Days of Awe
I love Mondays. Every one feels like an invitation to begin again after the intentional Sabbath rest we enter into on the weekend. Every Monday for the last month has started with the intention to start acting on the things of my heart before those things which are my responsibility. Yet as soon as I sit down with my coffee, the information flow begins, and the last few weeks, my mental bandwidth has been completely taxed. The few words that had begun to form my train of thought have been derailed and others beautiful ideas I had intended to share have short circuited entirely. And because Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday don’t feel as “good” of a time to start much, I find myself bobbing on a springboard, waiting for another opportune moment to jump.
Last Tuesday, my family celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and the start of a period of reflection called the “Days of Awe,” where we consider the person we were last year and who we want to be in the year to come. A friend messaged me, “What a beautiful day for new beginnings.” She was right. Both in New Jersey and Southern California, it was a temperate, sunny day, and I likely would have missed that gift of beauty had she not mentioned it, as I was already buried under my to-do list.
We’re a week into this time of reflection, leading up to the Day of Atonement, and what has revealed itself most to me is my wastefulness of little moments, my easily distracted attention span, my unwillingness to begin at less than perfect moments for fear of algorithms, and my chasing of the narrative that in another month, another year, when the kids are bigger, when I have more time, things will be easier and more will get done.
I’m still not in a place that I’m willing to say that narrative isn’t true. Just looking back a few years ago when I thought about pursuing baking full time, it is 100 times easier to bake a cake now than it was when I had to stop everything to nurse a hungry baby. So it’s entirely possible when my plate has less on it, or even when the variety is different, certain activities like quieting my environment long enough to hear and articulate my thoughts might be easier. But then I remember Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh! The places you’ll go!” He talked about “the waiting place.” Everyone is waiting for the phone to ring, or a better break, or a Friday night, or this or that and nobody does anything. It is a place of frustration that is easy to get stuck in because ideal circumstances ARE ideal! We want to maximize our efforts by beginning at exactly the right time.
Voltaire is credited for having said, “The best is the enemy of the good.” I can point to so many moments where words were stolen from me while I waited for the best time to share them. I’m sure you can also think of times you could have moved forward and hesitated because you missed the exact right moment. I encourage you today, begin again. Take advantage of the magic of Monday, where things feel fresh and possible. And if you don’t get to it today, don’t beat yourself up. God gives you the same gift every day to make an impact on this world and change the trajectory of yours or another’s life. You just need to decide to begin.