New Year, New You?

We hear this phrase so often in January, that we unquestionably embrace it and its underlying assumptions. And what are those assumptions? That we need to be reinvented in some way every single year. That we are not good enough as is. That resolutions must be made and adhered to in order for us to become our best selves, without any thought or reflection as to who we are right now. This is why the Jewish High Holiday cycle makes so much more sense to me: we celebrate who we are, we take time to reflect, and then we resolve to be better. Rosh Hashanah and then Yom Kippur (although I could do without the fasting). And after some thought, I’d like to resolve to reflect more in general. I call this “bringing more Shabbat into my life.” We spend a lot of club sessions focusing on Shabbat, from challah braiding to making Havdallah candles to yoga, and you’ll notice that each of these things touches on some common resolutions as is. We exercise more when we do yoga, but we also focus more. We use less technology when our hands are covered with dough and flour (hopefully). But more than that, I want to spend time embracing all of the elements that made up my Shabbats as a child, and bring them into my every day. We got together with family, we spent time together around the dinner table, we laughed more and worried less, we celebrated the specialness of the occasion. What if we did this every day? What if we sat around the table and just appreciated all of the things that were on it and the people who were around it? What if we took on an attitude of gratitude for the little things? Let us bring more Shabbat into our lives and move a little slower. And in this way we don’t need to make resolutions to change, but rather to accept who we are, maybe even to appreciate it.

We resolve…to try.