We can iron out past wrinkles in money, relationships and clothing. That's what I learned as I ironed clothing for Rosh HaShannah, the New Year on the Hebrew calendar.
Even if you don't celebrate the holiday, September is still a time of beginnings and renewal, including a new school year, a post-Labor Day cycle on Wall Street and changes in leaf colors.
Long before I converted to Judaism, I always felt a shift in September. Here's what I learned while ironing garments this September.
1. Restoration: Wrinkles can be removed from shirts, relationships and money. The process requires time, tools and enough heat.
2. Execution: It's a cliche. But it's so true: Anything worth doing, is worth doing well. If I'm balancing my checkbook, reading a story to a child or ironing a blouse, it's important to give my best to the moment and the task. We only have the present moment, everything else is an illusion.
3. Housework: Don't overlook the value of housework. Sweeping floors is important. Washing clothes is valuable, and ironing creates value. Household chores represent an investment in our personal space. What's more, the process can create a valuable meditative exercise in humility and patience.
4. Frugal values: It was tempting to go shopping for new clothes for the new year. But time and budget restraints detoured my shopping trips. Instead, I plugged in the iron and pressed dress clothes that were laundered. With the investment of time and heat, all of the garments --including my sons' dress shirts -- looked near-new. I also found shirts, skirts and jackets that I had forgotten about.
5. Pay attention: I burned the thumb on my left hand in a moment of carelessness. My hand was on the iron, but my mind was elsewhere. Likewise, I have made financial and personal mistakes through reckless actions. Time has taught me to pay attention to duties, responsibilities, commitments and my higher self.
Rosh HaShannah is a time of apology. I offer a heartfelt apology to anyone I may have injured through carelessness, thoughtfulness, bitchiness or other moments of insecurity or inconsideration.
6. Do for others: This afternoon, I applied a hot iron to garments for my entire family. It's not enough for me to look pressed and cleaned; my family should also benefit from my work. It's the same with money and health. I enhance my own wealth when I share with my extended family and community. It's not enough for me to have health insurance; it's important that we all benefit from wellness, preventive medicine and cures.
I wish everyone a sweet New Year, filled with healthy new beginnings, universal love and peace. And of course, universal healthcare. L'Chaim...To Life!!