This year I’m not looking for much at all, thank goodness. You know, just health, happiness, sustenance. The usual
s the New Year is rapidly approaching, I’m relieved to know that this year I’m not asking for too much.
Oh, there were years when I had Big Asks: a spouse when I was single, a child when I married, a new house, a new job. And I begged and promised and bargained to get them. Which is stressful. Who wants to be begging all the time?
It’s good to know that I don’t need to barter good deeds for favors. And besides, so many of my resolutions go unfulfilled anyway.
Nope, this year I’m not looking for much at all, thank goodness. You know, just health, happiness, sustenance. The usual.
Oh, and of course I want the same for my husband and my kids. And my parents, obviously. And his parents, and all our siblings, his and mine. And our friends and neighbors too. No man is an island, after all.
But really, it feels good not to have to ask for a lot.
I mean, I would like my mental faculties intact next year. And my ability to walk and talk. Peripheral vision’s important. And balance. Vertigo is awful, I hear.
It’s imperative that I have a car. And gasoline and places to go and money to buy things once I get there.
And I want my children to call if they’re going to be late. So, I’ll need a phone that works, and I need my children to be healthy so they can go places.
I want my mouth to be free of canker sores and I want my vertebrae to stay aligned. I do not want to have ulcers. I want my memory to stay strong and my friends to be supportive but not in a pushy, in-your-face kind of way.
I want my husband to love me and I want to love him, too. So we’ll both probably need to keep working on all the stuff couples work on every day: compassion, sharing, equanimity. That requires emotional wellbeing, so I’ll need plenty of that.
I want to have the chance to cook a lot. I want to be able to read a recipe with accurate vision and be capable of moving around the kitchen by myself to get the ingredients. I want a stove to cook stuff on, inside a house that is mine. I want people to feed around my table. I want a table.
I want my children to succeed and also to be kind. I want them to grow in every way but in a normal way, nothing drastic or off the charts. Just good, healthy growth for good, healthy kids. I want them to run around and make messes and sometimes forget to clean their rooms because they’re too busy with their lives. I want them to have lives.
I want my family to be proud of me. To be pleased with me. To love me. I want to be proud and pleased and love them too. I want to be able to say it to them and to have them hear it and understand it with good, working minds and open, accepting hearts.
I want the people who are sick to get better and the people who are poor to make money and the people who are fighting to find peace. I want to be safe from hurricanes. I want the world to treat the Jews better, and I want the Jews to treat ourselves better. I want peace of mind.
I want a connection with my Creator that comes from a place of gratitude and warmth and love. Not from fear or hardship. I want to be busy with good things. I want to realize the good things I have and not be exasperated. I want to appreciate the laundry, because it means we have clothes and we’re able to move around and get dirty and we’re able to clean ourselves up afterward. I want to appreciate the car pool because it means I have kids.
I want time! I need time to do all the things I’ve been promising myself I’d do — take an art class, clean the junk drawer, work on my patience. I want my coffee hot and my ice cream cold and I want to be able to swallow them both without difficulty. Some people can’t swallow, you know? I don’t want that.
I want days that are full, but not overwhelming. I want to be challenged only by an excess of happiness. I want to rise to the challenge. I want to please G-d. I want to be thankful. I want to be serene.
I only want every single thing I had last year plus all the things I didn’t have that I wished I could have, plus all the things I don’t even know that I want yet.
But Rosh Hashanah is almost here and I haven’t made any resolutions. I haven’t really changed myself or worked too hard. I haven’t managed to make the time to barter or examine myself.
So it’s a good thing I’m not asking for much this year.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 660)
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