Long time no write. I have had a crazy couple of months with a book deadline, speaking engagements, and an article for a magazine I had to whip up on short notice, and all the craziness that my life consists of on a daily basis. I know that there are some writers out there who can’t stop writing, they need it as an outlet; I’m not one of them. Sometimes I simply have no words left. Writing memoirs is a weird career choice for me, because I am innately a very shy person. I have a hard time with crowds and am quite comfortable in silence. But I also strongly believe that there is strength in story telling, that no one needs to feel alone; there’s always someone else out there who understands.
I’m feeling particularly reflective today. Tonight starts the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It comes shortly after the Jewish New Year, and usually consists of spending the night and following day in Synagogue, paying homage to those that you’ve lost, and atoning to those who you may have wronged. Jewish tradition requires you to actually find the person you have wronged and seek their forgiveness. It’s not an easy process. It also requires 24-hours of fasting. I’m not going to synagogue, and I’m not fasting. Some years I do, some years I don’t. This year we’ve decided to take 24-hours off from technology, to spend time talking and walking, and reflecting on our recent year. We’ve been through a lot together, but this year was particularly hard for us, between Roy losing his job and our miscarriage, we went through the emotional wringer, and probably hurt each other more than we should have. People say marriage is work, they’re right; I didn’t realize how right they were until very recently. It’s very easy to be unfair to the people you trust to love you at your worst, when you are actually at your worst. The work comes in not taking the easy way out, in always recognizing the other person and their needs when you want nothing more than to be selfish.
I am not a very religious person. But I am spiritual. I appreciate the traditions I come from, and know enough to know that I there’s much I don’t know about this world. Taking time to reflect on the things that we have done wrong is important. I think we’ve lost a little bit of that culturally, the Internet has give us an all uncensored soapbox to stand on, to declare our beliefs and judgments with very few real life implications. Not everyone takes advantage of that. Many do. I often marvel at just how mean some people can be under the guise of anonymity. I think that seeps into real life a bit too, it often feels, at least to me, that the world is becoming more unabashedly unkind, perhaps because we feel like we’re allowed to be.
You all know how big I am on resolutions. And while New Year’s Day is basically the most euphoric day of the year for me, I’m making a resolution now, now that I’ve had a day or two off from writing under a deadline and have had time to grieve my pregnancy, that I will take more time to be responsible for how I affect other people. Roy and I always joke that he’s better at being married, but it’s not a joke, it’s true. I have a hard time not seeing marriage as a threat to my independence. He has, from the very beginning of our relationship, seen the world through the lens of us. I can’t promise that I can change who I am at my core, but I can focus on stepping back from my career and my drive to do everything “right” and actually focus on what’s best for him as my partner. I can focus on not trying to make everything perfect for my parents and just enjoy being with them; I have been informed that I do meddle too much in their affairs. And I can be a better friend, I have certainly slacked on my responsibility to the relationships in my life, forgotten to return phone calls or write letters. I can be accused of using Facebook as a crutch when time is short, which it always seems to be. Maybe none of these things seem like things worthy of atoning for, but they are the things that make a life, and I need to be more active in my attention to my place in others’ lives, not simply their place in mine.
I will be offline until Wednesday night. If you observe Yom Kippur, I wish you an easy fast. If you’ve never heard of Yom Kippur, I hope this was at the very least an interesting read.