What Hillary Reminded Me
Watching Hillary Clinton in this presidential race has gotten me thinking…
Not about foreign policy or domestic policy.
But rather about me and my life.
I look at Hillary and I am reminded of a dream I had many moons ago–to have it all. A husband, children, and, most importantly, an impressive career. In college, I majored in Political Science and Russian, and I dreamed big. Back then, Hillary Clinton, successful lawyer and national-policy shaper, was a role model, the kind of woman I wanted to be when I grew up.
But as you know, my life took a very different path than I had planned. I became religious, got married, became a stay-at-home mother who blogs about motherhood. And I have been happy about that for many, many years. But Hillary’s presidential race has reawakened a voice I haven’t heard in a very long time, the voice of that well-dressed, well-educated young guest at my Shabbat table who inquires upon meeting me, “So what do you DO?”
This morning, like every morning of Elul, I took a few minutes to introspect on my goals for the coming year. I decided this morning to do a pre-Rosh Hashana exercise I learned from Rabbi Nivin called “A Presume” (prononounced “Presumay”).
In this exercise, you close your eyes and imagine yourself many years from now, at 95 years old, sitting in your rocking chair, and feeling intense satisfaction and joy remembering the life you lived. You can imagine things that already are a part of your life, as well as new things that you dream of adding. What do you see?
This morning, my 95-year-old self felt great joy remembering that I was a dedicated mother who was there for my children (and grandchildren, IY”H).
And that I was a dedicated wife, who remembered special times spent with my husband.
And that I was a dedicated daughter to my parents.
And that I was connected to my brother and sister and their families.
And that I learned some Torah.
And that I celebrated the Jewish holidays, and hosted guests for Shabbat.
And that I had JewishMOM.com, inspiring Jewish mothers in my own small way.
I waited for more thoughts to come, more dreams for this life. Big dreams. World-shaking dreams. But I could not think of a single thing that would bring me as great satisfaction and joy at the end of my life as knowing that I had spent my life being a dedicated mother, and wife, and Jew, who inspires other Jewish mothers.
And that, I answered that well-dressed, well-educated voice inside my head, is enough.