Back in January, I started reading an unabridged edition of Les Miserables. Under the best of circumstances, I figured it would take me about a year to read the whole book. As of today, eight months later, I’ve finished 285 of the book’s 1200+ pages.
There’s no doubt that some of the time I might have devoted to Hugo’s tome I frittered away liking Facebook statuses, playing Words with Friends, and vegging out in front of the television with Alex Trebek, Mariska Hargitay, and Christopher Meloni as my sole companions. And there also was the time I spent paying bills, shopping for food, cooking, washing dishes, changing linens and the like.
It’s also true, though, that I spent other chunks of potential reading time attending Worship, Communications and Adult Ed committee meetings, being encouraged and encouraging others at Weight Watchers, and organizing and facilitating FORCE meetings for some of my local BRCA sisters. I also talked to God at minyan, and on the phone nearly daily (sometimes more often) to my father, my sister, my Aunt Claire, and (not as often as I'd like) to friends in such places as Saratoga Springs, NY, Ventura, CA, and Hatboro, PA, among others. Learning to chant Torah, blogging, and writing (and texting) condolence, mazel tov and refuah sh’leimah notes to friends around the country also pulled me from Jean Valjean and the rest of the book's characters.
Although I don’t have a lot of read pages to show for the eight months since I started on page 1, I do have a welcoming synagogue community, a supportive BRCA sisterhood, loving family and friends, and a rich, full life that, despite my best intentions, doesn’t leave me as much time as I think I would like for reading.
Is it any wonder that Got lakht?!
Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima, this post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.