Happy New Year/The Gift of Near Death
The second we are born we begin to die. So we are all on our way to the grave, and none of us knows for certain what happens after that. We have our hopes, fears, and beliefs. We have theories. So it’s this life I’m focusing on. A popular thought is to “stay in the present.” Part of my present is that it’s passing. Right now. Am I doing all I can in the present to take care of myself, of my life, of my relationships, of my community?
The sages tell me material things don’t satisfy. And it’s true. I like our new white sofa but still our living room feels cluttered. I see it in Ax, his fervent desire for that new thing, which so quickly becomes the old thing.
So what matters? What do I want to spend these precious minutes pursuing? Self-knowledge, self-care, self-expression, connection with others as a path to helping others, to making the world a better place , in whatever small way, when I leave it behind.
And no I’m not planning to go anywhere soon. I’m just re-focusing, since it’s still Jewish New Years and 9/11 is still on my mind. Another day I didn’t die, but could have.
Every day is a near death experience, just some days more noticeably than others. What am I doing today? I’m gonna keep going.