Ringing in the New Year

No not the typical American New Year, but the Jewish New Year. For those of you who are not familiar, last week was Rosh Hashanah and today is currently Yom Kippur. In the last week we were told to beg forgiveness from those we have wronged over the past year and today we are purging ourselves in a fast.  As the sun sets this evening I’ll have a clean slate and (hopefully) be inscribed in the book of life for the next year. Though before that happens I’d like to publicly apologize. In the words of Glinda (Wicked): I ask forgiveness, for the things I’ve done you blame me for.

On another note, did you know fasting is difficult? I had several dreams last night about accidentally eating today. Apparently food is constantly on my mind. In addition I’m not drinking today which makes life incredibly difficult. I had wanted to get many things accomplished today, but I’m afraid of becoming dehydrated. Instead I slept incredibly late and have been doing work for the past few hours. Not how I’d typically spend my Saturday or Yom Kippur, but it is necessary with all the work I have on my plate these days. Later I’ll return to services and (in seven hours) I’ll return to food.

This has been another long week. I had a large project due on Wednesday which came with a presentation. I forgot what it was like to present in front of my peers… For some reason I can happily talk in front of them in an informal setting, but when it comes to a darkened room I clam up. Not my best moment. Fortunately I was able to relax when it was over (for the night).

So I went out to a local running club to see if they had anything to offer me. Turns out their showing on Wednesday was minuscule (only 15 people). I spent my run with the “sweeper” who was still going considerably faster than I would have expected. I shouldn’t complain though, he managed to get my rear in gear and I completed 5.5 miles much faster than I expected. He was quite the interesting fella, apparently his father had lent Steve Jobs the money that was used to found Apple. Oh the people you’ll meet in Silicon Valley. I’m not sure if I’ll return to the group, but I’m trying to keep an open mind about the experience.

Now I’ve been assigned another large project and plenty of smaller tasks. It is stressful! I’m trying to keep my head up and remind myself that this is the life I wanted for myself. Although it is a lot of work, we’ve had plenty of fun interspersed throughout. Hopefully tomorrow isn’t swallowed whole by my class obligations and I can go for a long run in the morning (one can dream).

How do you ask for forgiveness? What new and exciting activities have you done this past week?

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About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on October 8, 2011, in Judaism, Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Gosh, I think it would be hard to do a long run after fasting — especially with being dehydrated. Be careful. On public speaking, I found that I could speak up in front of a group sitting down but as soon as I have to stand up with a microphone, I get nervous. I think you just have to keep doing it and get used to it. Happy New Year.

    • I think you are quite right, running after a fast would have been tough. I ran the next day, but I definitely felt a touch dehydrated and had trouble getting very far.

  2. Yom Kippur is my favorite Jewish holiday! (My husband is Jewish, so we celebrate Jewish and Christian holidays.) I just find it so beautiful!*

    • Favorite? That is a strong word, but I can understand why you’d find it beautiful. Although I’d have to go with Hanukkah (if you make the right fried foods this is the best week of the year) or Purim (“Drink until you can’t tell good from evil”).

  3. Did you see the year where Stephen Colbert kept calling Jon Stewart to demand that Stewart apologize because it was Yom Kippur. I always think of that now and it makes me laugh. I am confused that someone says YK is the best holiday. The fasting is major suckage. In other news, I celebrate Yom Kippur with chili cheese fries at a Blue Jackets game. Can you tell I’m not a practicing Jew? Regarding presentations, I’ve actually started practicing all of my talks repeatedly. I usually do a few to the mirror, some to the dogs, once or twice to husband, and a couple times to whoever I can bully in to watching over Skype. It’s the ONLY way I got through my senior seminar and I plan to start doing that for committee meetings too since I freeze so badly.

    • I seriously hope you enjoyed those fries enough for me as well. I made the mistake of watching tv and every time someone was eating food I started to salivate (even when it didn’t look good).
      I really should learn to practice my presentations a bit more. For some reason I try to freehand them and it always ends in embarrassment. Maybe I’ll bully you to watch me over Skype on Tuesday night so you can tell me how much of a tool I am. :)

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