dual citizen, split down the middle by an ocean. I’m a lot of someones.

Week 52: Self-Portrait

I’m a lot of things, but I’m not broken. I'm a lot of things, but I'm not broken. Fifty-Two Frames is a collaboration of artists, sharing the best of their work to a weekly theme. Want to join? Contact Yosef.