by Nicole Plotkin
This week marked the beginning of a new year on the Jewish calendar.
There is something enticing about marking the beginning of something. Even for an atheist, but cultural Jew. A fresh start, a chance to consider where you’ve been, where you’re going, who you are, who you want to be. On Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) it is traditional to offer wishes for a sweet year ahead. We dip slices of apple, or pieces of challah, in honey. We add a symbolic touch of sweetness to most dishes on the table, keto trends, be damned, to welcome a sweet year.
Now that my annual challah baking is done for the year, what are some sweet things I selfishly hope for in my daily life? Of course, I wish for sweet things on a grander scale in the world, but these are closer to home. Perhaps it will encourage you to think about what you wish for.
Patience. Whether while I am walking to work and weaving through the air pod wearers, golf umbrella carriers, peeled-to-phone walkers, I would like to be granted patience. Patience would also come in handy anywhere people do not follow rules. See quiet zones, highways, off-leash dog zealots in non-off-leash areas, workout stations, etc. Rule followers require a lot of patience these days. Rule followers, going backwards from puberty (hello, perimenopause), with an innate habit of speaking inside voices, out loud, need even more patience.
“Don’t mess with me” vibe. I don’t have this. I would love to have this. I admire people who ooze it. Especially if they have that, plus easy charm. Extremely valuable, and I would like some.
Focus. Whether to continue with my fitness goals – continue running long distances in the winter, increase my strength training noticeably, tend to unfinished courses, focus on learning at work, I would like more focus. I’m either all in or all out, when it comes to focus. Balance would be great.
Contentment. Mainly re my relationship with food. I would like to feel more confident that I am doing OK. That I drive my relationship with food, not my deeply ingrained feelings that it will always be a love-hate, up and down, relationship. That I am not a failing person, if I love food too much one day. Actually believing that there is no such thing as a “bad food”, not just saying it. Actually believing that I don’t believe in diets, not just saying it, to myself or out loud. And really believing that it is just fucking food. Get over it. Move on. Focus on more important things.
Indifference. You know that cliché that people like to say, that women over 40 finally start learning how not to care what people think of them. Does this apply to “people-pleasers” over 40? Because my skin hasn’t thickened yet, in this sense. Some indifference about what people think – would be welcome.
Less fear. I carry a lot of fear. Heights. Movement where my feet are not on the ground. But the fears that are increasing with age, and which cause more fear, are related to the fragility of life. I would like less fear about the fragility of life.
Gratitude. I want to have unfiltered gratitude for the little things in my daily life. For my husband. My dogs. Flowers, ability to exercise, living in a great city, art, laughter, abundance of food and coffee options, chatting with friends. Gratitude that I have such a fortunate life that I get to ruminate on sweet things.
I wish sweet things for all. What sweet things do you hope for?
Nicole Plotkin: law clerk, loves to exercise, eat good food, snuggle with her dogs, and her wonderful husband.
4 thoughts on “Sweet Things (Guest Post)”
I’m definitely working on the indifference. 🙂 As an atheist (former Christian), I’ve always thought that Rosh Hashanah was a very interesting holiday, not only because my local grocery store has a lot of Jewish stuff for the local Jewish community and I do love me some honey cake 🙂 It’s nice to have a holiday where you can start anew.
Here’s to starting anew! At one’s discretion!
I appreciate this too — I like the notion of sweetening my impatience a little, making it less bitter, like a tiny dash of sugar in an acrid coffee ;-).
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