This is not the place I've been before

Independence Day fireworks, Okaloosa Island, June 29, 2016.

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.
— Anaïs Nin

It's difficult to get to a new year and not know where you are going.

I am fortunate to have made it to 5777. I want to feel celebratory. It is the world's birthday, after all.

I want to appreciate those around me and spread love and light — and a little laughter. I am part of a wonderful family and have many treasured friends — and I love my family and friends with all my soul.

I appreciate the many blessings in my life. My sister and I just spoke about our love for going to the grocery store. We cherish that we have the money and the access to buy fresh fruit. One of my favorite things to do is get coffee and go to the grocery store because that always reminds me of how fortunate I am.

But still, this new year, I'm feeling like the center of a stormy cloud (or fog generator, as one of my dear friends would say).

I try to focus on all that is good rather than rehash the bad.

I try to practice teshuvah.

I know it is not easy. It's much easier to wonder how you've come to the same place you've been, as if your journey is a hampster wheel rather than your own human voyage, than it is to cast away your sins in Tashlich and practice teshuvah with intention.

I find it most difficult to let go of feeling wronged — to refuse to feel responsible for others' incorrigible actions and instead focus on the choices I can make.

Breaking patterns is hard, but I don't want to spend my life jaded, empty days slipping by, wasted.

What can I do right now to change that? What changes can I make in the immediate — that can become part of the longterm?

I turn to one of my favorite quotes, referencing one of my favorite parshot, Chayei Sarah:

There are some who push through life just trying to get from one day to the next. There are others who say that every moment is to be savored, not just endured. Abraham’s attitude surpassed both of these. He saw every moment as something to be put to use. Even the smallest unit of time is a distinct creation never to be replicated again. Today’s work is not tomorrow’s. The call of the hour is not that of the next.
— Rabbi Ben A.

And so, though it seems I've come to the place I have been, it can not be so.

Shanah tovah,

Amy