What’s One Thing?
That’s what I try to focus on during this season of renewal.
Whenever I am in synagogue on Yom Kippur and I get to the vidui section of the prayers with the litany of sins we all committed, I get a bit overwhelmed. How can I sincerely focus on the ways that I missed the mark this year? The pace of the recitation in synagogue is too fast. Ashamnu, bagadnu, gazalnu, dibarnu dofi. We have sinned, we have betrayed, we have stolen and we have slandered. While I say these words, bow my head and lightly thump my chest with my fist, saying these words don’t always hold the transformative power I hope for as I work to improve my character in the coming year.
Most years I try to focus on one thing. One thing that I want to improve upon. One year it was arriving on time (I am usually chronically late), another year it was about taking more risks and saying ‘yes’ more. This year, I want to focus on following through on what I say, mainly with my kids. I find myself saying things and not following through a lot of the time. “Yes, you can take my phone this afternoon” or “Sure, you can have a treat!”. When the moment of truth comes, of course I don’t want them to take my phone or get the candy from the store. They have turned to me lately saying, “Imma, you never mean what you say!”. And when I go back on my word, they learn that words are cheap, and promises are easily broken.
By focusing on following through on what I say, my hope is to slow down my responses to my kids, think before I speak and help them learn that words have weight and power. Yes means yes, and no means no.
If you were set to think about Your One Thing you would want to work on this year, what would it be? If you are so inclined to write to me about it, I would love to hear, and even include it in next week’s newsletter. You can send your responses to email@example.com.
In the meantime, warm wishes for a meaningful New Year ahead, Shana Tovah U’Metukah!
Blessings for the journey,