I know that I usually put my blog out on Wednesdays for Whinypaluza Wednesday, but this week is different. This week Yom Kippur fell on Wednesday. It is not appropriate for me to be working on Yom Kippur. This is the day of atonement. This is the day that we think about what we did wrong this year. We throw our sins (we use bread) into the water and watch them float away. We think about how we are going to be better this year. What is going to be different this year?
I am not at my Synagogue right now. I am home with my family sitting on my couch listening to my Rabbi live at our Tuesday evening Kol Nidre service. I probably shouldn’t be typing but this is how I think. This is how I am going to think through with all of you how I am going to be better this year. I hope G-d understands that this is my version of repenting.
Let’s start with my amazing family. I am living the dream that I dreamed my whole life. I have a fabulous husband and three wonderful children. I have two cats and one dog. I have a full happy busy house. I am surrounded by love. Why on earth am I so stressed out? If I am living my dream, why don’t I take a lot of deep breaths and look around and just be thankful? This is thankful Thursday. I am going to be thankful every day, but I am going to take extra time every Thursday to focus on everything in my life that I am thankful for. I hope you will all do this with me.
I am frustrated with myself. I am going to be in a different state this year. I am going to be thankful and more relaxed. I am going to take more down time so that I am more relaxed, and therefore happier. I am also going to own that I like to be busy. I am not going to complain about it. I am going to rejoice in the fact that I have so much to fill my life. How lucky am I that I got up at 6:15 AM and that it is now 9:15 PM and I am still going strong! How amazing is it that I am working from my couch?
Let’s talk about my work. If you have been reading my blog or you know me, you probably know that I have been a stay at home mom for over 12 years now. I gave birth to Max, and Seth and I made the decision that I needed to stay home with our children. I won’t get into all the reasons, but we are considerably happy with our decision. I have had some guilt over not contributing financially, but I think that Seth and I have recently solved that guilt.
I would consider myself as working part time now. I started writing my blog about six years ago. Several months ago, it turned into my work. My blog is now generating a significant income for my family. I now get to contribute to my family, and it feels really good. It felt really good to be home with my kids, but it is time for me to help my husband with all of our bills. We have Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s and college to be focusing on right now. I’m sorry for not helping him all these years. He has really had all the weight on his shoulders, and he has handled it extremely well. It feels good to be going into this New Jewish Year contributing to my family in a financial way. We all know that I have contributed plenty, but this is an added factor that is resolving some of my inner guilt. Seth will tell you he is fine without me helping him, and he has been so wonderful about money since our decision for me to stay home with our children. There aren’t enough Thankful Thursdays in my lifetime to tell him how forever grateful I am to him.
What is different for me this year is that I am going to build on this and am planning to spiral this into a practice. I don’t have a date or a deadline, but I have a plan. I feel so extremely thankful that I have found a way to work while sitting on my couch next to my seven year old as I type this. I am going to continue to write this year and am going to build on this. I am going to be thankful and appreciative and celebrate the direction my life has taken. I am going to thank every one of you who read this. It has been knocking on my head for a while and I finally heard it. Sometimes I am slow with things. Like the time my friend said to me, “You realize a handsome, nice man came up to you in Temple and gave you his business card? This happened right after you prayed for a Jewish family while sitting in your Temple.” I may not always get things quickly, but at least I get there. Seth was sitting behind me in Temple and I didn’t know it, just like this blog has been nestled in right behind me waiting for more of my attention.
There are two words that keep coming up for me. These words are “Be” and “Thankful.” I found myself frustrated today with my to do list. Don’t you find that you always have a long to do list? I am going to continue to get things done this year, but I am going to BE more present. I am going to appreciate what I am doing. I am going to build in more time for me and for relaxing, so I am a better wife and mother. I am going to go through my day being thankful for everything around me. We all know that life can be stressful. We all know that three children can feel like a lot when they need three different things or need you in three different places. Two people can be in the same situation and will probably react in completely different ways. I want to react better. I have learned that I can’t be everywhere. That was a hard lesson for me. Now I have to learn to roll with the flow of my day better. It all gets done and everyone gets where they need to go. I will enjoy this ride. Enjoy the journey not the destination. Isn’t that what people say?
I am going to be easier on myself so that I am easier on my children and husband. I am going to lower my expectations of myself and everyone around me. This year is going to be different. I can feel it.
I want to say that I am sorry to my husband and to my children. I am most sorry for every time I raise my voice. I want to be a beacon of calmness. I am sorry for every time I got angry. I am sorry for every time I told you that you did something wrong with a judgemental tone. I’m sorry for every time that I told you that I was busy.
To my dearest Seth I am sorry. I am most sorry for the burdens that I carry with me from other men that have nothing to do with you. I am sorry that you feel like you don’t do the dishes right. I don’t care about the dishes. I care about you! I am sorry for that look I give you when you are sitting and reading. You sit and read and take care of yourself. I will take better care of you too. I am sorry for any time you don’t feel my love and adoration. I only want to look at you with loving eyes. I expect too much of myself and I expect too much from you.
I am sorry to myself for every time you get stressed and eat something that isn’t the best choice. I am sorry for the yo yo ride you take yourself on every year. Finding moderation and eating healthy is key to your success. I am proud of myself for the long walks I take with Tanner every day, but I am stepping it up. I am always striving to take better care of myself and my family.
Max, I am sorry for being so hard on you. You are my first born and you are so smart, and I know I expect too much. You are doing awesome. Your hard work at school and on the soccer field are noticed. Your assistance with your sisters and with our pets is well noticed. I notice you and how you are Max the great.
Ella, I am sorry for stressing you out. I know you hate when I get stressed and I know you hate when I yell. Even when I am not yelling at you (99% of the time it’s not directed at you) I know that it upsets you. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to be calm and sweet all the time. I want to take good care of you and your sweet and kind heart.
Lillie, I am so sorry for fighting with you. We fight almost every day. You have a strong personality and I haven’t quite learned how to navigate through it. I think I will always be learning. You feel everything so strongly whether it’s love, sadness or anger. I think we are both learning to take some deep breaths and to think before we speak. We are in this together. You are forever and always my baby and are so very loved.
I think it is a good thing to always be striving to be a better person. I tell people that we are trying to be the best versions of ourselves. We will all make mistakes, but it isn’t really a mistake if we learn as we go. Here I go! Moving on to a new year. Forgiving myself and others and moving forward full force ahead. Happy New Year to my Jewish family and friends who just celebrated. Love from the Greene family.
Here’s what you can do:
- Get a jump start on your New Year’s and start thinking about what you are going to do differently in 2020. Better yet, think about what your resolutions will be and start today!
- Join me in Thankful Thursdays every week. Let us take time every Thursday to look around and soak in everything we are thankful for!
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R