The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Blog Roundup

Next Tuesday marks New Years Day in Judaism, which we call Rosh Hashanah. Rosh means "head" and "shanah" is year (and the "ha" prefix means "the"). So the whole thing translates out into "head of the year." Cycle day one.

Am I the only person who views the year as an enormous menstrual cycle?

It's interesting how our new year falls at the beginning of the school calendar. I was a student for so long and then a teacher for so long that my year always begins with the fall and ends with the summer (rather than beginning in the winter and ending in the fall with a January 1st turnover). Fall is always full of hope. All of the notebooks are clean and neat. All the pens you purchased at Costco are neatly arranged in your drawer. By winter, it's no longer fun. You're just trudging towards ovulation...I mean, winter break.

And then it's post break and you're focused again. Those first days after break are easy. The end of the year looks far away, but there's so much hope about how those days will stretch out between now and then. But by the time spring rolls around, you're crawling towards the finish line of summer. And you barely have time to recover from the year when the whole damn thing starts all over again.

Rosh Hashanah is one of our holiest days. Part of the ceremony is the blowing of the shofar, which is a ram's horn. Blowing the shofar (and, by extension, hearing the shofar) is actually the only requirement of Rosh Hashanah and hearing it is supposed to give a person pause; make them reflect on the past year and the coming year. Who you are and who you hope to be.

The whole shofar thing fits in with my "year of listening." It's all about paying attention. About making someone else understand they're important. About not going through the year always thinking about tomorrow, next week, next month, but, instead, being in today. I am always worrying about the future, thinking about the future. I write things down months ahead in my datebook with the sole purpose to take it out of my head by placing it safe on the page. And instead, once I have it on the page, I stare at the words and obsess about it some more.

I really am trying with this whole listening thing even if it doesn't appear that way.

So...that is what I will be doing at the beginning of next week: eating pomegranates (first fruits), dipping some apple in honey (for a sweet year), and making the shofar give me pause.

Tuesday is also the ceremony of Tashlich where you figuratively throw into a river all of the things you don't want to take with you into this upcoming year (feh on that whole sin thing). What would you throw away? I am tossing a shitload of anxiety. We'll see if the Potomac River can handle it.

IComLeavWe finishes this weekend on Sunday. The list for October opens on Wednesday.

The Bridges 100 Words Project closes soon as well. Please send in your paragraph if you haven't already participated. It's such a cool thing to watch unfold.

And now the blogs...

To Baby and Beyond has a post about an unexpected friendship. Her sister brought her together with an assistant at work who is also infertile. Though she went into the get together wondering what they would have in common, they ended up connecting. She writes: "And it is so nice to know I have someone close by that would be here in a second to comfort just because she know what it feels like and I would do the same for her. So I have to say thank you to L because I found someone to talk to, who knows me without really knowing me just yet. I found a friend I never expected." It was a sweet story.

Sweet City Woman has a post about a roadtrip she took with her husband and child. She writes: "We were supposed to end up in Port Perry- but really I had no intention of ever reaching a destination. I just wanted to drive. So the boy got us all lost. We ended up in Raglan at the country store where I bought pie and fresh farm eggs." I love those trips; the ones where you find the tiny store that sells eggs and while you know that you probably will never get back there, it's just nice to know it exists. It made me want to go on a trip. But the lines that gave me pause in this post came towards the middle: "The boy and I noticed tombstones. There were babies all buried in a row. A mother's heart lies there. We counted all the babies. 7 little children are under the layers of grass, soil." Go over and read the whole post.

Barren Mare has a post titled "Realignment" that I loved. It is about not knowing what to do with yourself when the calm comes after the storm. She writes: "I'm so used to be in constant chaos mode over the last several months, I hardly know what to do with myself now. Time to get back to knitting, I think, an outlet for restless hands and a fretful mind." It is simply time to realign, as she says, and settle into the new normal. It is really beautiful to watch a person reclaim themselves.

Lastly, Waiting on Life has a post about why she is going on haitus. For me, the most moving part of the post is where her maternal instinct stems and why she wants to be a mother. It is heartbreaking to have that much love and no place to lay it. I wish you only the best in opening at that window (and looking out it for a good long while without leaning out of it).

The roundup to the Roundup: Rosh Hashanah is next week and I'm working hard on listening; what would you throw away for Tashlich?; IComLeavWe ends and the 100 Words Project needs your thoughts; and excellent bloggage to read. Oh...and something exciting this way comes next week. But more on that soon. See you Saturday night for Show & Tell.


TeamWinks said...

I love when we get to learn something new. Thank you for sharing with us Mel!

N said...

I hope I can get down to the water with my wife on Tuesday.

I'd throw away my anger and my anxiety. I'm sure there will be more, but I don't need to keep carrying around the old.

Marie said...

That is an interesting and maybe a little

Tash said...

Could I throw away the pooch around my middle? All my small pre-pregnancy clothes that mock me? Oh, you mean THOSE kinda things. Hmm. I'd throw out my bitter, but frankly I'm clinging to it like a life-vest. I'd love to be able to envision and plan a future again, I wish I could do that. I'm only up to about two weeks in advance now. Certainly not a year.

This holiday would be very hard for me.

Vacant Uterus said...

Tashlich sounds a little like Lent; giving up something that's weighing you down.

I'd throw away my anger at my in-laws. I really want to love them. I want to be free of their opnions and stings and snide remarks. I want to let that roll off me and just love them with freedom in my heart, knowing that I can toss the bad, keep the good and mystify them in the process.

I'll let you know how it goes.

And I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. In the Psalms, the word "Selah" means to pause and reflect. I'll be thinking of you as I read my Psalm and you listen to the shofar.

Grad3 said...

Mel, I always love learning about your traditions- thanks for always sharing :)

Ummm- I would throw away all future worries about trying for number 2... I need to enjoy the gift I already have.

Just Me. said...

How interesting!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Portraits In Sepia said...

I once taught Jewish students in Mexico City and I loved the advanced conversation classes. I learned so much about their traditions and customs. All I had to do was ask questions, get them talking, make corrections to their English and we had a great, informative class. I started reading Newsweek International for current events I could comment on and ask them about. I viewed it as a trick I used which I now see was just good preparation. One of my students said "wow, for someone who's not Jewish you know alot." It was a huge compliment. And now I get to read more in your blog. Good stuff!
For the New Year I hope to throw away any involvement in DRAMA. The unproductive kind that only serves to fuel gossip and tension. Workplace and family drama. (I'll still watch Law and Order though.) :)

battynurse said...

I like your idea of throwing away the anxiety. I think that is part of what's keeping me from sleeping good. Or just throwing away my busy mind.

CappyPrincess said...

Hmmmm, I'd throw away the first 5 years of relationship with my exhusband's new wife - is that confusing enough? We spent too much time as enemies trying to do what was best for the kids we both loved instead of as supports. We're learning to work past those negative experiences but they rear their ugly head from time to time anyway. If only we could toss them away, never to be thought of again.

Thanks for the explainations!

Betty M said...

A similar new year thing where some of my family is from which has its origins in Zoroastrianism involves jumping over a small fire - the fire takes your "yellow" - all the bad, the hurt, the not good and gives you its "red" - the good stuff. We loved it as kids - health and safety types would roundly disapprove now.

Bea said...

Happy (belated) Rosh Hashanah, by the way. Although I'm not sure I should be wishing you that, after the enormous menstrual cycle comment. I may never enjoy the new year again.