This year the Jewish calendar coincides almost exactly with the York Region School Board calendar, with the first day of the new school year beginning just one day before the first day of the Jewish new year. Oh yes. What this means for Jewish mothers everywhere can be illustrated a little bit like this: $%#$^$%&#%@!!! This, friends, can loosely be translated as EEEP, although that’s really only the family-friendly version.
Normally, we drive to Milwaukee to spend this two-day, apples-dipped-in-honey holiday with my family.
When my family gets together for holidays, I can count on at least these nine things happening: 1. My mother will make a comment about my hair. 2. My mother will attempt to fix my bra straps. 3. We will talk about THE PACKERS. 4. We will EAT A LOT OF BAKED GOODS. 5. We will spend a lot of time with family and people who are like family and we will eat a lot of meals and talk about politics. 6. We will let the kids stay up too late and we will let them sing too many songs. 7. We will forget that the closest thing to alcohol in my mom’s house is Kedem Grape Juice. 8. We will play Spit, Settlers of Catan, Ticket To Ride, and, of course, with melty beads. 9. We will forget to bring clothing that is warm enough.
It’s always too short. It’s always too hectic. It’s always too full of eating. It’s always too many days of being unplugged and not being able to use electronics. It’s always slightly tense, slightly tiring, slightly insane.
But more than slightly awesome.
So, yes, normally we spend it with my family. But this year we are home. Between the school calendar and Emily’s shooting calendar and my work calendar, we made the decision to stay home this year and invite ourselves to family and friends. No really, we did. I feel no shame. And it will be nice, I’m sure. It will be filled with fun and friends and food.
But who is going to fix my bra straps this year?
I can’t help but think that maybe all of this NEW coinciding provides a perfect opportunity to think about the year ahead. This summer was awesome. After realizing that I only get 18 of ‘em with these little muffins of mine, I really tried to make different decisions, to pay more attention, to BE there more. And I was. We played, we swam, we ran, we biked, we traveled, we Muskokad, we cottaged, we lazed, we laughed, we completely and totally LIVED this summer.
And while I loved it, it’s time.
I am really just ready to solider forward. I am ready to get back into routine, to get back into proper dinnertime, homework time, bedtime.
I am ready to stop eating so many burritos and baked goods. I am ready to eat whole foods and stop living off of movie popcorn. I am ready to bike my way into the fall. I am ready to start training—really training—with my new trainer Darren, who comes to my house with his own equipment and gives me exactly zero breaks, but promised that he’d try his best not to ever make me vomit. I have seen The Biggest Loser, you guys.
I am ready to see my friends more, use my tech less.
I am ready to be a baseball mom, an ice skating mom, a dance mom, a swimming mom.
I am ready to actually answer my phone when it rings.
I’m ready to go brunette again. And re-cut my blunt bangs.
I am ready to not be so scared of parking downtown.
I am ready to listen more, to talk less.
I am ready to take my photography business up a notch—to fix the website, to get more active on Facebook, to book even more sessions, to branch out, to not be afraid of what’s ahead.
I am ready to do more with this site here—more commercials (I was in my very first commercial!), more bylines (I got my very first magazine byline!), more speaking engagements, more writing, more editing, more everything.
I am ready to not be so crappy at doing laundry, and not be so crappy about putting it away.
I am ready to travel more—to stop being afraid of my anxiety, to stop living in the WHAT IFs, and just go for it.
I am ready to go to sleep before 2am and to wake up after 6am.
I am ready for more Mad Men, more Sons of Anarchy, to see how Breaking Bad ends, and to finally put Dexter to bed.
I am ready to see the inside of my very first film set, when I accompany my oldest daughter to film her very first role ever—a part on a television show. I promise to share more details when I can.
So, if I had to choose a word for myself for this coming year, it’s READY.
I am ready.
Bring it, 2013-14 school year. Bring it, Jewish year 5774.
I want to wish a Shana Tova to all of my fellow tribe members.
I want to wish a wonderful and meaningful new school year to all of the students, teachers, parents.
I wish you all nothing but good things and a year filled with family, friends, and joy—I can’t wait to hear what *you* are ready for this coming year.
And I wish you someone in your life who will fix your bra straps, of course.