Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Perhaps due to my contrarian nature, I detest shopping. I don't even like internet shopping - I know - I'm a freak. One of the worst things about shopping is that I end up with more stuff which means I have to figure out where to put said stuff. I live in three rooms and though there is abundant closet space here, I prefer not to jam the storage space, from stem to stern, with so much stuff that I don't know what I have. It's bad feng shui.

Of course there are corners of my closets where a bunch of junk is stuffed in. I am a human after all.

One of my favorite things is getting rid of stuff. I find it liberating, exhilarating. When my head or heart is in a tangle, one of the most therapeutic activities, for me, is housework that includes at least a little culling.

Every year I look for a theme that runs through the work of the High Holy Days. One part of this year's theme has to do with a gentle culling. For instance, I unfriended a couple of people on FB who post dreadful hateful posts and leave completely inappropriate comments on my posts. I didn't know either of them - friends had recommended we connect over shared passions. But we didn't have enough in common to function as FB friends.

Unfriend. Unfriend. It felt so right.

After that I started going through my "Likes" list. Some of them I couldn't remember liking or cared nothing about.

Unlike. Unlike. Ahhhhh.

We're supposed to make amends during the Days of Awe, apologize for the mistakes we've made. Apology is a variety of culling, isn't it? It's an attempt to erase a hurtful moment, right? When I was younger, most years I felt it was necessary to offer lots and lots of apologies.

Either I've become a nicer person as I've gotten older or I am finally learning not to over-apologize at last. This year I made just one apology. (There is also such a thing as under-apologizing, of which I've been guilty at times.)

An apology has to be sincere. An apology must be offered without expectation that it will be accepted. Once offered, there is no need to repeat it. Repeated apologies lose their power; they flatten out and become insincere, manipulative. My spirit guides hate it when I do that.

Perhaps I forgive myself more easily these days, hence I no longer feel I must always apologize for everything. Who knows? A friend of mine said recently that those of us who didn't get the love and support we needed as children are easily shamed. True. But I may have grown out of that, or healed out of it. Interesting to think about.

There is so much wonder in getting older, there seriously is. We don't have to bang our heads against the wall anymore, or act out as much. It's an important part of early adulthood, all that head banging and bad behavior. It builds character, it is the stuff of being human. Inevitably, mistakes are made, after which apologies should be offered. After 60, we have enough character, thank you. At least I do. Or at least that is today's theory.

It's a lovely, rainy morning in Washington DC. The Days of Awe are winding down. It has been a really great holiday for me this year. I am content. Shalom.


  1. When the seasons change, I get the urge to do some culling. Maybe it's because different clothes have to be brought out, I don't know. It's great to get rid of stuff.

    And you're so right about the act of apologizing; it is a sort of culling. I never thought of it like that before.

  2. I know what you mean. either I've become a nicer more helpful happier person or I just don't care if I've offended anyone.

    I recently went through my clothes and got rid of stuff that I wanted to like and wear but just never felt comfortable in. I donated them to the crises center. I also need to cull some of my FB friends and likes. I'm even culling FB from my daily routine somewhat. my news feed has become all about the bad in politics and in people and I've just reached my limit of how much bad stuff people do I can tolerate. maybe once I get rid of some of the stuff the things I like will show up more often, like what the people I care about are doing.