As we count up towards Shavuos, I am increasingly aware of time going by – time I aim to use productively. Counting up as opposed to down allowed me to be present in the process, growing each day, and not focused on an end goal/date/next. It is a lesson for life, friends, since this day is all we’ve got. I changed again over Pesach and put goals in place with a plan; goals that involve other people are not within our control. Self-actualization is. I promised new beginnings. No more rinse and repeat. I am determinedly taking massive action on things put off prior, in order to know that I can count on myself. Boundaries are so important for someone like me, who tends to put others first and become distracted. I am learning. I have been blessed with the ability to transform constantly. The many diverse wonderful people who seek me out keep me on my toes. The accountability is important. Working on a singular focus is not natural for me. So I go out of my comfort zone, willingly and repeatedly. Real growth is never easy. We invest our time, our heart, and our money in what matters most. Therapies, treatments, potions, self-care, exercise facilities, coaches are not cheap or easy, but well worth it.

Many people tell me how difficult Shabbos and holidays are when unmarried. They ask me to join at programs or hotels. I love to be home and host. I am grateful I have never felt that pressure or holiday blues. I have been blessed beyond measure with wonderful children and grandchildren including watching my son (Yosef “Joey” Newcomb) perform as chazan at The White Shul, on Lag BaOmer, at concerts, on his beautiful CD, at weddings, etc., calling me out as “the holy mama.” My daughters have extensive greatness of their own, as does each grandchild and my treasured daughter-in-law and son-in-law. I do, however, feel the void of a forever partner, and I pray that this will be the last holiday I approach unmarried. Changing our unmarried status requires tachlis. Prayer with intent helps. We have to do our part to prepare our best selves inside and out. We must define marriage dealmakers. For me it is a best friendship ignited on fire. We all want to know we matter. We do. Giving and receiving love in its full expression is my goal. Don’t wait, friends. This is definitely one of those things we will regret. Erecting boundaries here is vital. If some are used to being single and relating to the opposite gender in a certain way, as I call it “antennae up,” they will need to readjust. It is important to treat our special someone uniquely and put up boundaries with others in thought, real life, and the social media world. Sometimes others may cross boundaries. We should be prepared for this. I am a big believer in prevention rather than damage control. The only way to change familiar behavior is with dedication and practice, practice, practice, since life happens. Repair skills are important either way. In 12-step programs, days of recovery are counted up. It is part of the climb. There is usually no end date in sight as it is a lifelong endeavor. Same with relationships, with the exception of an eventual wedding date, when the time is right.

Today, I was in various settings where many people approached me about my writing. Some of them said I changed their life. I asked, “How?” They said my writing resonates with them and gave them hope. They said they felt validated that they are not the only one. Some of them took chances in life. Some sought help. Those are the exact reasons I write – along with showing people they are significant. Because we are. Each in our own way. Even limitations are a gift. It is up to me to go around anything in my way. I get to choose how I react to what life deals me. And so these same people were overjoyed, because they heard I have love in my life and others in theirs and were truly celebratory from the heart.

People are brought in to each other’s lives purposefully. Sometimes it is meant to last and sometimes it is for a mission. I try to take this to heart. We dare not take anything or anyone for granted. Those of us with courage and compassion must use our power to better the community. We use our voices where others would quiet it. I heard a politician say today she dares anyone to engage in hate under her watch. That is why I voted for her. Same here. I am here to serve: G-d, a husband, my family, and then everybody else. Measurably. We are doing G-d’s work. We measure time, money, mitzvos, acts of kindness, and acts of service, which is one of the five love languages someone I admire is a master at.

On Fridays, I do an accounting of my progress for the week and plan towards the week ahead. It is a different kind of counting up. I assess then build. I have been doing this consistently for years with tangible results gratefully. There are times where we may outgrow a situation or relationship. If we complete our mission, it is time to move forward. I have felt for a while that Hashem is pushing me out of the nest in so many ways. I have embraced some and resisted others. It has become so clear to me that I matter and can no longer be contained. We all do. From a song: Do you need more? I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in. Crash through the surface where they can’t hurt us, we’re far from the Shallow now. The music video from “A Star is Born” – Always remember us, this way begins with the “star” being pushed out onto the stage with a kiss, encouragement and “I love you.” Singing “You found the light in me I couldn’t find.” The rest is history. She finds her light though she never forgets whose love “born it.”

Now that I am embarking on actions over words again, there will be changes. As I respond to requests for writing in global publications, Internet forums, including my own blog in process (, and speaking engagements offering encouragement and authentic experiences as well as private cheerleading/coaching, my articles here may be less regular. That is on top of widening my real estate practice while building a team. Friends and neighbors: You have been my first priority. We must help our own first. All of you wonderful people have changed my life. However much you say I have changed yours, please know how grateful I am for all of your comments, messages, and in-person sharing. My team at Queen Jewish Link have become my friends, and you are all always welcome to continue to approach me in any way including coming to my home as many of you have, anytime. The door is always open to my home and heart. I’m not abandoning you. Just a shift. Sometimes a change in parameters is necessary in relationships to prevent stagnation. Progress is important, going forward bound, one day/step at a time, constantly transforming ourselves and knowing who we are and what we are capable of. And so, as we count up towards Shavuos, towards our unique connection with Hashem, where I will choose to go under the chupah and become my best self/nation, may we all share many simchos, in good health and success, b’ezras Hashem. Remember, your voice matters. In any language. Don’t be afraid to use it.

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 

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