Converting to Judaism

The Oys and Joys of Choosing A Jewish Life

Reflections For A New Year

on September 24, 2014

I’m sitting down at 11:37PM the day before Erev Rosh Hashanah trying to collect myself and do some introspection.

And it ain’t working.

This hectic lifestyle leaves me no time to breathe, and that’s how I like it. A busy life is rich, exciting, and fulfilling. At least, that’s what I tell myself to get me through the sleepless nights, 12 hours days, and color-coded craziness.

A new year, a new start. I can think of some things I did very well this past year and some great accomplishments. Becoming more of an empathetic and active listener. Increasing my knowledge about Judaism, life, and music through both formal and informal learning. Fostering friendships, trying new foods, and traveling to new places.

And I can think of some things that still need improvement. There’s one thing that needs some serious work. To be honest, I don’t do a very good job taking care of myself. My natural instinct is to take care of others- thoughts like send that care package, text her back, plan our rehearsals, help him with his homework, and make dinner for them run through my head every day on a constant basis. I often end up at the bottom of the list. While it’s important to be selfless and giving, it’s also important to take care of your own physical, mental, and emotional well-being. That’s hard for me because I’m not particularly fond of myself. I have an abundant affection for my friends and family, but Ellie? She can wait another day.

This year, I’ve decided that I have waited long enough. Time to take some time for myself. Of course it’s easier to indulge in my hobbies during the summer because there’s more time for leisure than during the school year. But when it becomes hard to find time for meals, sleep, and health, that’s how I know I’m struggling. Being a little selfish every now and then will only better equip me to continue to be the friend/lover/classmate/supporter that I want to be for everyone else.

I’m going to start tomorrow- the world can wait. You, G-d,  and I have some prayers to say, a dinner to eat, and a train to catch. This year, I’ll start basic- eat three meals a day, get eight hours of sleep, take medicine when you’re sick (yep, I avoid even that)- and once I’ve achieved a good state of physical well-being, then I can focus on the mental and spiritual. Then, only then, will I be ready to help everyone else. Fix yourself. Really fix yourself. And then we can fix the world.

Shana tova. May your coming new year be sweet and full of life’s blessings.

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