What Apples, Honey, September and Writing Share in Common


It seems odd to me that September, a month which turns the corner towards fall, is also a time of many new beginnings.

The holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the start of the New Year according to the Jewish calendar, began on Wednesday night, September 24, so happy 5775 to those of you who celebrate it as I do.  (and aren’t we lucky that we don’t have to start writing 5775 on our checks? I have enough trouble getting 2014 right each time. And yes, I still write paper checks. I haven’t switched to an all e-commerce world – yet.)

Another new beginning in September is the start of the school year. One of my kids returned to college this fall, to finish what he started some years ago; hurrah!  Cautious optimism, lots of support and encouragement. It isn’t easy being the oldest kid in the class.

Also in the department of new beginnings: several friends of ours have kids who are starting their first real life jobs this September; as policy types, research assistants, lawyers, marketers, all venturing into careers where you don’t get three months of summer vacation anymore. Welcome to my prior world!

And two friends of ours just retired from long-held jobs this month; retirement being both an ending and a new beginning. (there’s a blog post in that, I know.)

What is new for me this September is that (a) I am healthy and (b) I am writing.

September in years past has been a month where either I or family members have found ourselves in hospitals, and not wearing badges that say “visitor.”  A rabbi friend of mine, noticing that ill health tends to strike my family closely coinciding with the timing of Rosh Hashanah each year, suggested that we move to the planet Mars each September where she is confident the Jewish New Year is not likely to be celebrated so we can avert the chance of illness.  But so far my family has made it through September without having a close up view of the sign that blazes the words “EMERGENCY ROOM”.

Another new beginning is that I started to take a writing class earlier in September. I began writing this blog in May of 2014 so thought taking a writing class would help me find my narrative voice. Perhaps just a coincidence (or is my writing teacher that good??), but shortly after the class began, two of my blog posts were published by the Washington Post.  And the editor who liked my posts let me know that many others did too. I was “trending”!  Hah, trending at my age.

When the New York Times, the newspaper I’ve read daily since childhood, featured a post on my blog in its “What We’re Reading Now” column last Tuesday night, I was stunned into silence. (rare). When you write a blog, you put a post out there into the social media ether, and you think it is pretty good and hope others might too.  But you have no idea, really, and what you can not anticipate, I am finding out, is what words of yours will truly resonate with others, which ones might hit a nerve, and I am profoundly grateful to have found this out.

After an unexpected cardiologically-required departure from my law firm in 2013,  getting the chance to return to writing in 2014 is a new beginning. Finding readers who follow my blog has been wonderful (and I thank all of you – and appreciate all of your comments.)

But I also worry. (The word “worry” appears in the title of this blog for a reason. I do a great deal of it; one of my best skills.)  Does a single successful post begat others? Not necessarily. Think of the many one-hit wonder songs, and the authors who wrote one best seller followed by a series of duds.

But I, having grown up in New England with many vacations in Vermont, may try to model myself after Grandma Moses. She picked up a paint brush for the first time when she was 77 years old. Heck, I am a mere child by that standard; still in that sweet spot post-menopause but pre-Medicare. With the cooperation of whoever is in charge of these things, I hope to have many productive and creative years ahead.

So cheers to new beginnings for all of us!

Wishing you a sweet and healthy year.


Filed under Adult Kids, Aging, Careers, College, Family, Holidays, Midlife, New Grad, Raising Kids, Retirement, Semi-Retired, Women, Writing

11 responses to “What Apples, Honey, September and Writing Share in Common

  1. Hilary

    Great blog! I am almost 60 years old and have a film premiering next month in NYC, LA — and the United Nations! These days, there are MANY second — and third — acts in life. All the best, Hilary


  2. The month of September has always been my favorite month of the year. Interesting how you pointed out that it is a time of new beginnings – I like that! And…stop worrying – it gets you nowhere fast and you are a great blogger 🙂


  3. Jules

    Happy New Year. I am in sync with your writing and stage of life. It is refreshing to hear from our age group in an intelligent, honest way. To hear someone enjoying their children and grandchildren without them being the sun around which you orbit. Selfishly I say please keep writing no matter who recognises you or not. 🙂


  4. Here is to new beginnings! Don’t you find that life tends to really be just a series of them? Each time I settle into some routine or new normal the kids keep growing up forcing me to keep re-thinking my roles! Good for you for taking up writing, and congratulations on getting great validation from the NY Times, you never have to wonder if your writing is any good, you just have to keep doing it for yourself. I hope this is the new beginning of a cycle of Septembers of health for your family as well. L’Shanah Tova!


  5. Sharon Parver

    Hello. Recently, I found your blog about Kvelling. Thanks so mush for expressing what i often feel as the parent of a young adults who struggles. Our 24 year old daughter manages with depression and anxiety but, sometimes those conditions get out of her control.

    I would so much appreciate any advice you have about the things you say to your child when he calls. Our daughter calls usually at her lowest points, paralyzed with fear about what others think about her 11and how miserable she is.

    As a mom, you probably know, that we want to fix things. But, that is often not possible. I am usually relieved that she will call me because she has no one else to talk to, but I often feel totally inadequate in sharing responses that are helpful to her .

    I’m wondering if you would share what works best when you’re dealing with your young adult child. I’d also appreciate hearing if you are accepting new members into your support group or advice about how to start one.

    Thank you very much.


    Sharon Parver Kensington, MD


    • Sharon – our “parents of young adults” support group at Temple Sinai in DC is open to all members of the Jewish community – parents of young adults, roughly age 14 to 30 plus – who are struggling with mental illness and related challenges. Our next meeting is on Thursday night, October 23 at 7:30 p.m., please join us.


  6. memorten

    Thoughtful musings and it occurs to me that you have now vindicated yourself to our freshman World Lit professor. I hope you have trashed his comments about your writing! Clearly, he was from a different century.


  7. Pam Kelley

    As a new fan, I’m quite sure you aren’t a one-hit-wonder! I too am a bit of a worrier, so it’s nice to read your posts and realize that some good things come from Internet technology. Looking forward to reading more.


  8. Elisa Maselli

    I love this post, and I’m so proud of you! How did you find your writing class?


  9. Shana Tova, nancy! What an amazing start to your blogging “year” you had this summer. May this Jewish year have continued health, happiness, and success!


  10. Happy new year! I’m glad you’re in a healthy state – you and yours – may the year ahead bring more of that and many blessings. L’shana Tova!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.