So much birthday love on my Facebook page and alot of it before 8 a.m.! Thank you!
When I was a kid, I would have to wait until I got home from school to see what cards were in the mail before I knew if anyone remembered my day. These days, with the internet and Facebook and "my calendar" applications, people are easier to reach out and touch. It may seem like a small and bit impersonal thing, but when you wake up on your birthday and find 30 messages in your inbox, it feels good. (I do still like to get "snail mail" cards also. Doesn't everyone like to get "real" mail?)
Growing up, my birthday would sometimes fall on days marked "Rosh Hashana" or "Yom Kippur" on the calendar. I had no idea what those days were, but always thought that it was "cool" or "neat" that my birthday fell on a holiday. It was not until I began studying Judaism that I realized how "cool" or "neat" it really was. My 30th was particularly interesting, as it fell on Yom Kippur which is a fast day. That means that I did not get to eat anything, all day long, until after sundown. This birthday will be an interesting one because it is Kol Nidre - pretty much the holiest date of the Jewish year. I get to eat until sundown, so I'll be sure to cram as much cake and ice cream in before then as I can, and that should help me get through the following 25 or so hours of not eating anything at all.
As I get closer and closer to 40, and as my friends and family get to and pass 40 (don't worry, I won't name names), I find myself spending more time looking back and considering where my life is and where it is going. No, I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say that I think it has been pretty good and I'm looking forward to where it is going. Skydiving, anyone?
I read a blog post a few months ago by someone who made a list of things she wanted to do before a big birthday. I tried to make a list of 40 before 40, and found that many of the things I would have put on the list (such as visit London or go on a cruise) were already checked off. So my list is around 20 things and some of them may not get crossed off before 40 - we'll see. As of today, I have exactly 2 years, or 730 days. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
In any event, my celebration this year will be put on hold for a few days of personal reflection and atonement (the purpose behind Yom Kippur) and my annual efforts to be sealed in the Book of Life. A friend's post on her facebook page today rang particularly true. She said "As I take a few minutes before Kol Nidre tonight and a day of repenting and looking within myself...I want to ask all of those that I may not be able to talk to/see before Yom Kippur is over for forgiveness...I sincerely apologize for anything I may have done to hurt you this year, intentionally or unintentionally. I also want to tell those who may have done the same to me...all if forgiven. G'mar Chatimah Tovah - may we all be written in the book of life!" (Thanks Stephanie, I hope you don't mind I borrowed your words - very well said.)
To my fellow Members of the Tribe (of Israel), I wish you an easy fast. Have a piece of cake before sundown for me in celebration. For my friends who are not "MOT" - have a piece of cake for me (throw some ice cream on top if you dare!) and celebrate something - your family, your health, anything worth smiling about. As for me, I am hanging on for the weekend, which will find me sitting under an umbrella on a beach, with a drink in my hand and an umbrella in my drink.
Now if only my Dodgers could pull out a few more wins and clinch a Wildcard spot.... is that too much to wish for on "my" day?