I was listening to NPR on the way to work this morning, and the hosts mentioned that today was the first day of Rosh Hashanah. One of the traditions of this very holy time is that Jews use the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to reflect on the year and spend time in self-evaluation and reflection.
The segment went on to talk about how some Jews were blending their beliefs into the modern world by using technology during this ten day period, using a site called 10Q. You can sign up for this website and each day for the 10 days get a thought provoking question in your inbox. You answer it and submit. At the end of the 10 days, your answers “go away” until next year during Rosh Hashanah. Then you get your answers from the previous year (to help show how your life has progressed over the year), plus another 10 questions to answer for the current year.
This year has been a memorable, significant year in my life. I have had a life-threatening illness, the dissolution of my marriage, and some fundamental challenges to the things that I believe.
If there was ever a time to reflect and complete self-evaluation, this is it. And I liked the idea of tackling it, one question at a time, one day at a time.
So, here goes day one:
Question: Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?
Wow! Just go for broke, right out of the gate…
I have had several significant experiences this year.
1. I developed a pulmonary embolism and could have died
2. My husband asked me for a divorce
3. I bought a new house and began to rebuild a residence
The one that I would pick to discuss is buying a house and rebuilding my safe haven.
I am an introvert that is surrounded by people all day, so having a haven, a place to be still and to recharge my batteries is critical to my well being. After it became evident that my marriage was going to end, there was a time that we still shared a house. This might have been some of the most stressful time in my life because I lost having a safe zone. My house became a tension filled and unwelcoming, so finding a place to make safe again was so important.
I am slowly doing this with the purchase of a house. And I have felt every emotion possible in the months since. There is no way to describe how I feel without talking about almost all emotions. Joy when the fence went in, keeping my dog safe. Anxiety and aggravation during the whole loan process. Loneliness during that first night on my own in the house. Relief when all the kitchen boxes were finally unpacked. Pissed off because I have to do this to begin with. Excited because it’s mine, mine, mine to do with whatever I want. Proud when the new color turned out just right. Worried that I am making decisions based on emotion, not rational thought. On, and on, and on.
Mostly, though, I am grateful. Grateful that I have a support system. Grateful that I am learning how to ask for help and to recognize that people find joy in helping. Grateful that I am not alone, even during this time when I should feel the most alone.
I would never have chosen the circumstances that led me to rebuilding my safe haven — but I am a better person for knowing that I have all these wonderful people in my life.