Today was the 10th of Elul, which is two days from the day I officially become a Jew.
It’s a little funny to me that today’s theme is “count.” But “count” can mean to tally up, or it can mean to matter.
I choose the latter meaning today. Isn’t part of Elul supposed to be figuring out what matters and what doesn’t matter?
So then: What counts to me? What doesn’t? What is really important, and what isn’t? What do I need to hold on to, and what can I let go of, while still remaining myself?
Well, of all the people in the world, my husband and my best friend count to me. My daughters count to me. My brothers and their families count to me, as does my father’s sister (my aunt), my mother’s brother (my uncle), and several of my cousins. My closest friends count to me. My rabbi counts to me. My students – new and old – count to me. My teacher and my chavurah group count to me. My new therapist counts to me.
And on a larger scale, of course every person on the planet counts to me, but not as personally or as viscerally. Some of them count simply because they’re human beings and dammit, tikkun olam, I should care about them.
And my cats count to me, because cats.
My health counts to me. My ability to earn a living counts to me. My home counts to me, although I’m thinking many of the things in the home may not anymore. I may need to find a place to pass on the people I used to be when those things did count to me, so I can leave those people I used to be, behind.
What doesn’t count to me any more? What doesn’t matter?
Making everyone like me no longer counts. Getting everyone’s approval no longer counts. Being perfect… well, that still counts, but not on every level. Only on some.
I’m tired, and it’s late, and I’ve been up since five a.m. with short sleep, and so in the interest of taking care of myself I’m probably going to cut this post a little short. But you get the idea.
Part of Elul is figuring out what counts to you.