[tap, tap, tap]
Hello? Is this thing on?
Hmm. It's gotten rather dusty around here, hasn't it?
Well, I've promised many people that I haven't retired from blogging, and now I'm finally (at long last) following up on that promise. And what better time than now?
In Judaism, birthdays are more meaningful than being a cause for celebration and an excuse to hit up your family and friends for lots of presents. They are a time for personal reflection, for looking back over the past year and looking to the future, for what is to come in the following year. And though I have generally been accustomed to celebrating my secular birthday, it often falls out during a time of the year that is conducive to reflection - during the Three Weeks/Nine Days, a.k.a. בין המצרים.
What have I accomplished in the past year? Have I become a better person? I hope so, though I think in many ways I could still be better. I have more to work on in myself, in my relationships with others, in my relationship with Hashem - there's enough work to last a lifetime and more. That is not to discount what I have accomplished, just acknowledging that I still have what to do. I cannot sit back and say, "I've done enough."
Am I proud of how I've utilized the precious year that was just allotted to me? In some ways, absolutely. In other ways...well, not so much. Yes, I've spent some time well, and in many ways, better than I used to. But there's still so much time that was wasted, or not spent in ways that I will be proud of after 120 years. There is still a lot of room for improvement in this area, that's for certain. I'm working on it.
A year has passed; I cannot undo it or retrieve it, no matter what. But now I will look to the future, to the years that are to come. I hope I will use them well.
Happy birthday to me.