The Jewish New Year begins Sunday evening and continues for 10 days. The first two days are religious holidays. Traditional Jews refrain from work, the use of electronics and writing. We adhere to most of the restrictions we keep on Shabbat. Rosh Hashanah comprises the first days of the New Year and the final day is Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement, when we fast (25 hours no food, no water!) and the Book of Life (aka our fates for the year!) is sealed.
Customs vary. Generally speaking, Rosh Hashanah is a time for eating sweet foods: apples and honey (or agave for the vegans among us), honey cake, and pomegranates since they symbolize fertility. I’ll be making my vegan honey cake and my ex is making a salad with pomegranate seeds. I also am serving lasagna which is NOT what I typically serve for a festive holiday meal. I happened to make one a few weeks ago as a housewarming gift, and I had enough cashew ricotta cheese (I make my own!) for two lasagnes, so one is in the freezer. Between the holidays, being a full time working exhausted mom with no housekeeper or nanny who is also planning a Bar Mitzvah, which is in 2 weeks, I could not handle cooking the traditional vegan Jewish feast I typically make. My family will be lucky if I have even showered by the time I sit down to make kiddush over the wine.
So. Besides serving vegan lasagna and drinking wine, what is Rosh Hashanah about? Well, it’s the New Year and many people make resolutions. I typically do this, but this year feels more monumental. I’ve been through a lot of changes this year and have been more reflective in general. I attribute this to meditating more, being more honest in my writing here and for my YouTube channel, and by stepping up therapy. I even starting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in addition to the psychotherapy I can’t live without.
Here are my hardcore brutally honest resolutions for this Rosh Hashanah.
- The phone. Dear Lord help me stop with my phone. I know I’ve said it before and I will likely have to say it again, but I get so compulsive about checking email and texts as soon as I see they pop up. It’s bad. It’s wrong. It doesn’t feel good. It takes me away from the present. Must stop. Or at least cut back significantly.
- Meditate. When I meditate regularly with any one of the free meditation apps one can use (I prefer Insight Timer), I am more patient, less stressed, and happier. It’s that simple. And yet, I find myself letting this habit go and wondering why I am so impatient, stressed and unhappy. It’s not rocket science or even neuroscience. It’s a simple thing. Meditate = good. Don’t meditate = bad.
- Be better to my kids. On a related note, when I am not taking care of myself, I end up taking it out on my sons. Sure, they try my patience. It’s apparently their job as 10 and almost 13 year olds raised in privilege and comfort. But still. It’s my job to rise above it and not get on their level if they annoy me. I’m the adult. I need to act like it.
To all of you celebrating, Happy New Year! May you be well inscribed in the Book of Life for a sweet serene year! Shana tovah u’metukah!