Begrudging Happiness

As my long-time readers know, every year for Yom Kippur, I take an entire day out, rent a hotel room, and am completely alone. I spend the day assessing who I am and who I want to be and try to lay out a path that will help me become a better person moving forward. A major part of it is reading through all the previous year’s assessments so I can see the growth … and head off potential backsliding.

Yom Kippur

It is an emotional time for me, and it can reveal issues I’d either buried or had never realized. Two years ago, when I was working at the job with no free time, I wrote the following about my experience of the day.


I find myself wallowing. I re-read all the things I wrote when I was completely immersed in dance. See how quickly I changed was shocking. I became so happy: I had direction, purpose, an all-consuming passion. I was energized. It reminded me of meeting up with Hillary in Spain and see her so in love it hurt. I thought my heart was being ripped out as I read it all again.

It left me feeling low, floundering, without direction. Me being me, I started a list of what is going right. It sat empty. That made me cry more. Even at the time I knew it was a distortion, but it did not lift the sadness.

It’s not that I begrudge my former happiness. I love the person I was when I had that overwhelming passion in my life. Even when waiting for my knee surgery I was genuinely optimistic about my future.

I need that focal point – something worth striving for.


This is the whole reason I do this exercise each year. Not being one to keep a journal, I love having the changes in my life be so blatantly spelled out before me. Especially now that I am in a much better place, I can empathize with the me of two years ago, even though I no longer feel her pain.

I start this year’s process tomorrow after work. I can’t wait to see what from the past will cause the biggest emotional reaction.

Has anyone ever read something they wrote years ago and been startled by the emotions it brought up? or What annual traditions do you have that you look forward to each year?

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