I haven’t blogged in a few days. Mostly because I was super busy. I’ve been busy atoning for my sins. It was the holiest day in the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur. From sundown on Friday until sundown-ish on Saturday, I fasted. I did not do this happily, rather I was a crabby, miserable human being but I did it.
Of course, much like everything else in my life, Yom Kippur has changed for me since I have had kids. In addition to the annoyance of feeding children when you can’t eat, I was also unable to be in services the way I would be. This inspired most reflection to happen in the comforts of my own home.
As I spent so much of the time asking for my family and friends to be inscribed in the Book of Life, I also asked for them to live long healthy, happy, safe lives. And all this asking for things, made my Jewish guilt appear. Who do I think I am asking for things without giving something? We, as humans or at least my generation, want so many things but frequently aren’t willing to sacrifice. After all I couldn’t even sacrifice a day without food and water without complaining and being horrible to be around.
Every year I offer up that I will try and be a better person. I will speak less slander, I will gossip less, I will judge less, etc. But sometime around the next Jewish New Year I manage to be exactly the same as I was the year before. I’m like the person who vows to workout more and eat less but weighs exactly the same every December 31. So what good are my resolutions if I never resolve them?
And yet each year I beg and expect to have my prayers heard. So this year I started out thinking that I’m just going to embrace that I will never change and continue to pray for my family and friends. It felt so unfair that I was asking for something without having any ability to give back.
So I’m starting this again. I’m going to make my aspirations a little different. I’m going to try and be a better person. Period. I’m going to try to be the kind of person that I can look in the mirror and say I have done my best to live an upstanding life. And hopefully next year when I sit in temple, or run after crazy rugrats in temple, I’m going to feel confident that I spent a year being a good person. A person who may falter and speak slander, gossip or judge but a person who tried their best year long to do well by others.
Here’s to succeeding in my new year’s resolution.