Friday, August 13, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Last year I blogged about how I need Elul to ramp up to the High Holy Days. So this year I am doing two things to prepare (see my work blog here for details).

The question asked on the first day of Elul in Jewels of Elul, was:

If you had to count the number of times you “got back in the saddle again” this year after a fall, how many times would it be? Is it harder or easier the more times you do it?

Well, let's count, shall we?
  • Dad died
  • Agency Funding Ran Out = Out of Work
  • Cat almost died
  • Relationships ended
  • Was sick for 5 months which resulted in 20" of my colon being removed
  • Denied reasonable health coverage TWICE and medical expenses tapped me out
  • Oh, and there was that random flat tire which always causes a headache!

I would say it isn't harder or easier the more times you do it, it's just hard. But with some support from friends and family (THANK YOU to each and every one of you), you manage to get back up and face the world again.

It is also important to admit when the horse has dumbed you one-too-many times, and you need a professional counselor or pastoral care, to help you help yourself to get back in the saddle. Some people see that as a weakness, but it's truly strength that allows you to admit when, despite their love and care, family and friends just aren't strong enough to hoist you up.

The Holy Days are about reflection and refocusing. They are about admitting our mistakes and committing to not make them again. They are about visioning your future and beginning to take the steps to enact that vision. And in that way, it's really about today. About now. It's not about "do it tomorrow" or "do it next year" .... which reminds me of this song from the musical RENT (listen to it here):
The heart may freeze or it can burn
The pain will ease if I can learn

There is no future

There is no past

Thank God this moment's not the last

There's only us

There's only this

Forget regret-- or life is yours to miss.

No other road

No other way

No day but today

There's only yes

Only tonight

We must let go

To know what is alright

No other course

No other way

No day but today

I can't control

My destiny

I trust my soul

My only hope

is just to be

There's only now

There's only here

Give in to love

Or live in fear

No other path

No other way

No day but today