Tishrei 1 5776  – September 15 2015


Yesterday afternoon, after moving music and powerful prayers with old and new friends, after shedding the crumbs of regret into the lake in Central Park and after a lovely family lunch, my son and I went to a nearby playground to hang out. He was practicing tricks on his scooter for a while and then I borrowed a soccer ball from a family sitting near us and he and I took positions in front of one of the goalposts. He’s seven, and very athletic, a quality I did not posses at his age and have been struggling since to catch up with.

And we both took turns kicking the ball and protecting the goal I realized that 1. I’m not that bad but that 2. I really need to get good at soccer again – for his sake, for our bonding sake, and for my own good. 3. This is the year to do it.

It has been way too long since I really played soccer. How long? High school. I’ve been talking about it a lot, especially in the last few years, but it’s time to walk the talk. I feel it.

First day of the new year is today. I am making a commitment to take on one practice that will make my life better – not to mention the bonus of added stature in the eyes of at least one person I love so very much with whom it will be so fantastic to play with more.

We may be fooling ourselves to believe that with sincere songs and tears and coming together to mark a new year and a new page in the book of our lives we really get to make change happen, but what other means do we have at our disposal to reject what is not working and commit to what just might? Only fools fall in love, goes the saying, and this is a good day to fall back in love with our best sense of self.

how-to-kick-a-soccer-ballSo far me, today, this means figuring out my own soccer boot camp and some sort of commitment to regular play. There’s a longer, private list of what I need to work on and improve but life brought the ball into my court yesterday with what I’ll take as a thick hint and a playful invitation: Roll with it. (It doesn’t hurt that soccer is gaining momentum in America.. I’m right on target with that trend. Hey, I may even go to my friend Roger Bennet’s first soccer – or is it football?? – shingdig in Brooklyn this coming fall.. Check out Blazercon)

Prepent 31. Tishrei 1. First day of 5776. What is a commitment we can each make today to step up our game, our health, relationships, strategic move towards a better grounded, helpful, happy self?

Just one.

After we played for a while, E. spotted a bunch of kids playing soccer too and wanted to go join them. Off he went and they, a few years older, were not interested. He was crushed, but then he tried again, somehow convincing them, and for about 20 minutes they all ran around and kicked the ball until he came back mad that they did not pass him the ball although he tried because they thought he was too little. We analyzed the situation – how brave he was to keep on asking them to join the game, how well he played when he did get a chance to kick the ball or chase it, and how proud I was of him for keeping on trying. “You know,” he said, as we made our way home a few minutes later, “ my coach at school always says – just try your best – and that’s what I did.”

And with those wise words from the mouth of a kid who is learning fast how to navigate this game called living, I too am ready to take on this brave new year with a very simple goal and the drive to dive back in and kick my ball right in there.

Shana Tova.


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