It’s a season of new possibilities


This is my favorite time of the year. We have come through a period of introspection. We have assessed where we have been and where we are going. It is a fresh new year with a clean slate.

I find this annual self-assessment useful and revealing, and I use it to make course corrections. Have you done that? Whether you want to alter the way you treat friends and family, or the trajectory of your career or personal life, now is a good time to start.

You can use this time of self-reflection to big decisions, like whether now is the time to retire or relocate. And you can also use it to make “smaller” decisions, such as spending more time with relatives or getting back to a passion you’ve left behind.

It’s really not that difficult. It just takes a little time to step back and see the big picture. Discover what will improve your life and bring you happiness.

I love fall, with its changing colors, warm days and cool nights. But I also think that the holidays are a big part of why this season is so special to me.

And I feel blessed as we enter 5783.

For years, my extended family has gathered at our home for holidays. Yes, that means lots of people, lots of food and a ton of preparations. But we all get along and have a lot of fun spending time together.

This year, we had fewer relatives at our table, but my immediate family has grown with the addition of another little girl, my third grandchild, born this year. What fun it will be to have the three sisters at the family table for many holidays to come!

This year, we dipped apples in honey and said the blessings. And then, later in the meal, the girls decided that vegetables were also better when dipped in honey! I’m hoping that will bring us an extra-sweet year!

We try to stay away from controversy and strife at the table. But since we all like a good discussion, that’s not always possible. But, done in a respectful way, we get through it, and I’m grateful for that. I guess it’s helpful that our parents encouraged us to listen to all opinions in an effort to formulate our own. We’ve tried to hand down that open-mindedness. I hope we’ve been successful.

Traditions are strong in this season. Whether you celebrate the High Holy Days in synagogue or via Zoom, whether you buy apples at the supermarket or you pick them at a local farm, whether you gather for a holiday meal at your house or in the neighbor’s sukkah, this is the season for renewing family ties, self-reflection and commitment.

And it’s also the time for new possibilities, like vegetables dipped in honey. Why not?


Fran Ostendorf