In early June, my wife Natalie went to a four-day conference, and as much as I miss Natalie when she is away, there was a part of me that was excited. I was imagining myself watching all the shows I have wanted to watch but haven’t because her tastes are different, and we like to watch TV together. I was picturing a Game of Thrones/Legends of Tomorrow/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. marathon from the time the kids went to bed until 2 in the morning.
It didn’t happen exactly the way I had planned.
I woke up that first morning alone with my iPad on my chest and papers strewn across the bed, because instead of taking time to relax the previous evening, I thought I would get just one more thing finished for work. Just one more thing led to another and another, and the next thing I knew, it was morning and I hadn’t even turned on the TV!
Perhaps many of us have been there: making choices that favor our professional life rather than taking time for ourselves. The High Holy Days are our chance to look back at the choices we have made and decide how we want to do better the next time we are confronted with the same decision. Are we going to choose job over self or family? Or will we consider what is really important in our lives as we strive to make 5778 our best, most balanced year ever.
As Elul draws to a close and Rosh Hashanah begins, may we all find balance and inner peace, so that our spiritual journey through the High Holy Days is a meaningful one.
(Rabbi David N. Young)