It’s Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which I think is among the greatest of religious holidays. As my friend Erika explains beautifully,
Yom Kippur is a good time to call those who are important to you and tell them that you value their love and friendship over whatever differences you may have. Yom Kippur is also the time to forgive those who have hurt us, whether intentionally or not, and to move on from that hurt, no matter how hard. Because it is a fresh new year.
What a great place the world would be if each of us did this – sincerely asking forgiveness, making amends, and forgiving others, at least once a year.
So I’ll try.
I owe an apology to my friends, family and colleagues for how I have disappeared over the past few months.
I don’t call and I don’t answer phone calls. I don’t email and I rarely answer emails.
They probably think, “If she has time to write her blog every day, why doesn’t she have time to write to me?”
Or maybe they think, “She makes time for her art, she makes time to take hikes, why doesn’t she make time for me?”
I am sorry, my dear ones. I really am.
But it’s not enough to just apologize. Part of a sincere apology is to examine your conscience about why you committed the offending act – or failed to do what you should do.
I find three truths about my unwillingness to communicate.
First truth: It’s not that much fun to communicate when you have nothing of interest to say.
I don’t have much to contribute to a conversation because I spend most of my time doing things that aren’t interesting to anyone, including me. Driving, schlepping to and from the car, shopping and errands, prescription pickups, cooking and cleanup, dealing with insurance and project manager, sorting out where all our belongings are and in which of five locations they should be.
I have a project in Pakistan to administer, and though the team does great work and produces such interesting stories, I only can keep up with essential paperwork, finances, and administrivia. All of which is boring.
I find my own feelings tiresome. I’m frightened, I’m anxious, I’ve failed my colleagues. Blah blah blah. Who wants to listen to that? It’s bad enough that I blog about it.
Second truth: I feel very stupid, and talking makes it worse.
Because my mind is cluttered and I am stressed, I forget a lot of what people tell me, and I can’t concentrate very well.
It’s hard to follow a conversation or an email thread. It takes so much effort to think straight. I can barely keep track of my own life, let alone what’s going on in someone else’s. This probably comes across as me being disinterested, too.
The third truth: I’m being selfish.
Writing this blog is work, doing my art is a major effort, exercise is very hard to squeeze in, but they are also therapeutic. They make me feel better. They help me get through the days, and feel sane.
I know that my friends and family must be hurt by my silence, but I don’t know how to make amends.
This is the best I can do right now. I hope to do better in the coming year.
Please forgive me.
Today’s penny is a 2015, when I was still in regular touch with people I cared about.