This time of year always freaks me out a little bit. The juxtaposition of the post-summer, "get back to real life" busyness of a new school year for the kids, shopping, cooking, holiday prep with the seriousness of the time of year with our holiday extravaganza month is hard to internalize. How am I supposed to focus on the spiritual importance of the days to come when life just got crazy again? This is a struggle of mine that I suspect many Jewish women share. And this year, add on a little worldwide pandemic where women are not in shul as often, or at all, it begins to erode on the spiritual thoughts that usually drift through my head this time of year. In trying to find time to be reflective (often late nights when that 7pm cup of coffee is catching up with me) I've come to realize that the calendar doesn't matter. Yes, there will always be things we need to do on certain dates and certain times. But truly, it doesn't matter what the official month, week, or day it is, it matters where "you" are. If you're getting married in November, that's your new year. If you're taking a big exam in June, that's your new year. If your baby is due in March, that's your new year.
What matters is how you approach a new start, a change in your life and put yourself into it wholeheartedly. Ask yourself, "what did I do today to get closer to my goals, aspirations, and plans?" Be truthful to yourself about what you want and how to achieve it. With the ultimate goal to better yourself. That is what I think this time of year is about. A time to reflect honestly on yourself: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And then make positive, long-lasting, realistic change. Imagine who you'll be a few years from now! For myself and for my patients, I hope this is a year of exciting new opportunities and adventure. A year where we can grow from the the struggle of living through a worldwide pandemic and recognize the new talents and strengths that came from our lives being turned upside down. (note: being a homeschooling parent was NOT one of mine!) Here's to health, happiness, and strength for everyone! Shana Tova!