Today was the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. It officially started at sundown last night, but today was the first of two days that we go to synagogue to "celebrate."
Last year, LP was only a few months old when the holiday rolled around. She was immobile and relatively quiet so the the Hoos and I were able to stay in the sanctuary for the majority of the service. This year LP is an active, happy little girl; and despite the fact that she doesn't have many words, she certainly has sounds. Shortly after settling in to the way back of the sanctuary and opening our mahzor (special prayer books for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur), LP started to make her presence known. The Hoos quickly scooped her up and carried her out to the hallway. I stayed for another half hour or so before discretely making my way out as well.
Because we were not able to observe the entire service, I am determined to reflect on the holiday's meaning on my own. In all honesty, that is what I typically do anyway. Sure, I follow the service, but as with most things, it is important to connect it back to you, your life, and your experiences to make the recitations tangible.
In some respects Rosh Hashana is pretty similar to the secular New Year, a time to consider the events and your actions of the previous year and make resolutions for the future. Looking back over the past year I keep coming to a single conclusion: I am extremely fortunate. I have a wonderful husband, an awe-inspiring daughter, a comfortable house, a good job and a supportive and loving family. There is really nothing that I could possibly want for. And if there is anything I want or need, for the most part I am fortunate to have the means to take care of it. Basically, despite all of the things I find to complain about on a daily basis, I have nothing to complain about.
This makes it painfully clear that I need to be more charitable, more patient, and more positive. I am hereby committed to being more appreciative of what I have and taking responsibility for improving/enhancing/upgrading myself and whatever small part of the world I can impact. While it certainly sounds pat and cliche when looking at it in black and white, all I can do it start today and remind myself to look back often.