New schedules, new clothes, new school year… September always brings a new beginning. It’s also the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. This is a time to reflect on the last year and plan what you’d like to change or do better in this next one. For me, this coming year is one of many changes. I’m selling my home of 12 years, remodeling a new one, moving the kids to different schools, and oh yeah, getting married. These are all wonderful changes, and I am so grateful, but they do not come without stress. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? YES. So every time I’m on the edge of a meltdown, I remind myself to look back (I usually adhere to Walt Disney’s advice to “keep moving forward,” but not lately).
The many fantastic things in my future year will all happen, and when I look back next Rosh Hashanah I’ll probably smile and wish I had enjoyed the ride more because it all worked out. So my future self is reminding my present self to chill, turn around and see how the last year shook out. Do this right now for yourself. Think of something that totally stressed you out in the past. How did it work out? Yeah, I thought so.
When you look at how your career has unfolded you can see how much you’ve learned and grown from the positions you accepted. And missed opportunities, which seemed like failures at the time, only brought you better offers. Conflicts at work made you smarter or more sensitive. Jerk bosses taught you how to manage better. Looking back the path is obvious, but when you were walking it, it probably felt treacherous.
Look at those amazing kids you have. Remember how you agonized over every bite they ate or didn’t eat. How you worried they weren’t sleeping through the night at six months, or walking at exactly one year. Now they’re teaching you about hip-hop, setting up your Instagram account and heading off to college. You’re doing well mom and dad.
The exercise of looking back has given me clarity, and knowing that next year I’ll be able to look back and see how it all worked out is giving me peace. I want to go into this next whirlwind year feeling calm and trying to enjoy the roller coaster. I still sometimes feel on the edge of a meltdown but I’m trying to channel my future self to remind the current me to turn around and chill, because it’s all going to be just fine.
This week I wish you a happy New Year and the peace of knowing everything will work out perfectly… just wait until next year, you’ll see!