A new year and being thankful for what you got

October 9th, 20119:51 am @ Jay Palter

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I awoke this morning to a surreally beautiful early morning light and it dawned on me that I was long overdue for a personal blog post.

The high holy days are now over. I greeted their passing last evening with the same relief I feel when I walk out of the dentist’s office with another 6 month reprieve. Thank God, or whoever makes these so-called holidays, that I don’t have to do this again for another year.

With this new Jewish year come many changes in our lives. The biggest change for me involves my transition back into working life. Not that I haven’t been working from my home office on a variety of projects, while managing the day-to-day needs of my family. And loving it. But I’ve found something else I love to do too – and I need to do it.

So, we’ve hired a new caregiver who will live with us. This changes everything. Many of those things that need to get done to support a family can now get done without my direct involvement – cooking, cleaning, caring for kids, sick days, etc. This frees me up to work, travel…and chauffeur. Our caregiver doesn’t drive. I’m sure it will feel good to be needed.

The twins have entered grade 3 and begun the transition to tween-agers. Every day beings new growth and a step in the direction of independence. It’s exhilarating to watch and also terrifying. I fear both for them and for myself, getting older and less relevant with each passing day. Perhaps I overstate it a bit, but our kids become a daily reminder of our passing youth, don’t they? I watch as they grow up and change into more mature little people and I can’t help but see them as a mirror on my own aging. Yikes. Let’s change the subject…

Maddy is evolving into a lovely young woman – as if there was ever any doubt. I’m constantly asked how she’s enjoying university to which I offer my stock reply: she’d be nuts not to love it. Newfound independence, coupled with an abundance of social opportunities and intellectual freedom – what could be better? I remember my university days fondly and, while my situation was a bit different, the underlying truth holds: university is a supreme privilege and should be characterized by the pursuit of pure learning and knowledge. Learning comes in many forms and much of it occurs outside the classroom. Maddy is doing fine and if she’s like the rest of us she won’t realize how good she has it until it’s gone.

This very same weekend on which Jews seek to atone for our sins, we also give thanks secularly for our great blessings.

I believe this deeply, but perhaps it’s easier to do so when I have the best of a lot of things. I have my health – and my hair. I have a loving family to care for – and who care for me. I have a wife and partner who works hard and enables me to be who I am.

So, as we transition into the next phase of our lives and the season ahead, I try to remember to be thankful for what I’ve got.

 

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