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Shampoo. Rinse. Repeat.

Posted on 05/17/2013 @ 04:59 PM

Wait, what day is it? Is today Monday? Or Friday?

This week has brought back memories of this fall. Day on, day off, day on… and then it’s Friday again and we have a weekend. There was even an early Shabbat Message about it – "If you’re not working, can you take a break?

One of the reasons that weeks like this are so challenging is our incredible reliance, as humans, on routine. Routines are shortcuts for our brains – we don’t have to start from scratch each time we need to make a sandwich, get dressed or drive to work. We know what to do when we first walk into the office each morning – and we probably vary very little from our traditional daily routine.

Except on weeks like this.

Wednesday didn’t find us at the office. Neither did Thursday. And, for many of us, these days were pretty far from our usual structure. We had to start from scratch – what to do with this time? Go to synagogue for learning? For prayer? Not at all? What to wear? What to eat? Who to spend time with?

These open times, and the decisions that we make in them, have the opportunity to tell us a lot about our values. Because there are fewer external constraints (No meetings! No programs to work on!), we can’t hide the fact that we are responsible for the choices we make about our time.

What did you do with your two days? If you really think about the decisions you made – what does that tell you about your life right now? If your answers surprise you, are there ways to bring your time more in line with your values? And worry not, there will be more interrupted schedules ahead for you to try them out!

Taking a break from routine to write this Shabbat Message was Rachel Meytin, Director of Panim and Jewish Enrichment.

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