This time of year I always find myself thinking about resolutions for the coming year (as do we all), and the fact that we often separate our spiritual resolutions made during the Jewish New Year from the secular resolutions made in January. Looking back, I see that I wrote about this last January, but it’s worth revisiting.
I was speaking recently to a TBT congregant about the challenge of leading a spiritually meaningful life while trying to juggle the seemingly insurmountable tasks required of our secular work day. This might be a little easier for those of us in fields such as medicine, nursing, or teaching, but what for people whose daily lives are more removed from the service of others? Is there a spiritually satisfying way of getting through your email? Of making up a budget? Of carpooling?
Our answer, obviously enough, can be found in our liturgical tradition, in the practice of gratitude. Our tradition teaches us to be thankful for just about everything: the light of day, the gift of waking up to a new day, the miracle of our bodies, the food we eat, not to mention the loved ones in our lives and our many personal comforts. While it may initially seem trite if you are not used to approaching gratitude in this way, it can be very grounding and orienting. I urge you to give it a try. Here’s a tip - I do it when I’m sitting in traffice; I find it turns a personally frustrating experience into an opportunity for reflection.
This year, instead of groaning about waking up early, I’m going to try to be more thankful for the gift of two legs to run with, the gift of hearing as I pop my iPod headphones into my ears, and the gift of yet another year to try (hopefully more successfully this year), to exercise. If I don’t get in better shape physically, at least I will get into better shape spiritually!
Happy New Year, and L’shalom,
Stu Weinzimer, President