As each new year begins I pick a theme to guide my thoughts and behavior. Last year it was “Healthy” and I focused on healthy behaviors, attitudes, diet, relationships and finances. (My other choice was “Passionate” but if you know me very well you know I don’t need a lot of encouragement in that direction.) I highly recommend this to you as an annual practice. It’s one of those positive psychology thingies that really works!
Anyway, my theme for 2018 is FREEDOM and I’m getting excited about that. For one thing, the “horrorscopes” (as my Daddy called them) predict amazing things in the upcoming year for this Scorpio woman. Apparently, all kinds of power is moving into my “houses” month after month this year. An online source purred that my love life will “move so fast you’ll get whiplash!” (Hmm…that sounds fascinating but not in a good way. The last time I got whiplash I spent two months with a chiropractor.) The mavens of the planets also predict that, in addition to my super-charged love-life, my finances will improve and my business ventures will be “blessed by the super full moons that start on Monday, January 1, 2018.”
As if that were not enough, January 1, 2018 marks the seventh year since my husband’s first stroke, the event that changed our lives, and our son’s life, forever. I found this way more exciting than my horoscope because in Jewish culture the seventh year is known as the Shemittah (sabbatical) which literally means “to release.” I didn’t know the exact meaning of this word until after I had chosen FREEDOM for my 2018 theme, but how beautiful is that synchronicity? I’ve spent a lot of time releasing and reinventing, releasing and reinventing. It was how I survived that event and the fatal stroke that followed on the night of my birthday that same year. I’m leaping into my Shemittah with both feet!
But the rules about the religious seventh year are a little different from my horrorscope’s breathless predictions. According to the scripture, in the seventh year you are released from debts and labor but you don’t receive a “Pass Go” into gluttony and sloth. The Shemittah is not a year for idle pursuits. It is a sacred time. It is a time to turn from thinking about what you need to thinking about how you are needed (Oooo. It gave me chills to think about those last four words.). This sabbatical is a time to actively put your faith in G-d instead of your own talents and wiles.
As a person who grew up in a family of origin that highly valued productivity and industrious personal pursuit, this mandate will be challenging for me. (My grandmother’s favorite admonition was, “What are you just standing around for?” closely followed by “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Can you relate?)
Walking the plank between my horoscope and my 7th year sabbatical will require a serious shift in perspective. Instead of “What should be I be doing” I am to consider why I am doing what I’m doing. Instead of worrying about my future and my finances and my aging ability, the mandate is to spend more time in prayer, faithfully remembering that I really don’t know what my future holds (horoscope or no horoscope) since God hasn’t even invited me to be that committee.
As I contemplated this thought-reversal and my theme for the year, I decided that during my Shemittah, “Freedom Year,” I’ll buy my groceries with cash from time to time. That way the words “In God We Trust” on the greenbacks will remind me to focus on two important questions: Who is in charge and why am I needed on this earth?
May your new year be a blessed one.
If you’re looking for some new directions in 2018 and know you need positive support to get there, the Widows Recovery System will start a new program in January. Sign up for your free call and let’s see if it is what you are looking for.