Life is nothing but a series of moments in time set against the backdrop of the people who share them.My goal is put myself in a position to savor and enjoy as much of that as possible. It is part of why I stopped wearing a watch. Those are the words I shared in a comment on my friend Kaarina’s post about time. Go read it, she makes some really good points.
Me? I am stuck in a moment that I can’t quite slip out of. I am lost in thought about a friend whose nine month old son died suddenly and another who lost her mother and sister this month. I am lost in thought about Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and these words stick with me
“On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquillity and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.“
The children ask me about this. They ask me for my thoughts and look up at me with wide eyed innocence wondering what I will say. The dark haired beauty wraps her hands around my bicep, “abba, make a muscle for me.” I smile and flex. She tells me that I am strong, but not stronger than G-d and then immediately looks into my eyes to see what sort of reaction I provide.
I tell her to go check the other muscle and then I lift her up and listen to her giggle. ‘There are two things that I want you and your brother to remember about this time of year.”Â I pause for emphasis and then continue, “now is when you think about what kind of person you are and what kind you want to be.”
“You need to be good because it is the right thing to do and not because you are afraid of getting punished.” She nods her head and her brother finishes my thoughts for me, explains to her that we are responsible for our actions and for determining our future.
“Why did the baby die?” She must have overheard a conversation because I certainly didn’t tell her. “I don’t know. Sometimes there aren’t answers”
I am working hard to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves because life is short and I can’t stomach the idea of missing out on them. I am working on my writing and trying to assemble the pieces of a story that I see in my head. Pieces that remind me that The Rules Of Blogging are things that I have applied to it or maybe the story is something that I have applied to blogging.
And I remind myself that this moment that I am living in now is so very short and it is my obligation to push harder to do the things that I want to do and live the life I want to live.Â That wacky Shmata Queen has been lurking around here and though she doesn’t comment she knows that I harp on certain things. She knows that when I play ball I love to rebound. Rebounding isn’t about height, speed or strength- it is about effort. It is about desire. It is about who is willing to run one step further and that is why basketball can be used as a metaphor for life.
There is a rhyme and a reason to why I use this joint to suss out my thoughts and declutter my mind. It is not because I can be a moody bastard or for anything other than because it helps me manage my time. And the way that it does that is by providing me with a venue in which I can determine what is most important to me. It provides a platform for me to speak to myself first in words that cannot be ignored. Read through these posts and you’ll see me illustrate how the past few years have had a bunch of rough spots. I don’t sugar coat it. While there have been great moments of joy there has been misery too.
This is where I call myself to the carpet and demand that I chart a new course based on what makes me happiest. This is where I start to map it out and that my friends is how I manage my time. I know where it is I am trying to go and what it is I am trying to do. Better to try to get there and fail than not to try at all.
And to my fellow MOTs I want to wish you all a Shana Tova Umetukah. May 5772 bring you all that you hope for and desire.
Larissa October 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm
Difficult times…hang in there…the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are very unique in their energy towards the world!
Jack October 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm
There certainly is a different sort of energy.
Julie September 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm
“The right thing to do” is completely subjective, isn’t it? The moral thing and the right thing aren’t always one and the same. You feel it in your gut, and then you follow it, is usually the best you can do if you can’t make it work out perfectly.
I was wondering if the quote really means what I always thought it meant. That implies that your fate is sealed, and I don’t believe that. Some say that souls decide what kind of experience they need to have before they are born, which can account for the unaccountable such as infant death. I wonder if that is too neat a package to put it in.
Perhaps it’s more a time to reflect upon what you’ve learned and experienced this past year, and what you are hoping for and working toward during the next. I imagine if there are indeed books where our names are written, it may be more a hope for what we can become, based on the commitment and progress we have made.
I hope so, anyway.
TheJackB September 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm
@Julie | A Clear Sign Shana Tova to you as well.
I am at a crossroads on some of these things. So much has happened to support both sides and that irritates me. I am not indecisive or a fence sitter. So in this case I lean towards that which I feel like I know for certain.
Morality is subjective. So I try to do the best I can to live in a way that allows me to sleep at night.
There has to be something more to all this than coincidence or so says my heart. Yet my brain says that coincidence is easily explained as is the need to rely upon simple explanations.
What is right and where we draw the lines is a different story altogether.
Julie September 29, 2011 at 11:51 am
@TheJackB The only things I can say about the woo woo is that 1) it is real 2) I know that only because I started doing readings for other people and then I had direct irrefutable evidence and 3) anyone can learn to do it, so if you actually wanted to know for sure you only need a few pointers on how to do it. Imagine the fiction fodder. Also 4) there are no coincidences (ok, almost never). Crap, I can’t seem to pass an article without feeling the need to comment, huh?
TheJackB September 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm
@Julie | A Clear Sign It certainly is intriguing.
KDillabough September 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm
Jack, I loved those words when you wrote them over at my blog, and I double-love them here: thanks.
I use the words, “because it’s the right thing to do” often…when I’ve been queried by my sons about a particular action taken, when I’m on the proverbial horns of a dilemma, it always boils down to doing the right thing…taking the high road, even when that’s difficult, painful or challenging.
There is no question: life on this planet is short, and its brevity is never more clearly evident than when tragedy or injustice strikes around us. I used this mantra in a comment elsewhere, and although I can’t name its source/author, it’s this:
Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.
That’s all any of us can do: make those small, incremental changes to be the best we can be, each and every day. And happiness…ah happiness…it’s the ultimate elixir, and should not be reserved or held back, but exuded in everything we do. On that note, I shall dance:) Cheers! Kaarina
TheJackB September 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm
@KDillabough The right thing to do irks me. It always has primarily because I feel like it is used by a crutch by everyone, myself included. I suppose that it is because there are moments where I feel like the right thing was wrong for me.
And it makes me wonder where the lines must be drawn and what responsibility we have to ourselves to follow our passion versus our responsibility to others.
KDillabough September 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm
@TheJackB Interesting Jack: it seems as if you interpret the “right thing” to do as a responsibility to someone else, as opposed to a responsibility we have to ourselves. To me, the “right thing” aligns with personal core values, standards and beliefs, so for me, the right thing IS the right thing for me. Don’t see it as a crutch: see it as a testament to oneself. Just my view, FWIW. Cheers! Kaarina
TheJackB September 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm
@KDillabough I think that it is a mix. My core values are always going to be tied up in what I think the right thing to do is but I don’t see any contradiction in saying that it can involve other people.
Some of it may have to do with this particular time in my life.
KDillabough September 29, 2011 at 4:02 am
@TheJackB I totally get your point about saying it can involve other people. We do indeed have a responsibility to others, especially our children. I guess I was just expressing my own feeling that the right thing to do doesn’t irk me.
BetsyKCross September 28, 2011 at 5:38 am
Just came from Kaarina’s post. I’m so sleep deprived I think I’m missing the point of most posts! LOL! But if you’re talking about doing the most important stuff (ie. relationship-building) it seems like that is at the top of everyone’s list these days! I’m with you there. And we always feel that gut-wrenching wake-up call to what our real values are when there is a tragedy and death.
TheJackB September 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm
@BetsyKCross When I was younger I really didn’t worry about these things- time felt endless but I suppose that is not any different than anyone else.
Just had too many experiences that remind me that things change quickly.