A few days ago, I came across a Facebook post by one of the services that at times post pithy sayings and thoughts. This one hit me on several levels. The saying was simply “The biggest mistake we make in life is thinking we have more time”. I mention this because the issue of time has become so much more relevant in recent years. Indeed, it is a major subject in several of the workshops we sponsor as part of Jewish Sacred Aging®. This past High Holiday period found me contemplating time as never before. Much of it had to do with the fact that in a short while I will be as old as my father was when he died. A VERY sobering thought and one that I struggle with. But in that thought process something emerged that slowly is taking hold.
It has to do to with time and the thought that “one day” I would like to do “x”. For some reason it hit me as a stone-cold reality that the “someday” is now. I am blessed to be able to make some of these decisions. In that spirit of not waiting, we made plans to do something that I had put in that “someday” category. During my HUC days many of us took a year off. I did as well and took a pulpit in a suburb of London. It was one of the best years of my life, we made close friends and have been able to get back there many many times. This past May, our granddaughter became Bat Mitzvah. I have had this dream of taking her “someday” to London. That some day was now. We just came back from six hectic but fantastic days in London. The experience was wonderful and, as I thought about it on the plane home, I realized that we had made a memory that she will hold on to for the rest of her life. Time reminds me that no matter how much I wish to, I cannot go where she will go. So, we gave her a gift of an experience and a memory.
The issue is not taking such a trip. The issue is to NOT put off sharing experiences with family, friends, and your own self. No one knows when the “someday” will run out. Many of us in our generation can create such memories. Do not wait. An experience creates memories that transcend time. It is a gift we can give others and ourselves. Money is not an issue. The issue is not waiting to take time to create moments of memory with people we love. Each of us can have the opportunity to create these memories and they are priceless. Please think about this as people gather for holiday celebrations. Do not allow that time to pass. Let’s not, as our lives change, look backward with regret that “if only” I had done this. Rather may all of us be in that position, to look back and say how glad we were that we took that trip, shared those moments, took that time to make those memories that transcend time and place.
Rabbi Richard F Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.