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Local Jewish Mother Reflects on L'Shana Tova

Sometimes its OK to stop and start anew.

L’Shana Tova or, as we like to say in English, "Happy New Year."

On Monday Jews all over the world celebrated the coming of the new year Rosh Hashanah. It definitely feels like a new beginning; the children are back in school, the days are getting shorter and cooler and I keep hearing the sounds of televised football games from every corner of our neighborhood!

It has been a busy year in our household. I turned 35. We moved. Only a half mile, but the house is bigger and needs more attention. My girls moved into 3rd and 4th grade. They spent an entire month away from us at Camp Harlam in Pennsylvania. My husband and I took our first vacation together in years!

Sadly, I did not make it to synagogue this year for the holiday. I did not eat huge meals with the family. I spent the weekend in bed, with a fever and a nasty cold. Today, I went to the doctor. He said I would be fine. I had an interesting chat with him. I guess he was in the mood to make me think because he asked me how I was doing mentally.

How am I doing? When as a mom, a wife, a PTA member, a professional writer or during my myriad of other daily tasks do I think about how I am doing? The question actually stopped me cold. Usually, I pass my days trying to keep up with the insanity of the world around me. In his infinite wisdom, my primary care physician gently reminded me to stop and smell the roses sometime. He said, “Mary you’re so busy with the kids, the house, life; do you really think the girls are going to care if you bought or baked them brownies for a school activity? They are not going to remember the food, what they will remember is that you were there for them; taking part in their lives, supporting them and cheering them on.”

This afternoon, I thought about my doctor’s advice. I looked ahead to the coming year and some goals I’d like to accomplish. I weeded the front flowerbed and unearthed some azalea bushes that needed tending. I cut back the wild raspberries, which were choking the daisies and gave myself a few moments of reflection. A family needs care just like my flowerbed. Then, I cooked my family dinner and enjoyed a few moments with them. I asked them about their hopes for the upcoming year and I appreciated how lucky I am. Tomorrow morning, the mad rush will begin and it’s all too easy to forget to enjoy the small blessings of everyday life.

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