Monday, August 18, 2008

A Forgotten Anniversary

Last year, on the first anniversary of our aliyah, we held a party. We hung up flags, made a load of food and invited people to drop by throughout the day.

This past Shabbat was our second anniversary. Although I knew it was coming up, I forgot to check exactly when, and completely forgot that this Shabbat had extra significance for us.

Shabbat itself was quite ordinary. Apart from my husband being away, we trundled along as we always do. After shul and lunch, my son went out to play football with a friend and my daughter went to one friend’s house and then to another. I did not see her until Havdallah. I had a nap with the baby and then a friend came round with a little play mate for her. They are very sweet together and after toddling around inside, enjoyed investigating the thrills of the garden; discarded toys from the older kids, a ball to kick, a pile of blossom petals to rustle through with glee. Another couple then popped in and we all had Seudah Shlishit together. It was a nice, restful day.

It was not until the afternoon that I realized it was our anniversary. Perhaps after all we had marked it in the best way possible; with friends, relaxation and food.

The anniversary though, did provoke me to take stock of our progress. We have been here for two years now. If I reflect on where I imagined we might be after this time, it is certainly not where we are. We live in a place I would not initially have considered; we have a child I did not anticipate; we work in unexpected fields, I speak Hebrew less fluently than I would have liked... the list goes on.

For all sorts of reasons our aliyah has not turned out quite like I expected it to. That is not to say that I am in any way disappointed, far from it, it is just strange to have spent so long planning something and for events to overtake us quite so rapidly.

Year one was all about settling in and finding ‘home’. Year two was all about our new little Sabresse and finding the best schools for the older kids. So what will year three hold? I have decided that it would be a good thing to set some goals. There are two goals I have right now that I think I can make some progress on over the coming year.

Goal One: To successfully establish both my and my husband’s new businesses

Goal Two: To improve my Hebrew.

This year, I guess, is the year of establishing ourselves; digging in a little, laying stronger foundations. I wonder how we will all fare over the next two years. Only time will tell.

Sharona B