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Jewish Journal

Guest Post by Hillary Selvin: Reflections of Our Lives

by Maya Paley

September 18, 2013 | 1:25 pm

Hillary Selvin, Executive Director of NCJW/LA

Hillary Selvin is the Executive Director of the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles and enjoys the spirituality that comes with being in the outdoors surrounded by the beauty of nature.

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”.

Remember that opening line from the TV soap opera series? I might be aging myself here but when we reflect about those words what do we really think about? From my own experiences as a three time cancer survivor the reflection that comes during this time of year, especially for me during Kol Nidre, is the power of our bodies to heal and the ability to keep moving forward. Who we become is a reflection of the challenges we have met throughout our lives.

When you look at the hourglass it seems that in the beginning the sand goes slower and the pebbles are easily seen. As the sand continues to fall it bunches up and some pebbles pass through the narrow part of the hourglass more easily than others. By the time you get to the end and all of the sand has reached the bottom of the hourglass, we see the pebbles spread out and flowing through until the last one drops down.

Just as the pebbles begin overlapping, so do our lives. In the beginning things are smoother and as life goes on we see more challenges. In the end our choices in life become clearer. In today’s world we talk about life transitions. When we are young the world is before us and we feel we can conquer anything. We choose our friends and careers based on what we dream we want to be or what falls into our laps because of choices we make. Life is ahead of us and we cannot wait for what is around the corner.

As we continue to grow the years start moving too quickly. Before we know it we have graduated high school and college and are working. The world we live in revolves around making it through life, getting better jobs, family, and other responsibilities. Our dreams become less fulfilled as everyday life gets in the way. Health is still pretty good and we are enjoying our best years. It is a time for us as adults to continue to choose our paths; for many revolving around work and family. It is a time to find balance in our lives. So many things we need to deal with; the choices we have made and the challenges that have confronted us.

Then the years really start getting behind us and the saying that the years go by so much more quickly as you get older really rings true. We begin to reflect on our youth, the choices we have made and we want to figure out where we’ll go next in our lives. Health, which for most of us has never been too much of an issue, all of a sudden becomes part of our everyday reality. We are now aging and our bodies are telling us that all the fun we had in our 20 – 40’s is catching up with us, but that does not mean we are going anywhere.

Our past and the challenges we have faced do not define us but become part of who we are, reflecting our choices, our loves and our lives. As a matter of fact, these can be our most amazing years as we put our experiences, knowledge and hopefully some of our wisdom to good use. Today it is called third chapter. Our life his full of different chapters, behind us and ahead of us, but the third chapter I believe is the best time for us to truly make an impact and difference for ourselves, those around us, and the world. It is really not that difficult.

So… “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”. My goal is to make each day count and to remember that as the sand bunches up it also thins out to reach its destiny. I hope for you all that as the road becomes clearer you may find your destiny.

L’Shana Tova

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Maya Paley is Director of Legislative and Community Engagement at the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles. The programs she works on include the annual Jewish...

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