Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and is the first day of a period called The High Holy Days, culminating with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I like to say I was Jewish for eleven years in my previous married life. I loved the high holy days. I loved sitting in quiet contemplation in Temple on Yom Kippur where I offered the sum total of the previous year’s deeds up in prayer. Yom Kippur is the jackpot of holy days, the Sabbath of all Sabbaths. Now these Days of Awe most often fall during the month of September. So why am I writing about them in December? New Years 2018 has made me pause and ponder the events of the past year and even create a resolution or two for this new year.
I’m thinking perhaps we should regard the turning of the new year as a sacred time as well. Maybe we don’t spend hours in church or Temple but we do carve out time to reflect on our doings in 2017, expressing thanks for our joys and asking forgiveness for our disappointments and bad behaviors, even if it is merely a silent prayer said to ourselves.
Some of us are considering our options as we age into our 60s, 70s, and 80s. Whatever the label, we are heading into a transition for ourselves, one we may not be adept at navigating. We prepared for every other phase of our lives- going to secondary school and college, apprenticing at a job, taking parenting classes. Why have we been so lax at preparing for this next phase of our lives?
I’ll go first- I’ve made a resolution to carve out more time during my week to write. I have been noodling over a book I want to write. I also love writing my blog. Somehow, these loves get shoved to a back burner in lieu of income producing projects, family duties, or social commitments.
My husband has resolved to finish writing his full-length play and relax a little more about his role and performance in the Bach Festival Choir.
The arrival of the new year asks us about the things we resolved to complete in 2017. Have we measured up to the expectations we imposed upon ourselves 12 months ago? Did we meet our goals? Do we feel a sense of accomplishment or do we border on disappointment? A tool I’ve found to be helpful in this process is our What’s Next Boomer personality quiz. My husband and I (30+ year market researchers) developed this quiz for people in the +60 age demographics (of which we are most definitively members) to help analyze our deepest motivations and traits as we stand at the juncture of retirement or semi retirement. Click here to take the quiz. We called it a quiz to try to make it more fun but it is based upon serious research. There is a short version and a longer version with more detail. Happy Navigating and Happy 2018!