Be Glad of It

This morning, looking for just the right words to wish a friend happy birthday, I stumbled across an old Hebrew saying that I’d forgotten about, but that my grandmother used to say:

“Zeh hayom asah Adonai, nagilah venism’cha vo.”

It means:  “This is the day that the L-rd has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Now, my grandparents were both lucky enough to escape what happened in Europe before and during WWII, but they (and thus I) had relatives who did not.  So when my grandmother said that, it had a certain weight to it.  Hopefully, none of us have the same direct experiences.

The holidays can be he difficult, stressful, exhilarating, and overpowering.  Winter is hard, toddlers are hard, work is hard, relationships are hard, being alone is hard (especially this time of year)…

Existence is hard.  Of course, it beats the other thing.

Whether or not you believe in a deity, whether or not you have a creation myth, take a few minutes out just to celebrate this day – any day, every day – simply because it exists, and so do we, and may we take comfort in knowing that there is a purpose to our life, either bestowed from on high or made of our own free will.

Rejoice, and be glad in it!

Letting Go

So for six weeks or so, I’ve had a post open in edit mode, two-thirds completed, about letting go.  About letting go of political arguments, about letting go of anger, about letting go of petty bullshit.

And it’s been sitting for six weeks because I haven’t been able to finish it.  The last line I’d written was “and I was ashamed,” and during breaks at work, I’d pull up the tab, and I’d look at it, and I’d sigh, and feel bad, and think about how I’ve tried to implement all of these changes in my life and in my demeanor and mutter to myself, “you shithead, Purple, you suck.”

All xkcd comics must have alt text.

My friend Tom would say “That’s the black dog talking.”  And he would be right.  I’ve let the black dog into my head.  I have a vast array of projects that I want to do, activities that I want to complete, goals that I have set, and I don’t feel like I’m making much progress.  My black dog is a little yappy thing, and it yapps, “not done! not done! you suck! you suck!” over and over and over again.

There I was.  Staring at the words “I was ashamed.”  Hearing the yappy dog.  And I said “heck with it,” and I selected all, and hit delete.  Boom, gone.

Because letting go isn’t just about forgiving other people,  It’s not just about letting anger go and letting pettiness go.  It’s about letting self-criticism go.  It’s about letting self-hate go.  It’s about forgiving yourself.

So that’s what I’m working on, this holiday season.  Progress on forgiving myself is the focus.  Progress on projects is gravy.  And in January, I’ll reset and start again.

And now I can hit publish.