Rosh Hashanah and the Meeting of Old Habits with New Perspective
This post originally appeared on our old blog, Born to be a Bride.
We’ve had an interesting week, to say the least. Josh and I have been working behind the scenes on a new upcoming project I can’t wait to share with you all. Sunday was spent cuddling, taking lots of family selfies (ha!), and eating delicious healthy food in our newly organized home. This past month I have tossed over 30 bags of clothing and toys; and I’m only getting started. Our entire downstairs is magazine-worthy now, save a missing coffee table and area rug in the living room which we hope to scoop up next week.
In preparation of Rosh Hashanah I started a few new things this past month, on top of the cleaning and organizing. I purchased a big, fat planner that has room to scribble any and everything from writing assignments to grocery lists and long-term goals. I finally made some scary phone calls to various doctors to get my physical health back on track after spending the better part of the last year pretending I’m not living with chronic pain and fatigue. I gave away a bunch of baby clothes we won’t ever need, no matter how many more kids we have. I’m learning, slowly and profoundly, how much ease steps in and anxiety steps out when we live with less stuff. It’s a beautiful release.
I’ve also returned to the mat, not randomly or when it fits beautifully into my schedule, but daily, and dutifully. It is only the sixth day of October but so far, my plan to do yoga every single day this month is going well. Whether it’s a class — which is always preferable — or a twenty-minute YouTube stretching meditation, I have to do it. Every. Damn. Day. Everyone has their thing; for me, it’s this. And for that twenty minutes, or better yet, hour, I can escape all the cloudiness in my head and focus on lengthening, toning, and most importantly, finding ease in the mind through yoga.
We went to Rosh Hashanah services at a new synagogue. Willow’s far too young to understand anything about it, but she looked pretty darn sweet in her new white dress and had an absolute blast in the daycare while Josh and I attended services. The sermon was beautiful and profound, full of hope and strength. I left feeling lighter, happier. I faced my fears and anxieties about work and finances; I forgave myself for the mistakes I made this past year, and I welcomed 5777 with open arms. Monday was a really good day.
On Tuesday morning, I awoke before Willow and raced downstairs to get a load of laundry and a cup of coffee in before she got up. It took about 45 minutes for me to realize that along with the sheets and towels, my iPhone was swirling around in that hot, soapy water. And there we were. A huge, stressful, unthinkably expensive mistake made in an instant. A noble attempt at getting the house in order shattering in my face.
After we spent the day sorting out the finances and logistics of replacing the phone (none of it simple, by the way), I decided to escape from the stress at home and take Willow for an evening walk. Returning to the serenity I’d felt just 24 hours earlier, and with the sun not quite set on the last day of Rosh Hashanah, I dug deep and forgave myself, once again. This time for rushing, for being careless, for making a costly mistake.
I came home with a bottle of wine in the bottom of the stroller and a happy, laughing girl on my hip. I might not have had a cell phone, but I had a memory card full of gorgeous golden hour photos of her and a happy heart. It would get better. It always does. It was with this sense of fulfillment and peace that I turned on my computer. It turns out you don’t need a cell phone to discover that a friendship is in a bad spot. No sooner was the screen on than social ugliness greeted me and again the levity that I had salvaged was gone.
Like I said, it’s been an interesting week.
Last night was spent acquiring my new cell phone, who shall be guarded over like the queen’s jewels. Today, I dropped Willow at her “school” (read: daycare) at my gym so I could enjoy a nice, juicy flow, and tomorrow we pack our bags to head to Texas, my happy place, for a long weekend. I had mixed feelings getting through a week that has repeatedly kicked me in the ass despite my good intentions and open heart. There is the tendency to feel bad about yourself — Why did I make that stupid, expensive mistake? Why am I letting people who don’t have my best interests at heart cause me pain? – but you can also flip it. Like Willow likes to do with our mail bin, as seen below.
Because something else happened yesterday, a lot of somethings actually. We had a three-hour play date with a local mom who gets it. She’s witty, sweet, outgoing, and I can already tell, going to be a great friend. We laughed, we listened, we just hung. The kind of moment I’ve been longing for since my dearest local friend moved away. And last night I learned from another close friend that the news she’s been praying to get for a very long time has come. Joy is all around. I have to remember this. It’s all around.
So, we welcome 5777 to wash all over us with its newness. To remind us that life is really very beautiful and that the good outweighs the bad. Maybe we wouldn’t appreciate the joys of true friendship without the pain of social hardship. Maybe we wouldn’t remember how good our spouses are in a crisis until we make a big mistake and they sweep us up in a hug and help us fix it. Maybe I’m not the complete loser that I felt like on Tuesday morning when I sat on the laundry room floor listening to my phone clunk around inside a washing machine I couldn’t even unlock. Maybe I do deserve the goodness and sweetness of true friendship. Maybe I’m just a person like everyone else, with flaws and strengths. But most of all, with an open heart.