Communication and Atoning...
The high holidays are here and, although I haven't been doing a lot of blogging or discussing of things, I've been doing a fair amount of self reflecting. I think much of my self reflecting occurs throughout the year; however, during this pre-holiday season, it seems that so much comes more into focus and clarity.
For me, self reflection comes in different forms and at random times. Sometimes the thoughts just sneak up on me, hitting me over the head like a hammer, carrying with the blow a message of "what are you doing!". Usually these happen after-the-fact which isn't always great. One thing I need to work at in the coming year is communication,and simply being aware - always - of what I say before it comes out. I don't always just blurt out the "wrong" there; however, there are definitely times when I realize, a split second too late ,that how I communicated was not effective or that how I communicated came across in a way that I did not want to be perceived. I can remember many times in my life where I've felt misunderstood and I'm positive that much of these experiences had to do with miscommunication on my part.
During this time of the year I find myself simply more aware of what or how I am doing or relating to others. Even though it may be subconciously, I find myself in tune with myself or at least more aware of what I'm doing. Perhaps it's simply the time of year, knowing that the "official" day of atoning is near and that I had better get a head start.
Judaism is great at building in to rituals the time for preparation and reconciliation BEFORE that very important day.
Being in a relationship and spending a lot of time together really helps put into clear focus many of the things I want to work on for myself, communication being key here. TG and I get along quite well and considering we went from living 3000 miles away to living together, we are doing teriffic. I am happy with us and our life although I know it can be better as we both learn about ourselves and each other; and as we grow from year to year as a couple. For me, a part of growing is working on communicating and working on not taking any aspect of "us" for granted. I think I'm seeing in myself that when I get so comfortable with the day to day life together, it's easy for me to take for granted the need for effective communication and the need to be clear in all things.
I guess this post was a quick way for me to put out there some goals for the upcoming year: improving communcation and appreciating all things in my life and relationship; working always to not take things for granted. Of course I have tons of other small goals I want to work on and accomplish: reading "Everyday Holiness", "The Giver", "A Night to Remember", amongst oh so many Jewish books that we have in our library. I hope to become a more organized and effective teacher. I hope to work at improving family connections. I hope to grow closer to my fiance's family and I hope to help TG feel closer to mine. I have so many things I hope to accomplish in the year. Many known, even more unknown. I don't want to set "resolutions" because a resolution has a sense of completeness and I feel that at the new year, goals that are ongoing are more realistic for me. With the exception of completing books, my desires for the year are to keep growing, keep changing, and keep embracing myself and my life.
Shana Tova to all. May this time of the year bring you reflection, reconciliations, and all things productive.
p.s. I also hope to make a sweet challah for the first time this year...tomorrow I think!