Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drop me in the water

In the Jewish religion, today is the ceremony Tashlich, which is Hebrew for "casting off." As part of the start of a new year, this is a chance to symbolically cast off the sins of the past year. Jews go to a natural body of flowing water and throw in pieces of bread to symbolize the shedding of these old errors. The idea is to get rid of things you do not want to take with you into the new year. While traditionalists focus on specific errors made in the past year, right now I am thinking more about the ways I make life unnecessarily harder for myself. By tossing away some of these I hope I will feel lighter about whatever happens in the next year.

I would like to leave behind:

  • Sadness that I have not had an easy road to pregnancy. Whether or not it works this time, this is one area where I have actually made a lot of progress compared to earlier this year. I am ready to move forward with one child or with two, but without the sadness and self-pity I was lugging around in the spring.
  • Anger and frustration at Ada's continued refusal to use the potty. I am horrified by how hard it is for me to get past this one. Even as I think about how to change my response, I want to write out all reasons I am justified in feeling so annoyed with her. I have a lot of work to do on this; it is going to take a lot of bread crumbs. 
  • Fear. Fear of messing up, fear of being found out as unqualified, untalented, uninteresting. I know that a lot of people carry this one around, especially those of us who like to be in control all the time. Carrying this fear takes a lot of energy. I am sure that letting it go would help me find more energy for other things. Saying that, I know that this one is especially hard for me to release. I will be cutting myself some slack if I am not quite done with this one yet.
What would you like to move forward without? I'll toss it in the river for you today.


  1. how generous of you.

    what a beautiful, beautiful ritual.

    toss my own fear of being open to what will come, toss my unrealistic expectations on mysef and others.

    i'll think of you.

    thank you.

  2. oh, snuck back into the language of my childhood.

    by mysef, you know i mean myself.

  3. Oh, I love this idea!

    You can have my inability to be kind to myself and my expectation that if I really were good enough, my children would never be unhappy, petulant or neurotic.

  4. L'Shana Tova.

    I'm not sure what I want to leave behind yet. Maybe the shofar will let me know.

  5. Happy New Year! Toss in my insecurities about my inability to be an artist, my shame about having cancer and the fears that keep me from 'doing.'
    Thank you!

  6. Oh, how wonderful of you. Please drop in my selfishness and my resentments and my kneejerk resistances. I think if I could let those go, the rest would come.

    I may have to go take the kidlet to feed some ducks, myself. Though I have no idea where one might do that around here.

    Good luck to both of us in the coming year.

  7. I wish I would've read this post before I posted my very own lame post, because I have quite a few things to toss in. Perhaps tomorrow, when I am not at a Wendy's listening to Fly Girl.

  8. (un)relaxeddad9/30/2008 1:29 PM

    Fear. That's the big one.

  9. Maybe, when our twos and threes act crazy (recall my professional theory that they are, in fact, crazy) there wells up in us a sense of panic. We wonder, is this the beginning of my child being, in fact, a crazy person forever. Will everything be this difficult. Is this proof of things to come for the next 80 years. I think that makes us angry. We say, look, kiddo: I have done all of this work, all of this tongue-biting and pleading and brilliant arrangement of schedules and vegetables to get you to be this little gorgeous creature. Now it could all fall apart because you might still be in diapers at the prom. DAMMMMMITTTT!