I checked my recent writing history today and the last legit post of mine was really 3.5 years ago. For some that’s a long chunk of time. In that time I have seen my kids grow older, starting with my son who is returning next week from his first post high school year learning in Eretz Yisrael, to my oldest daughter officially a senior in high school, to our youngest daughter now having the status of an 8th grader.
I have seen my wife and I go through not so fun times, grown closer together, sat shiva and been in an aveilus for my mother (erev Pesach 2018). I have spent hours over the past few years exploring abandonments, yet not truly exploring the special חלק אלוק ממעל, chelek Elokei mi’maal, that portion of Hashem from above that is with me. I say I am exploring myself, but I don’t think that’s really the case.
I’ve listened, learned, read things that have helped me to continue my growth in Torah and avodas Hashem. I have gone from a state of total social withdrawal from friend to a point where I am on the footpath toward bridges. I have laughed and cried over meaningless things in 2 Avengers movies. I have experienced the death of a former NCSYer/friend.
If I had to pick a highlight of the past year it is seeing my daughter grow as people. I am nervous to see what changes have taken place with my son, but I have a whole summer to spend with him.
Without any pretense I feel that I haven’t changed. I am still a slave to habits, not so nice stellar middos, and a fixed mindset. Despite all my davening and learning I still find it a struggle to redirect these behaviors to something good.
With all that I sit erev Shabbos and write, because, “I don’t have the strength to remain silent,” to quote Rav Kook zya.