For those who are not aware, today is the eve of Rosh Hashonah - the Jewish New Year. It is said that between Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur, those who will live are written into the book of life. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the book is sealed. For some this is a time for redressing old wrongs and for some this includes ensuring that all bills are paid, jobs are done or plans are set up, etc. Whatever this means it includes introspection at the very least.
For me this is a wierd time of year. On Sept 12, 1948 my parents were married. Both have now died. Sept 21st is my birthday and being in my 50's I can't help but wonder whether I've done well with my life -- spent my time here in ways that add value -- and of course what I should change in the coming year.
This year is a bit different as I am spending lots of time on family history (working with a biographer) and emptying the 2nd of 3 storage lockers. I keep getting swamped with memories. Usually this happens later in the year over the holidays.
The holiday season (November & December) is a very poignant time for me. I am an only child. My parents are gone, as are their parents and siblings. Nearly all of them either had birthdays or passed away during November/December.
In addition, most of the people who knew me and my family, have passed on as well. Over the past few years I have made some new and wonderful friends - but they don't know my past life. As time passes it matters less, but there are still moments.
The grief lessens, but does not pass completely. I grow stronger in lots of different ways, but I am very definitely NOT the same person I was 10 years ago. I am fortunate that my husband loves me and we have continued to grow together. My life is good. I am fortunate in my true friends.
I will continue to play/work in my various organizations, but not to the same level as before. I will not give my whole heart for it has been broken too many times. I will give my energies, but only when I know they will be appreciated. I will continue to value myself and perhaps even more than before.
Some have seen this as a lack of humility -- so be it! As a person I do not think I am better/more valuable, but in various aspects I am better qualified, or knowledgeable. I don't need others to validate my worth as an individual although I find I want their respect. If others can't see the distinction, then I can no longer waste time and energy on them. I am strong enough to walk my own path.
I truly believe in the golden rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I will try to set aside past negative experiences and move forward on my path. I can only change me. I want my life to be positive and will work it make it so.