Tuesday, January 2, 2018

About This New Year

From 'A Year of Amazingness' by Rachel Bright
Not only was it a new year yesterday, but it's an even numbered one! Odd numbers, even for birthdays, are less exciting. Odd numbers are almost like half years in my opinion. Often they turn out a bit crap, maybe because I don't expect much from them. Really I should start thinking in two-year cycles. I think this might work better for me. I'll consider it for next year. However, this year it's a nice round 2018 and I'm psyched.

Going to work on New Year's Day is as hard as having to work on Christmas Day but for different reasons. I love New Year. I'm full of hope and resolutions, etc. There is so much I want to do and achieve that it's frustrating to be spending the day at work when I just want to get started on being amazingly fabulous. I know there is a weekend coming but by Friday some of the magic has worn off already.

So I went to work yesterday, even though I was genuinely sick with a bad cough. If you read the post about what it's like trying to get a sick day organised you'll understand that it was easier to go in.

Our staff room is a warm friendly place  (as opposed to the rest of the school which is freezing cold). As I went in yesterday morning one of the other teachers held up a plate of cakes and offered me one. I was taken aback. "Cake for breakfast on the 1st of January? Are you kidding?" She laughed but seriously, what was she thinking? I was almost derailed before 9 am on the first day.

There's a very annoying notion in Israel that if you celebrate New Year's Day, you are worshiping Saint Sylvester. This was a very effective PR move by ultra-orthodox rabbis who were horrified that a. we might celebrate a day that is not connected to the Jewish calendar and b. we might have a party and enjoy ourselves by mixed dancing and, heaven forbid, give each other a kiss or a hug. Thus they made out that New Year's Day was somehow a Catholic holiday.

I seriously had to explain to even some of the teachers that there are a bunch of Saints for every day of the year so any celebration on any day could be called Saint worship. There is no connection between New Year's Day and any religious festival of any religion (except maybe Paganism?). In fact, in communist Russia when all religious practice was outlawed, the one day they were allowed to keep that was not a nationalistic holiday like May Day, was New Year's Day which they celebrated as passing the Winter Solstice and New Year.

The irony is that only Jews in Israel even know that December 31st is Saint Sylvester's Day (except for the Pope maybe or if you are a religious Catholic called Sylvester). Now I've got that off my chest, I'll move on to the rest of the day.

I arrived home after a full school day as usual, tired and in no mood to do any of the things on my list of resolutions. I spoke to a friend who said, "you have to pace yourself and this means with work as well." I'd already realized that working full time five days a week plus extra remote writing assignments, plus looking after Deeds and cleaning and cooking and other household business was too much if I wanted to do  anything for myself. As a teacher I'm locked into this schedule until the end of June. I'm always in awe of teachers who resign mid-way through the year but I'd feel too bad doing that.

Thus the new year didn't get off to a great start but I did go to bed early and I didn't feel like eating anything because of the bad cough. I gleefully ticked off the achievements of getting enough sleep and not overeating. And the scales were down a bit this morning. I don't know how I'm going to handle being healthy though.

I wish you a happy, healthy and successful year. May all  your dreams, hopes and ambitions come true. May we all be granted the gift of regrouping back here (or on facebook) in 12 months time with big smiles on our faces and queuing up for pats on back for a year well done.



  1. Are you feeling better now? I do hope so. You're right I've never heard of Saint Sylvester! lol Mich x

    1. I succumbed and I've had two days home with my cough. I think it is getting a bit better though. And about the Saint - yes I know, it's only religious Jews in Israel who are obsessed with him.