Wednesday, September 12, 2007

L'Shana tova!

This evening is the first night of Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year. I hope it begins a good and sweet year for everyone, and that if you're going to spend tomorrow grappling with the High Holiday liturgy of death, life, judgment, and repentance, you make it through the day with grace. Lord knows I'm going to need some myself. Or maybe you should just look for me on the playground.

So here's one for audience participation: when I turned eighteen, a friend of mine asked me the birthday question. Do you know it? It's simple, but it's a doozy. Since tonight is the birthday of the world, I figure we can all stand to think about it...

What have you learned in the past year?

Take your time with it. Go away and come back if you need to. Things are going to be quiet here on the Rhyming blog for the next few days. I'll be thinking it over, too, while I watch Z. run thrilling circles around the big play structure. I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say when I'm back online, and I'll let you know what I come up with.


Jenny Davidson said...

I learned that I love running. I learned that stress fractures are the exact physical equivalent of overwork-related exhaustion-leading-into-depression and that I need to guard against overtraining as much as I need to guard against the other. I learned a strong and reasonably fast front crawl, and I learned that I also love swimming. I learned (something I knew already) that I do not like it when people I care about die.

What I hope I am going to learn in the next year: backstroke and breaststroke to the level of the front crawl I now have, butterfly in some adequate approximation of the real thing; how to run at a smooth easy pace that I can keep up pretty much forever and still feel I could have gone longer; how to run faster; how to be a confident bike-rider; how to race triathlons.

What I wish I could learn but will almost certainly not: how to keep things in balance...

Phantom Scribbler said...

L'shana tova to the whole Javelin family!

(un)relaxeddad said...

Happy New Year! That's a big question. I may have to take it away and think about it on my own blog.

slantgirl said...

you don't know me (i'm usually a lurker) so this may seema bit intense, but your post really inspired me. i had a year full of major transitions, and this lsit reflects some huge upheavals.

- the word 'no' is the most powerful tool in my arsenal. but it only works powerfully if i absolutely believe in it when i wield in it, and if i will demand that it be listened to. same goes for 'yes'

- i was the only one who didn't take me seriously as a professional. once i began to believe in myself as a scholar, everything clicked into place.

- nothing feels as good to me as finishing something i never believed i would.

- the people who really support me listen to me first, and give advice when i ask for it.

- others' people's support is vital in places, but i need a variety of it. no one person should claim responsibility for any task in my life, should expect to be everything to me, or ask the same of me.

- sometimes meaningful connections are forged in an instant. mostly, they take a long time to build.

- other people's shit is really not my responsibility. 99% of my fear and anxieties are caused by others' people's shit. realizing this lessened my fears and anxieties by 99%.

- i deserve to be treated well. i do not have to accept anything less.

- if i ask for things i really want, sometimes i might get them. but the key is actually in the asking. and in the expecting and accepting nothing less.

- as bad as shit is, it can always get worse. so far there hasn't been anything i haven't been able to get through.

shanah tovah!

S. said...

Jenny, wonderful and sad and exciting how your hard work is paying off! Mabye also on that last one, who knows?

Phantom, l'shana tova to you and yours--may there be no more emergency appointments for BB or anyone else!

(un)relaxeddad, I look forward to reading it.

slantgirl, welcome! It sound like your year shifted some really necessary things for you. I hope there will be some good coming back to you from all of it.

elswhere said...

I learned some of the same things as slantgirl. Especially the part about other people's shit not being my responsibility.

Similarly, I learned that I can't make everyone else happy and satisfied and make everything better, and that when I stop trying and don't take it on as my responsibility things go much better for everyone.

I learned that if I act with integrity and do my best, that's generally good enough.

I learned that the grumpiness or unhappiness of those close to me, whether or not they think I caused it, is best responded to with a simple "I'm sorry you're feeling so rotten. What can I do to help?"

I learned that I can mess up and make a decent recovery.

I learned that I do not, in fact, have to answer every question put to me.

It's been quite a year, come to think of it.

L'shana tovah to you and yours!

S. said...

elswhere, shana tova! Welcome, I'm glad you're reading, and yes, it does sound like quite a year!