September has always been my New Year. The start of school and all of the newness that comes with that: New shoes, new backpack, new teachers, new locker-mate. There is my birthday that falls in mid-September and a new crack at a new age and a chance to make this year the best one ever. Now, that I am a Jew-adjacent thanks to Mr. Rosenberg, this year I also have Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to add to the new. We are beginning the Days of Awe, the New Year 5775.
I have referenced Annie Dillard's famous quote here before, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." It's one of my favorite reminders to keep conscious about how I choose to allot my time. At my September New Year, I like to revisit the slices that are the pie charts of my days, and see if they are balanced in a way that feels right.
Slice 1. Being of service to others. At this time in my life, being a helper is an important part of my days. Simply being a mom takes care of that. All of the PTA meetings, rides to soccer practice, and kisses and bandaids, take up the majority of my time. And laundry, let's not forget the never-ending laundry. I am grateful to have the time for all of my people, including a needy dog who eats throw pillows and a fish named Max. Often, my being of service is what love looks like from the outside.
Slice 2. Being of service to myself. I would like to switch this up a bit. I'm doing okay in the basic eating/sleeping/moving around ways. What I am looking for is more easy joy like book reading, and singing in the station wagon on the freeway. I'd like to give myself permission to do more of nothing, with the knowledge that nothing is actually something, and that particular something is important. I want to enjoy my nothing without the guilt that I should be doing something "constructive." More naps, please.
Slice 3. The creative things. This will be the year when I take piano lessons, I write more poetry, and finish writing my novel. I will do lots of writing. And taking pictures. And writing.
Slice 4. The spiritual stuff. Here's where gratitude comes in, and quiet prayer. Smiling at strangers. Keeping a journal. Lighting a candle. Standing quietly in nature. Doing the dishes as a meditation, rather than a chore. Letting that impatient driver merge in front of me. Dancing. All of the other slices can fit into the category of "spiritual stuff" if I do them with the right attitude.
It's a fresh start. It's 5775.
Happy New Year.
L'Shanah Tova Tikatevu.