Rosh Hashanah 5770- Jewish New Year Here I Come

“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse! As I have often found in travelling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place.” ~Washington Irving

“We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.” ~John Steinbeck, America and Americans

“The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for.”
– Mark Twain Letter to Olivia Clemens, August 16, 1896

When I began writing this post I had high hopes of producing something profound and meaningful, but I am not so sure that I accomplished that. But I’d rather try and fail than not try at all.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year has come around again. It is a holiday that lends itself to blogging. Introspection and self reflection are key elements and so I find myself here at the keyboard struggling to produce a post that is worthwhile.

This video

may be a year old, but it really makes me think about life. So many familiar faces, but really how different is it from any other year. Without fail people die every day, year in, year out. So what is the message and what is the difference.

This has without question been one of the most challenging years I can remember. Lots of sleepless nights and stressful days. Long periods of time where I have found myself wondering if I should be superstitious. Moments where it seemed like things went from bad to worst to me laughing because it was laugh or cry. Times where I have looked up at the sky and screamed, “is that all you have got.”

In between there have been some really good times. Moments where it felt like the hot poker that had been jammed up my backside was gone and had never been inserted.

And then I turned 40.

Never before had one birthday bothered me. It didn’t matter whether I was 10, 18, 25 or 30, it was just another day. Forty didn’t feel like that. Forty felt…old. Forty made me look in the mirror and ask who was staring back at me. He didn’t look right, too many lines in the forehead and dark circles beneath the eyes. Not to mention that the famous flat top was gone and along with it was a chunk of hair.

More importantly the guy looking back at me was frustrated, angry and confused. He looked out and asked what happened to the kid with the indomitable spirit. That guy who figured that it didn’t matter if he fell into the fire because he’d dance through the flames and get a tan in the process.

The shmuck looking back at me looked like he had lain down in the flames and given up. That was disheartening, disconcerting and disappointing. So I made a conscious decision to find myself and if necessary, redefine who I am.

I am in the process of doing that. This is a transition. It is phase that I am dealing with with as much grace as I can muster. Things are better because I made them better. Things are better because I figured out a plan that seems to work for me, but it is not done yet.

The best analogy I have is that I feel a bit like Sisyphus in that I have pushed a boulder up a hill. Only there is no guarantee that it won’t roll back down and force me to start over. Then again there is no guarantee that it won’t.

Anyhoo we shall see what 5770 holds. I am optimistic and expect that good things should come. If you are curious to see past Rosh Hashanah posts or others that relate click on the links below:

The Impact of My Actions
Unetanah tokef
Yom Kippur- Besheret- Judgment & More
Another Day, Another Funeral- It is Elul
The New Year
Rosh Hashanah Thoughts
Why Me? Rosh Hashanah Thoughts

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