In a few short days we will celebrate Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. It is, for the most part, a joyous holiday. It is a reminder of the year we finished and an opportunity to look ahead to the future. A time to reflect and time to plan. A holiday with smiles and family and apples and honey for a sweet new year.
From Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jewish people observe the Days of Awe. During this time, we are to atone for the past year's transgression and forgive those have hurt us. From Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur it is believed that our names will be written in the book of life, who shall live, who shall die, who shall have a good year, bad year, etc.
As a cancer survivor, I openly admit I hate this time of year. I have the utmost faith in G-d and count my blessings every day but this book of life gives me annual anxiety. I am not a bad person, but I make mistakes. I know I have sinned this year. It is human to sin. One cannot be perfect 24/7. I know that G-d forgives me when I atone, so what am I so worried about?
I cannot help but wonder will this be the year? Will my name be left out? Will I not make it? Then I try to remember my faith and think of course I will be written in the Book of Life. This then leads me to my next morbid thoughts of which family member or friend might be left out. It happens. You never know when, but people die. They do. It is a part of life. And it is the part of life I hate and have yet to come to terms with.
I truly do believe in G-d, have faith in G-d, believe everything happens for a reason, and all the other what doesn't kill you makes you stronger cliches. I truly have faith.
While this time of year brings me face to face with my ultimate fear, death, it also allows me to reflect on my life and how I live. I am alive. I am here to live. I am here to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend. I am alive. I have a life to live and it is my choice how to live it.
Each year as the Book of Life is sealed and I pray I have been written in for a long healthy prosperous year, my anxiety subsides and I live. I make memories, I smile, I post too much on Instagram, post too much on Facebook, laugh too much, enjoy the days. Life is a gift. Each year I am here is a gift and I will not waste it.
Traffic, delayed flights, and other every day crap gets to me. Yes, I have bad days when I yell too much, sleep too little, eat only fast food, get so drunk you would think I was 20, run red lights, and text while driving. Like I said, I sin. I make mistakes. For any mistake I have made against another person, I ask forgiveness. My mistakes are never made with malicious intent.
Each year I reflect on my mistakes and try to make less of them. I try to be a better person. I remember it is my choice to live my life to the fullest or not. I can choose to be angry and annoyed at people or I can choose to move on. I can choose to accept people for who they are and pray I receive the same courtesy. I choose each year to choose life, a happy life.
When G-d writes my name in the Book of Life, I want him to know how thankful I am to have my life. I want him to know I appreciate my life and like every year, I will try my hardest to make the most of the next twelve months and all the months to follow. I will enjoy my gift of life.