10 Days of Reflection

Two years ago, I participated in the ten days of reflection that precede Yom Kippur (My Jewish Experiment Day 1).   I did not participate last year, but want to take these days to reflect now.

So, here goes:

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

My divorce became final this year.  Even though we have lived completely separate lives for over two years, and have had almost no contact since the day that I moved out, actually getting divorced and getting my maiden name back felt liberating.  Especially getting my maiden name back.  Until your name has unpleasant connotations, you don’t realize how often you hear it or say it on a normal basis.  Picking up a prescription at the pharmacy?  Give your last name.  Going to the bank?  “Welcome, Mrs. Elder.”  Signing a credit card slip.  Signing his last name.

Hello Name Tag Sticker on White

Hello Name Tag Sticker on White [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&lightboxID=4096051][img]http://www.erichood.net/bizpeep.jpg[/img][/url]

When you are trying to leave a marriage behind, his name keeps popping up on your way to the new you.

Until I got that final divorce decree.  Which changes absolutely nothing about how I have been living during the last two years, or my finances, or anything.  Except that now I can get my precious name back.  And I am grateful.

My 2nd Day of Reflection

I’m continuing to borrow a small piece of tradition during the Jewish New Year of 10 days of reflection and self-evaluation between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  I hope that I don’t offend any Jewish people in taking this small piece of a tradition out of the greater context of the holiday and the meanings behind the overall traditions.

My question from the 10Q website today to help provoke thought was:

Question 2.  Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?


While I may inwardly preen, it is actually hard to say out loud “I am proud of myself”. It’s not that I don’t do things for which I am proud — it’s that it feels boastful to say it out loud. I think that it’s a female thing. Or maybe it’s just me. Regardless, it’s not often that I say, “I did this, and I rocked it, and I’m proud of myself.”

But I will now.

I’m proud of the way that I handled finding out and then being in the hospital with my pulmonary embolism. Or my clotty clot clot, as I call it. For many days, I was scared, and tired, and in pain. And when I could finally stop being scared and was out of pain, I was just tired, and bored, and uncomfortable.  It was a bad 6 days and 5 nights.

I could have had a major pity party, feeling sorry for myself, but I didn’t. I could have been grumpy and cranky, but I wasn’t.

You have very little control of anything when you are in the hospital. You eat when they bring you food. You take a shower when the nurses unhook you from all the machines long enough to take a shower. You sleep when they leave you alone long enough to actually sleep. You get information about your health when they are ready to give you information, and not one minute early.

I had control of exactly one thing — my reaction to the situation. My reaction could have been days spent in anger, frustration and crankiness. Or it could have been days spent with patience, calmness and laughter where I could find it.

I am proud that I chose the laughter.