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Post Yom Kippur - All Atoned Up And Ready To A-Go!

Updated on October 2, 2009


I’m sure that there are many of you who did not realize that this past Monday was Yom Kippur. The reason I can imagine that a lot of you didn’t know is because we have three calendars in my home and two out of the three got it completely gone. That’s right, my spouse even thought it was Rosh Hashanah, complete with the “Happy New Year” card when I awoke (although it wasn’t a real Rosh Hashanah card as my spouse knows what I know, that they just don’t have the Jewish Holiday cards readily available) and as two of the calendars had proclaimed it was Rosh Hashanah too alas when he found out I was staying home from work, fasting and doing some real high level thinking he gave me a look as if to say I had gotten it wrong, showed me what the calendar said and then throwing his hands up said, “Well, Happy Rosh Kippur, I’m done.”  As he went around checking the other calendars, he came back to me and said, “Well no wonder there are never any cards, no one knows when your holidays are because the date changes every year. I have no sympathy for you.” Subject closed. So I can imagine that there are many who don’t get the whole Jewish holidays and why the date changes every year  (you see, the Jewish calendar is lunar, with each month beginning on the new moon, not the calendar date). Anyway, I fasted, I thought, I prayed and now I find I’m all atoned up and ready to a-go! – Don’t Get Me Started!

While some people spend their Yom Kippur (the holiest day on the Jewish calendar) in synagogue praying, I decided a long time ago that for me spirituality is really personal and while I wouldn’t say I’d never go to synagogue again, I have a real problem with all organized religions and most of the people who supposedly run the religions so I decided the best way for me to really observe the holiday is with myself. I spend time thinking a lot about not only the prior year but many prior years. Reflecting on choices I made that were good and the ones that were not so good. As someone who has always believed one of the most important things in life is to take responsibility for your own actions and that you are also the one who creates your own destiny, I’ve found it a really good exercise for my soul to take this day each year (wherever it may fall on the calendar) to unplug the phones and computers and anything that distracts me from listening to myself and just focus on the life I’ve created for myself, how it affects the people around me and what I want to do differently (if anything) moving forward. I will tell you that the fasting seems to help.

The first couple of hours are tough for me; I have a mind that is constantly going in a million directions so to even try to quiet it is difficult for me. I think that’s where the empty stomach comes in to help, no indigestion from something I ate or thinking about what I’m going to be having for lunch takes a lot of what’s normally running through my mind, or any Jew’s for that matter.  And by hour three or so I’m really starting to take a good look at myself (whether I like what I see or not). I won’t go into any detail but let me just say that I had plenty of past choices and life stuff to examine over the next hours until sundown. Having to face yourself is one of the most exhausting things ever and when all was said and done while I did feel ready to tackle life before me I also was thankful that this was only a once year occurrence. Sure I  self-reflect from time to time throughout the year but this was the hardcore stuff, the stuff that you’ll only admit to yourself late at night (and sometimes not even then if you can get your hands on enough Ambien).

So as I made my way back into the world, turning on my phone to discover that I had over 100 emails and several voicemails, I turned off my “out of office” on my computer and re-entered the world looking exactly as I had the day before except there was a difference. I’m more aware of my surroundings and how I interact with them, I have a heightened sense of awareness that will most likely fade after time (like the feeling you used to have after roller skating for an hour and then taking the skates off still feeling as though you had them on for another hour or so), inside me I feel a little more mentally toned up. Or should I say, “tuned up” like we used to have done to our cars to make them run a little better? That’s right, I’m ready to run a little better with the race that is human, seeing my role a little clearer and understanding that I’m writing the script, producing and directing this life so while I’ll listen to what the critics have to say, I have to be true to my own artistic sensibility when creating the staged masterpiece that is my life. Sure there will still be some brush up rehearsals, drama in the second act so that there can be a resolution by the time I reach my third and final act but I’m coming out of the wings and taking the stage so get ready world cause I’m all atoned and nowhere to a-go! – Don’t Get Me Started!

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