As I mentioned in my last blog post, we have been in the process of relocating. We are now fairly settled in our home in Colorado. My oldest daughter has moved in and is getting adjusted to living at home (a new home in a new part of the country) with her mom and step-dad, after graduating college. She’s very laid back so we should do fine.
I am thinking about what I want to do next as a career. I am just finishing a Master’s degree in nonprofit management, so perhaps there will be opportunities to work in that field. I could look into seeing what it would take to activate
my law degree here, but I can’t work in a law firm. Been there, done that—not my style. I do hope to write more. Like many people, I’ve wanted to be a writer all my life. I usually do nonfiction, memoir-style writing but I would also like to try my hand at fiction.
About a year ago, I participated in the NaNoWriMo, which is the National Novel Writing Month, held in November with people all over the world participating. The objective is to write 50K words in a month, about the length of “A Catcher in the Rye.” I almost finished last time, until I got hung up in one of my classes that involved Budget and Finance and Excel spread sheets. As someone who is what I call “math-impaired,” the novel had to waitwhile I tried to make sense of creating formulas on Excel. Yuck.
Perhaps I mentioned that we are living on a lake. It’s a big lake and many wild birds gather here, ducks, geese and even pelicans (yeah, there are pelicans here). They can be quite noisy but it really does beat hearing fire trucks and police sirens, which were the
background noise in our last location. There’s even a little fox that
trots by most every day along the waterfront.
This is the time of year for new beginnings and I feel like I am having my share of those. For Jews, it is also a time of reflection as we approach the High Holidays, which include Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur, when we atone for our missteps of the last year and resolve to begin anew. What I deeply love about this time of year is not only the requirement to reflect. In Judaism, when we identify those people we have
wronged, it is our obligation to atone with them directly, not with God or any other intercessor. I like that.
If we offend God, we ask for God’s forgiveness. But if we offend Sue, we have to ask Sue’s forgiveness. God can’t forgive us for offending another person, that is between us and that person. But the duty is there, so that on Yom Kippur, we can stand before God with clean hands. I once explained to a Catholic friend that if I hurt Sue’s feelings and I go to an intercessor, like a priest, and ask for forgiveness and receive it, I feel better, but Sue still has hurt feelings. The Jewish way is harder, but seems truer to me.
I once asked a rabbi what I should do if I said something bad about Sue, but she didn’t know it. If I make amends to her, I end up feeling righteous, but now Sue feels bad because she knows I said something mean. This rabbi said I should still ask Sue’s forgiveness. But that seems self-serving to me. If I did something wrong, I don’t feel that it’s right to burden Sue’s heart in order to un-burden mine.
Summer 2011 was just a blur of interviews and traveling. Autumn is just around the corner and, like so many other, it is a special time of new beginnings, fresh starts and potential. Looking forward to sharing it with you.