If I were a truly observant Jew, I would not be working today. I would not be writing or going to Yoga in an hour. The one thing I do is fast. During many many moments of the day, I feel myself hungry and then I am reminded that today I will not eat until sundown. This prompts me to think about what I have done in the year behind me that I wish I had done differently or better. Ways I could have acted kinder or more generously. Times when I could have listened more whole-heartedly to my partner or my child or my friends or my employees.
I do not self- flagellate on this day. I reflect. I notice those hungry moments and take in the thoughts that accompany them. I make commitments for the future. I will not respond to texts during dinner. I will wait a few more minutes before answering that heated email. I will always say "I love you" when I can.
Tonight we will have a Break Fast, when we celebrate at sundown by eating together. This is another beautiful moment for me on this day. Most days I eat on the run or sporadically, unconsciously. Yesterday, after 8 hours of work, before another 3, I grabbed a bar from my glove box and plowed on. Tonight when I eat, it will be different. The anticipation of the first bite, the sensation of swallowing, the joy in eating together with people I love, are all moments that I often miss, being present, conscious, awake.
Life will continue on as normal tomorrow, hopefully with some residual memory of where I am today. These hours of fasting will change me a little bit. I will be in the world a little more alert, engaged.