I’m bogarting Rosh Hashanah this year. OK, maybe I’m not stealing the entire holiday … but I’m hacking a little piece off just for myself.
Yesterday I saw my Jewish friends wishing each other a Happy New Year on Facebook. They wrote about eating honey and wishing for a sweet new year. And I was all … “This is an excuse to eat honey? Make some room, Jews! I’m all over your holiday!”
Happy New Year to me!
The fact is, I could use a new start. If life is a house, the last year wasn’t the year of stenciling patterns on the walls and hanging pretty curtains. It was the year of mucking out the basement.
Some important and difficult things got done. My divorce and the accompanying financial mess finally got sorted out after three years. I clawed my way out of poverty by working more hours than I can count. I did the hard, right thing of breaking up with a person I loved but who wanted me to ride shotgun on his joyride to self destruction. I got some uncomfortable answers relating to a medical issue with one of my children but that news came with an action plan that will hopefully make life better for all of us.
In short, shit got handled.
But by the time summer hit, I realized I was depleted. Where I would normally be booking my kid-free time well in advance to make sure I was doing super-awesome grownup stuff, I just began sitting in the house watching Netflix and drinking wine. I didn’t call anyone. I barely wrote. When I did write, it took a monumental effort to get things out of my brain and onto the page. It didn’t help that I’d gotten used to sleeping about five hours a night so I was also just plain exhausted.
You can only do that for so long.
It was time for a change.
I am molting
I’ve always been fascinated with metamorphosis. I let my curiosity lead me down the Internet rabbit hole with this topic the other day.
Turns out, when caterpillars turn into butterflies, they don’t just go into their cocoons, slim down their chubby little bodies and then sprout wings. Some butterfly stem cells start forming very early in the caterpillar’s life, but then they stop. They incubate inside the caterpillar’s body until it’s time to undergo metamorphosis. Then the caterpillar’s body begins producing enzymes that digest all the caterpillar tissue and allow the cells to reorder into butterfly form.
That’s where I am. I’ve been re-ordering. Re-forming. Doing the hard work of changing.
Now it’s time to take to the sky.
Gifts to myself
Yesterday I said goodbye to last year. I wallowed in the heaviness one last time and then I made a conscious decision to step into the New Year. It felt good.
Before I went to bed I made myself a sign and put it on my computer so I’d see it right away when I woke up.
And I left myself a little gift. Honey. I spooned some onto my yogurt this morning and then I sucked the rest off of the teaspoon. It tasted earthy and complex. It made me think of the bees, just doing their thing — fulfilling their destinies to fly and interact with the world and create something surprising, beautiful and delicious.
It’s going to be a sweet year.