Happy New Year! This is the Jewish new year (Rosh Hashanah) today, and the beginning of a ten day period of introspection that ends with Yom Kippur (day of atonement) on September 16.
Looking back over this last year, I see it has had its stresses and changes, but has been a better year for me, personally, than the year before. A year ago I was unemployed and not sure where life was heading. There are still questions, of course, but I'm in a far more secure spot than last September. I enjoy my job, have received nothing but praise and promotion from my employer, and am looking forward to my second year there. I've also published my first book since last Rosh Hashanah. I was just starting what would become the title story one year ago.
For my family, it has been a mixed bag. I was realizing last night that we've not been to any funerals within this last year. In the previous few years Leslie lost several of her older family members. On the other side, my brother's divorce, and our nephews moving to Connecticut, has been at least as hard as many of the deaths had been.
The world situation, too, has gotten both more stable and more frightening, if that's possible. At Rosh Hashanah services a year ago we were still in the shock of September 11 (the Jewish calendar does not line up well with the traditional Roman calendar - last year Rosh Hashanah came just after the 11th). We were living in a state of complete uncertainty and fear. Now, we've gotten used to the added airport security and the never-ending war on terrorism. An impending war on Iraq (which may have already started) depresses us, but hardly more than a mumbling of protests have been heard. We're becoming more accepting of losing our freedoms to a security state, and that's more dangerous and insidious than any mad bomber could be.
So, as we enter into these "days of awe" I recognize my personal blessings, and search for ways to extend that good luck to others around me. Happy new year.