I am very late with my New Year Greetings this year but not 9 months late, just 9 days. I meant to put this post up on Sept 1st which always feels far more like New Year to me than January 1st ever does. Not alot changes in January apart from a number. Whereas in September everyone ‘moves up’ and moves on, at least that’s the way it feels. You can tell I’ve been locked into an academic lifestyle for most of my life. Also September is THE best month of the year for all of us with a ‘stationary addiction’, the shops positively bulge with pens, notebooks, files and diaries. I’ve just bought my next one (it took two trips into town and much enjoyable dithering. I don’t know why people have filofaxes or digital diaries, where’s the fun in that?) In fact I actually bought two diaries but I promise to take the first one back, mind you today I’ve seen another one in a catalogue that looks really lovely….
This the first summer in pretty much my whole life that I have had to ‘work’ (as in ‘paid employment’) all the way through summer and it’s been really weird. September 1st marked the start of my second year of ‘vicar training’ and because I am not doing it full time at theological college, I have been at work in the parish all summer. The up side of this change is taking holidays in term time (cheaper and quieter, yippee!) the downside is working when it feels like ‘everyone else’ is taking it easy. Everyone else under 18 that is.
So I have gleefullly rejoiced at the sight of school children clogging up the pavements in the mornings (not so happy about their parents clogging up the roads). At last, everything is getting back to normal, people are where they should be and getting on with ‘stuff’.
We are not quite at that happy point yet in our household. Matt returns from India on Saturday (he is all better now apparently) and is back at Uni a week later. A week after that we will go away on holiday, happy in the knowledge that all other family noses are appropriately pressed to grindstones! Hoo- RAH!
By the way, the swimming malarky/cure (see post ‘Just Keep Swimming’) has worked. I am most pleased to report that I have been sleeping much better since about 1 week into the swimming plan and am feeling much more mentally robust. Thank you for many kind thoughts either posted or prayed my way. I still don’t actually LIKE swimming and have to drag myself off the sofa while every muscle in my body protests loudly about the dangers of exercise, the temperature of the water and chilly changing rooms. But it does work, those feel-good endorphins have finally kicked in.
So here’s to a happier new year!
p.s. Have just found out that Sept 9th is Rosh Hashanah also known as Jewish New Year! So it seems my greetings are more timely than I’d realised. (I didn’t hear any rams horns being blown, I just heard in on Radio 2!) The Jews begin their new year with a 10 period of reflection and repentance, resolving to live better in the year ahead than in the year that’s been. They also eat alot of apples and honey – all of which seems very sensible to me. So ‘Shana Tova’ everyone.
Okay, finally at the risk of offending both Buddhists and Jews, this is very funny: a Jewish take on ‘new age nonsense’. I’ve italicised the Jewish voice for you
Be here now.
Be someplace else later.
Is that so complicated?
Drink tea and nourish life;
with the first sip, joy;
with the second sip, satisfaction;
with the third sip, peace;
with the fourth, a Danish.
Wherever you go, there you are.
Your luggage is another story.
Accept misfortune as a blessing.
Do not wish for perfect health,
or a life without problems.
What would you talk about?
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Oy.
There is no escaping karma.
In a previous life,
you never called,
you never wrote,
you never visited.
And whose fault was that?
Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
The Tao does not speak.
The Tao does not blame.
The Tao does not take sides.
The Tao has no expectations.
The Tao demands nothing of others.
The Tao is not Jewish.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.
Let your mind be as a floating cloud.
Let your stillness be as a wooded glen.
And sit up straight.
You’ll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.
Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.
Each flower blossoms ten thousand times.
Each blossom has ten thousand petals.
You might want to see a specialist.
Be aware of your body.
Be aware of your perceptions.
Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.
submitted by Mark Miller to aish.com -don’t know if he wrote it but I enjoyed it.
Happy New Year to you to. September always seems like the start of the church year to me when all activities re-start and you work out who has disappeared over the summer. My wife and I are now freed from working our holiday(s) around school / university terms so we are off to Venice for the first week in October.
Glad the swimming is working out (no pun intended) for you. I like the idea of exercise but don’t seem to find the time and energy coinciding at the moment.
Even more glad that you son is now better.
It also took me two trips to find this year’s diary…worrying. Xx