Sunday, September 20, 2009

On the Occasion of Rosh Hashanah (which was yesterday)

I am inspired to write after reading a post on Facebook from my fellow author, Kiki Howell (The Witch’s Beast, Mystic Stones, The Healing Spell and, coming soon, Rituals).

Kiki is married to Steve, a teacher and a fabulous musician. Steve is of the Jewish faith, Kiki is not. But Kiki was home preparing for the High Holy Days, starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur. She describes this time as “commonly known as the Days of Awe - a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year.”

What a terrific concept! We don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about the things we’ve done and the effect those things had, are having, or will have down the road. Certainly ten days is not too many out of 365 to stop and reflect on what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you intend to do. You might find that if you actually think about things, it can change your direction, or temper your future actions, or even spur you to more vigorously follow your original intention.

Since there are only nine days left in the Days of Awe, I suggest you divide it into thirds. Spend some time today, tomorrow and Tuesday thinking about all the things you’ve done or haven’t done in the past year. Did they turn out as expected? Were you happy with your own actions or inaction? Could you have done it better, or smarter, or with more discretion, or with more consideration of others? We all have room for improvement.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday can be used to think about the present. What things are you doing now? Are they things of which you can be proud? Are they things that move you forward in life in a positive way or are you letting negativity get in the way of what you are creating? Are you letting the people you care about know that you care by your words and your actions? Are you sitting there saying “I’m not Jewish, why would I do this?” and letting a prejudice keep you from the benefits such wise introspection time might bring you?

Saturday, Sunday and Monday should be used to think about what you intend for the coming year. A life without goals is not a life; it’s an existence. Everyone should strive for something. There is no sense of accomplishment if there is no goal to meet, no task to conquer. It doesn’t matter what the goal is. Perhaps you want to lose 5 lbs, or 50 or 100; maybe you want to get that GED, learn to play guitar, get a new job, read a book a week, go fishing once a month…the possibilities are endless. If there is something you want to do, set the goal and strive toward it.

A friend asked me what was new, and I told him I had acquired an agent to represent my latest book. His comment was, “You never cease to amaze me. You say you’re going to do something and then you go out and do it. I don’t do that.” My question to him was “Why not?”

And so, I am adopting the “Days of Awe.” Want to join me?