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By Mrs. Debbie Selengut

Rosh Chodesh Elul

A Guten Chodesh!

Here, we go, another transition!  From the laid back, more relaxed (I hope) structure of summer (like one young mother just told me, I don’t think I made a normal supper all summer! -good for her!!), to go back to school, Elul, and the Yamim Noraim approaching.

It’s a lot of change, a lot of new routines, it’s a lot of figuring things out (again).

It’s also the season of second chances.  

We often talk about “seize the moment”, and “grab the opportunity.”

What if I didn’t?

What if it was too hard at that time? 

What if I let my ego get in the way? 

What if I didn’t think about it? 

What if I was distracted?

What if it wasn’t the right time in my life?

 She had a simcha, and I couldn’t make it and wanted to call her afterwards to tell her I was sorry, but now it’s so many weeks (or months) past.

She was sitting shiva, and I really meant to go, but couldn’t get there, and now I feel funny saying something to her.

I really overheated and got upset, and should really apologize, but maybe if I ignore it, it will go away….

It came out much sharper than I thought, and I think that it really stung her, but it’s so awkward after so much time has elapsed to right the wrong.

She did me such a big favor and I never thanked her properly, but it was so long ago it’s weird to write a thank you note now.

That teacher gave my child so much, and I really wanted to send her something at the end of the school year, but things were so hectic, and now the new school year is starting.

But it gets deeper.

I have been so preoccupied that I know my child needs more from me, just fun, together time. Can I figure out how to carve out time each week just for him? 

My husband and I are so busy in our lives, but we desperately need to build in time to talk, relax and have fun together. How can I make this work?

I’m not as good as I want to be with calling my parents and giving them the nachas they deserve from my life and from our children’s day to day antics and accomplishments. I really want to connect more often with them.

Second chances are a gift.

They are a gift from Hashem, they are the gift of Elul, and they are a gift that we can give ourselves.

Elul means that it doesn’t have to be the way it is.

Elul means that with focus, effort, and practical steps things can be new, different and beautiful.

Don’t be afraid. 

Don’t be afraid of coming to the realization that it might be hard, (I can do hard things!), it might be a little awkward (I love awkward), and it might be uncomfortable.

Years ago, in an exercise class, the instructor showed me how making a small shift in a position, even slight, changes where you feel the burn, the work, the growth. 

Just a shift.

Not a whole re-inventing myself.

I can do this

And that is the greatest gift I can give myself. 


Mrs. Debbie Selengut