October 10, 2022

Put your phone down, let that shit go, and start over. It’s not easy but it’s very worthwhile.
— Pamela Mandel, American writer, from her blog post “Reset,” published October 9, 2022

I spent most of this morning in yet another attempt to “gather that which is scattered, liberate that which is trapped,” a mantra I use from time to time as I try to keep track of myself. My focus was to make an inventory of the many newsletters and special interest sites that send me periodic emails, some annually, some monthly, some daily, some even more than once in a day. Some of them I pay for, some of them are free, a few are indispensable to daily functioning, but most are just subject lines that I scroll by. By 10:00 I had a list of twenty-five such communications.

I can’t remember when I first subscribed to Pam Mandel’s blog Nerd’s Eye View. Nor can I remember when I last read it regularly, if I ever did. I’ve drifted away from the blogging community that I used to be so active in. I’d like to get back to it, I tell myself, but it takes so much time, and I’m out of practice. I also need to get back to where I once was regarding cleaning my house, divesting myself of clutter (I am “hoarder-adjacent”), writing my novel, improving my health, writing my spiritual autobiography, reading for pleasure, and keeping in touch beyond maybe a brief birthday greeting with people I claim to love and care about.

And that’s why Pam’s subject line this morning caught my eye. “Reset.” She writes here about being an “atheist Jew,” an unbeliever who nevertheless has an internal orientation to some of the ritual observances of her heritage. This year, she devised a Yom Kippur for herself, considering what in the past year or so she has done and what she has left undone. (That phrasing has a weekly place in the Lutheran liturgy I follow in my current “agnostic Christian/brought up Catholic” practice.)

As she reports:

It’s not like I spent the day in service to anyone but myself, but I also think the struggles of the last few years mean I haven’t been as generous with myself as I should be. So I brushed the cobwebs from the rafters in my workshop, I baked onion pie. The Yom Kippur prayers — again, your interpretation may vary — ask God to release you from your obligations of the previous year, to let you go forward into what’s next. It’s a good idea to turn the page, to reboot, to hit the reset button. I don’t suppose it matters so much how you get there or if you’re righting wrongs you’ve done against yourself.

Put your phone down, let that shit go, and start over. It’s not easy but it’s very worthwhile.

I’m starting over.

One more time.


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