I don’t do almost. Almost people are the ones who repeatedly miss the boat. From a song: I’ll sing you a song that you feel. A wise colleague pinned me in a moment. He told me, “You give people significance, make them feel important, so they can imagine hope.” Hmmm. Well, it’s real. From an ad: What comes from the soul you can’t fake, can’t practice, it just is.

In the past couple of weeks, both new and old friends have told me I impacted their lives. They want more. From a song: I got used to being someone you loved. Yes I do love hard. And: Please know, all of you I have accepted love from have left an indelible mark on me, and I thank you. The bar has been raised. I learned a very important lesson today. It hurt but it was worth it. If you want to be my friend, you must be honest with me. Always. Not almost. All the time. The truth always comes out anyhow. It’s stored in Verizon/iCloud for that matter.

And don’t forget “Big Brother.” Do you ever hear people say, “If this or that…? In my book, that only applies if we put in massive effort. Even when it gets uncomfortable. Any time I have tried, I have accomplished. Anything I say I will do, I have. I don’t give up. Ever.

Recently Hashem gave me a mission to help someone. It took a lot of energy and determination, and I mean a lot. With endurance and prayer, I completed it gratefully. When an effort involves two or more who are not fully invested, or levels of ability differ, that is where things can fall through the cracks. These situations are lessons in life. We must learn not to repeat unhealthy patterns, as they say: Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Continuing on status quo, rinse and repeat and not being preventive gets people nowhere fast. I refuse to be one of those. It’s like what don’t they learn? I have made choices that were not easy. I have sent relatives and loved ones away. I have broken arrangements. I had to. I knew certain situations simply could not work. I listened to my wise advisors. And I trusted my gut (Thank you to someone who urged me to do this). I have no regrets.

Even where great people are involved, sometimes certain mergers are simply not a fit, whether in business or personally. Different values shown by actions over words. A square peg cannot fit into a round hole, no matter how we try to force it. To me: External things like appearance, status, assets, levels, or labels as I call them, and health (I know many are concerned about health: physical, spiritual, and mental, I only speak for my yardstick) can be overlooked, as long as they are being treated. Internal traits cannot, like differing goals in relationships or different work ethics in business partnerships. We must “speak” the same language, be able to “hear” each other; if not, acceptance of closure in order to move on is in order, like the song, “Let her go – it’ll be all right.”

The Rabbi said in shul that we all have shlichus – our job to do. Fully, not almost. Would we “almost” breathe? Or “almost” eat? Not me. I have become aware of Hashem pushing me out of the nest continuously to accomplish and spread my wings more and more. The best therapists are those who let a client go when it is time and they have done their job. Targeted therapy. Accomplishing clear goals is the absolute best feeling possible. I have just done this gratefully.

We each have “our partner,” the one who will best channel us as we channel them, and propel each other to become our best versions as a “we” in every sense, transparently and wholeheartedly. My description of that person has changed as I have changed. It used to be simple, until I realized it was not enough. Even love is not enough. It’s an almost versus abundance mindset. The dealmakers: An understanding of living with gratitude for real. Patience, knowing how to pause before impulsive words/actions, simchas ha’chayim, giving unconditionally, follow through, emunah, engaging in the real world by hosting on Shabbos or doing chesed, stepping up in community, restricting Internet/social media use, and facing fears courageously, before marrying in order to not just “get married” – rather to “stay married happily.” It goes without saying that we must become “the right person,” as well as looking for our right person.

Today in my 12-step meeting I learned this: We talk a great deal about working the program – actually what we are doing is practicing what we are learning. We need to do more than go to meetings. We must make a commitment and practice, practice, practice. We believe we are guided by G-d on our journey, but steps must be taken on our own, since only by facing our own darkness can we receive the treasure – the light and joy of emerging released from all that has held us back.

Well, surely we each have our own demons. Facing them may seem insurmountable. Instead, we avoid it, but by doing so, we are choosing to live a limited existence. Either way hurts. Better to face the music. We think it is worse than it really is. I have done this work and found myself liberated by it and stronger for it. We must not let it perpetuate our lives.

Moving forward (and we must always be forward-bound, never backward or stagnate), I ask myself, “What do I want to give that I cannot without my forever partner?” An excellent book called Setting a Table for Two has changed me. Yes, you all know I am always stretching myself and am grateful for this ability and willingness. So many singles have told me they dread the holidays. Some may not have anywhere to go. Some have been searching actively for their other half. Some have admitted that they are really not invested in marrying. This makes me sad. I just don’t understand it. Maybe I don’t have to. We as a community can invite and be sure no one is alone by default. My heart and my home is always open and anyone who wants to join is welcome.

And so now, as we approach Pesach with our family and loved ones, knowing full well that there is no greater blessing in the world than that, striving to go out from our own personal enslavements, preparing with real effort, hard work, sustaining the tachlis and doing whatever it takes preventively to avoid rebounds of any kind, we can fully reap the benefits of the meaning of Pesach in its entirety and come out free, inside and out. We didn’t almost come out of Egypt.

Sometimes, we interfere in other people’s lives. Boundaries are needed. Even well-meaning folks may cross lines inquiring about plans or status from others, not knowing that these types of questions may be stress-producing. We do not have to say everything we think or feel; believe me, I am learning this, as well. Judging others is nonsensical; there are always two sides to a story, with Hashem being the only One privy.

I have dreams and hopes for after Pesach. I know they depend on how I celebrate and ingrain the lessons right now. You all have my word there will not be an “almost.” I know that anything and anyone who touched my life until now was preparation for my next chapters. I am so ready. Friends: This is it. We are on the doorsteps of redemption – personal and communal. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to soar. Let me help you ignite.

Reach out anytime. You know where to find me. Wishing all a joyous Yom Tov!

Sarah Shalek (Newcomb), and family/team are NY State Licensed Realtors for over 17 years, serving all areas in the five boroughs and Long Island. They hold several specialty certifications and are members of the Long Island Board of Realtors and the Multiple Listing Service of Queens and Long Island. They make their home in and are proud long-time members of the Kew Gardens Hills community. Sarah can be contacted at 917-459-7549, or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Coming soon: Your greatestshow.com.