Sunday night begins the Jewish New Year- Rosh Hashanah. It is said that on Rosh Hashanah God indicates in the book of life what will occur with all of us for the coming year. Who will live, who will die and how our lives will be for the year. We have up till Yom Kippur, (October 11-12) to make amends for what our actions from the past year have been and to put our house in order. The book of life is not sealed till Yom Kippur so we have time to “influence” God. Thank you Marc Cohen for this introduction to the High Holidays.
Personally, this year and certainly this political season has been the most painful I can recall. As I scroll social media, a few themes have crystallized for me over the past year.
Too many times I was sucked into the vortex of anger and ridiculous debate. How I wish I had thought to have a coffee which each person I noticed that spewed ignorant banter, instead of entering the pointless debate. We are being divided and conquered instead of coming together to create equal access to a healthy and productive life for each person that is born. I chose this past year to focus on Houston, and hopefully supporting our children in the most vulnerable of economic situations. As I reflect on this decision, my mind is more at ease in that my time is being spent wisely.
There were a few work situations that appeared to be a complete failure and disappointment. The good news is, due to reflection and perspective, it was a lot easier to look at what my actions were that allowed the situation. With time and patience, each situation did create new opportunities and learning journeys. And oh the stunningly wonderful people that have entered my life over this past year leave me humbled and grateful.
Some of my friends and I will have the gift of turning 60 over the course of this year. This past year, I buried far too many friends and family members that were not so fortunate as to reach this age. Fifty years ago I was positive 60 qualified my own parents for the retirement center. I pray that my actions reflect my love for those friends that have been there for me, regardless of the distance or time we may have been apart. It was the times we were there for one another that has and will sustain our love, in life and beyond. May I keep this focus central in my every fiber this coming year.
It is at this age where funerals become the new norm. We lose our parents and elders all too often. Many of us that prepare the meals to bring our loved ones together stare at the hand written recipes of those that came before us and feel that deep sense of gratitude for what they gave us and sadness for our inability to kiss their cheek, stand with them in the kitchen or feel them at our tables. It becomes more important to me each day to keep them with me in thought and doing my best to embrace and build on their legacy of passion for family and community.
More than anything, I am grateful. My days have been full and I have for the most part been on the care giving end of the equation. I pray that I am granted the good mental, physical, spiritual and intellectual health to live another year focused on what allows me to live in such a manner that at the end of the day I can reflect and say, yes #MomentsMatter.
I wish all who reflect, celebrate and EAT together a New Year holiday rich in love….and if you are curious as to how to let your Jewish Friends know you hope they have a beautiful Holiday Season, the appropriate greeting is L’Shana Tova. Or make it easy just say Happy New Year. We build our city by recognizing and learning how our neighbors come together in Peace and to celebrate Life.