Monday, September 23, 2013

Resolutions


Do you make resolutions? I’m going to be kind of wishy-washy in my answer here and say “sort of.” But I’ll explain.

Being Jewish, I have two new years—the secular one in January and the Jewish one in the fall. Typically, I distinguish between the two by using the one in January to make external resolutions and the one in the fall to make internal ones.

The external resolutions are easy to make, and equally easy to break, which is why I haven’t made any in several years. For me, they tend to be things like eating healthier (chocolate is healthy, right?), getting more exercise, organizing closets, etc.

Making those resolutions are important, sure, but I can make them at any time, and usually do. They end up morphing themselves into to-do lists, which I post on my fridge and tackle as I get to them—my saving grace is that I don’t date them, so no one really knows when I wrote it. J

The internal resolutions are significantly harder to make, but just as easy to break. I make them every year. The period between our Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and our Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, we have to acknowledge our sins and apologize for them—to ourselves, to God and to others. To me, part of that apology is trying to not repeat the sin; apologizing for being mean to someone and then being mean to them again (or others) negates that apology, in my opinion. So I, and many, many others, try to do better.

Taking stock of yourself and determining what you’ve done well and what you haven’t is a difficult process and fills me with guilt. I often say I hate this time of year. It’s not because I don’t want to be nicer (I do) or even that I’m embarrassed to apologize (I’m not). It’s just that constantly telling myself all the things I’m doing wrong is not something that helps my self-confidence.

And maybe that’s why I make to-do lists rather than secular resolutions. I save my energy for the internal changes I need to make. I’m a work in progress, and those resolutions might take awhile.

10 comments:

  1. Very nice post and I understand the way you feel. I too, believe in stepping into solutions rather than swimming around in the problem. ;)

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    1. Thanks for your kind words. I'm working on the wading vs. swimming!

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  2. Wonderful explanation of Yom Kippur, something I still struggle explaining. Maybe you should add some things you do well to the list of things you tell yourself. I am new here, found you through RobbItSeems tribe.

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    1. Thank you, and I try. So glad you stopped by!

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  3. You are not so different I feel that most of us. It's always hard to dwell on where we need improvement, but acknowledging that we need it is vital. Everyday I sincerely try to be a better human than I was the previous day. Some days I'm good at it!

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  4. Taking stock is important and I envy your two moments of change each each. And yes, chocolate!

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    1. Thanks Kelly. In some ways it's great and in others, eh. :)

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  5. I didn't know you were a member of the tribe. Mazel Tov! I've always questioned the Kol Nidre service. It is mandatory that we show up because it stresses how we are human and although we make all of these promises, we will break them again. Kol Nidre allows us to be excused when we don't do what we are promising to do in the next 24 hours. Weird, huh? There must be some wisdom from the sages because no matter how great my intentions, yep, I goof again each year.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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