yom kippur

The Road Between

There is so much that I want from life.

Recently though, I’ve boiled down my prayers to be pretty specific:

If there is one thing I do right in this lifetime, may it be my family.

My prayers don’t end there, certainly not – but each time I turn to G-d I let Him know that that is the key aspect of my prayers. That if He’s unable to grant me anything else I ask for, He still gift me with that.

If nothing else pans out, allow me to still be capable of a loving marriage and raising my children the way I hope.

. . .

I am a spiritual person.

Rosh Hashonah is a very spiritual holiday. Even as a kid, I would look forward to the familiar tunes and prayers said only on Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur. That excitement has not faded and has only strengthened through a deeper understanding of what the holidays represent.

Over this Rosh Hashonah, I was deeply connected and focused.

I was rudely awakened yesterday as assignment due dates and to do lists came back into focus, and I was reminded that I am not a spiritual being, I am actually so very human.

Our days are made up of so much, our world is made up of even more, and there is no end to the opportunities and challenges that arise each day.

In the end, our joys and our pains are oh so physical, not so much spiritual.

Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur are nice – and more than that, they are truly truly important.

But they are the spiritual half of our journey, and in a way, the much easier part.

I didn’t forget I was human on Rosh Hashonah – I prayed for all the parts that are human in me. But somehow, on Rosh Hashonah, being human was easier.

And yesterday, as I emerged from the cocoon of prayer and spirituality, it was a startling wake-up call to what being human really is about.

Because our life is not made up of enormous life-changing events, like the ones we pray for.

Our life is not made up of graduating college, getting the dream job, getting married, or having children.

It’s made up of all the tiny things in between, the tiny things that are easy to forget about when you’ve got your eyes on the big picture.

But when you face life, those tiny things are exactly what it is.
I prayed for the big things, because they are easier to pinpoint.

Today, I pray for the small things.

As I transition back into my world, suited up with spirituality, I pray that the small things go right. That our lives are filled with the small things that count.
I pray that the big things are so great that I get to appreciate and notice the tiny things.

. . .

At the end of the day, my prayer still stands – if I do anything right in this lifetime, may it be my family.

Yet I mean that in a thousand ways, as it filters down to real life.

All the roads that lead towards it – may they be brightly lit. May all the roads we take in life be brightly lit and filled with joy.

Because it is the road we’re on that that counts. The destinations are important, but it’s the rest stops that make it better. The music we choose, the snacks we eat, the people we put in our passenger seats.

It’s those tiny things that make up life that make life worth living.

And I look forward to G-d granting me these prayers. That ahead of me, I have a life filled with sticky fingers, dirty kitchens, late night deadlines, busy work days, hugs and kisses, aching laughter, days in swimming pools, and a heart filled to capacity.

On Rosh Hashonah, we pray.

And on Yom Kippur, may it be sealed.
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Blog Post 51/52.

Featured Photo by rawpixel  via Unsplash

What is Focus?

I wasn’t sure what to write about this week.

I know, three weeks into my great big plan, and I’m already out of inspiration.

The problem is, all my half-written blog posts that are on my phone don’t seem to be ready to be finished yet. They’re missing paragraphs, conclusions, lacking knowledge that I haven’t yet come to. They’re only halfway there.

It’s a big week for inspiration. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days that everyone is looking for a little something to push them in the right direction.

I’m afraid I don’t have it.

Wondering what I was going to write about, I scrolled through my WordPress feed. There, I discovered a prompt word via Daily Prompt: Focused.

Focus. The ever elusive trait. It takes guts to focus. It takes patience and energy and sheer bravery.

It takes knowing that what you are focusing on is more important than every distraction out there. It’s hard.

These days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur require focus. Specifically, this year, as it is a long week between them, time enough to lose track, enough of a resumption to life to lose focus.

I’m a human. When I’m in pain, I’m in pain. I tried getting work done today while in pain, and I struggled to even create words in my head. I’m a writer, I was supposed to be pulling words together to create a meaningful message, for pay this time, and I couldn’t do it.

All I could focus on was my pain.

It overtook me, it pushed everything else out of my head. I tried to distract myself while waiting for the meds to kick in, with stupid youtube videos, an instagram feed, plans for dinner.

I couldn’t do it.

Until my pain was gone, there was nothing else I could think about.

Imagine if I allowed my soul to be as powerful as my body. If it could have that much control over my focus.

Imagine if, for the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, nothing else held any meaning. Nothing could possibly pull me away from my focus on G-d. Nothing could stop me from becoming a better person.

Imagine if my temptations fell away, and I didn’t have to fight to be the person I want to be.

It all must remain in our imagination, I’m afraid.

Because this is one fight that will never end, the fight for focus. The fight to remember how important these days are. The fight to not make the same mistakes over and over and over again.

 

But this week isn’t meant to be easy. Even more so when I don’t feel inspired, don’t feel ready, don’t feel focused.

Perhaps that can be my goal this week – to win just a few battles. To try to fight for focus, to try to allow my soul to speak a little louder. To let it choose at least once a day.

What are you doing to make this week a little more special, a little more focused?

Blog Post: 3/52


Photo by ANDRIK ↟ LANGFIELD ↟ PETRIDES on Unsplash