Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year is a couple of hours away. It’s been an up and down couple of weeks. Our house is now officially a mad house. I’m not even joking. We got another labrador for Prince No. 2, to keep Blitz company. Her name is Shmoozy (don’t ask, I still can’t figure out how Prince No. 2 came up with the name), and she is gorgeous, and our house is now a crazy, barking place. (Blitz never barks, Shmoozy does. He bites.)

Gorgeous Shmoozy

 

Not to complain, but on Shmoozy’s first night, my hubbie and I looked at each other in utter disbelief. What had we done? We weren’t sure if Shmoozy would make it through the night. Blitz was ready to eat straight into her, he was so jealous. (Hence her barking.) My husband googled, ‘getting a second puppy’. Oops we should have googled it before we bought Shmoozy. We made every mistake in the book.

Don’t get a second puppy in order to calm your first wild puppy. (And boy is Blitz wild. He puts the Prince’s to shame.)

Don’t get a second puppy to keep your other puppy company and think your job is done. They both just crave your attention. (My hands are raw from all the hand washing that comes with patting two very needy, jumpy dogs.)

We set up the baby monitor in the kitchen (so we could hear if Blitz murdered her in the wee hours of the night) and hoped for the best. She was fine.

I wasn’t fine that first week, as I was overwhelmed with the needs of this whole crazy clan. But I can safely say we’re all thank God fine now (basically). Blitz has calmed down and Shmoozy is still jumpy and barky, but she’s sweet and today they were both lying on top of each other. The Prince’s have gotten over their jealousy issues. (Prince No. 1 did not take kindly to the arrival of Shmoozy. A lot of projected issues were bouncing around.) The house is still mad, and Shmoozy is pooping all over the place. But I’m glad that we took the plunge. I’m glad that we leapt into love.

And that’s my theme for this blog, and for my Rosh Hashana. Leaping into love. I’ve always been impulsive. And I can safely say it’s always been worth it when it’s come to matters of the heart. I may not have always made the wisest decisions, but somehow they were always the right ones. Moving to South Africa for a man I knew for less than six months. (The older I get the crazier it sounds.) Having babies early. Having a second baby for the first baby to have a sibling. Making decisions because they feel right, from that loving, fuzzy place has definitely served me well, and for that I’m eternally grateful to God.

Our decisions don’t always make sense. Having children makes no sense on paper. You raise and rear them with blood, sweat and tears, (literally, not to mention sleepless nights) only for them to leave you and raise their own families. It never really made sense to me as a teenager. It still doesn’t. Unless I’m present and enjoy them now. And don’t let the small stuff, and the school stuff keep me down. (And there’s nothing like school to kill a parent’s joy of parenting. Why oh why can’t the child just sit still???? But that’s a whole other issue.)

Reflecting before Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I can see how sometimes I don’t leap. On a daily basis I become overwhelmed by having too much to do, and so I end up doing nothing at all, or hyper focusing on a couple of tasks to the detriment of everything else (like admin, blogging, friends). It means that my life isn’t always balanced. When I look back at my year, I’m so grateful for a wonderful year, where we’re healthy and all together. I also feel a gnawing, vague emptiness of unfulfilled potential.

I heard a wonderful class about Rosh Hashana. That it’s a time not of judging our deeds but where God judges our potential and capabilities. This puts such a different twist on what our year is all about and how we can move forward. It’s not about what we’ve done right or wrong. It’s about seeing who we truly are, who we truly want to be in this world. It’s about accessing our best selves. Not flagellating ourselves.

So my aim is to leap into love with myself. There’s so much that’s dysfunctional in my life because that core self is missing. Heaven knows I’ve tried to be the best I can be, but sometimes trying isn’t enough. I need to stop trying to be the best mother I can be (yes, yes there’s no such thing as a perfect mum, I’m trying to remind myself of this constantly), stop trying to be a better person, a writer, thinner (those post baby kilos are so not fun), stop trying to get to yoga, stop trying to say blessings on everything in my life. Get over my ‘trying’ self and just do all of it, in love, in light and in absolute joy. Because it’s the fear, the self-doubt, the critical inner voice that are my hurdles. And I don’t think I’m alone in that.

So here’s to a year of leaping into love with those around us. Our children, our spouses, our friends, our community, and most of all ourselves. Once we work inside out, which is what I believe Rosh Hashana is all about, we’ll start manifesting that change outwards in a major way. And it’s good to share the struggle in our journals, on our blogs, with our children, with our close friends and family. This is the space where we normalise ourselves, our experiences and give others permission to feel their ugly, fugly, dark sides too and step into the light anyway.

What I really want to say in this blog post is that the more people I speak to, the more I hear their stories, the more I realise how remarkable every person is, with their own life story and journey. I’m grateful to every one of you who share your stories with me, share your friendship, and read this blog. It’s a privilege, a humbling privilege.

I hope this didn’t sound too preachy, or anything. I think the real wisdom that we have is silent, not in words. It’s in our life-giving breaths.

So wishing all of you a magnificent, new year of love, joy, light and lots of blessings to you and your families. May this be the year we leap into unconditional love with ourselves and fulfill our dreams.

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Bliz Blowing the Shofar