Today I found one of my journals from five(ish) years ago, and it contained this list of New Year’s resolutions:
- Go to gym more
- Drink less
- Finish novel
- Finish play
- Take vitamins
- Stop spending time with people who bring you down
I don’t spend a lot of time with people who bring me down these days, but that’s pretty much the only small victory I can claim in this scenario. I’d venture to say I go to the gym more and drink less than I did then, but there’s ample room for improvement on both fronts. And the reason I found this notebook is because I am attempting to clean-slash-organize … a long, long overdue gift to myself.
In so doing I’ve found some very valuable things. I’ve also found that I’ve kept absurd amounts of insignificant papers over the years, and I’ve begun the great purge. How liberating it is. How delightfully blasmephous to throw away wedding invitations and Christmas cards and photos of babies whom I no longer recognize.
Today I found a stack of papers that my Granny sent me in August 2000, almost exactly one year before she died. (She died on 8/10/01, 11 years to the day after my Papa, her husband). These were her best efforts to create a family tree, something my aunt encouraged her to do. She tells the story of my Papa’s family, from Shanghai, and her own, from western Germany. In the list of relatives on her side there are two people whose names are followed by ” – Killed by the Nazis”.
Of course I knew that my Granny was German-Jewish (though, like me, her mother was not Jewish and so neither was she). And intellectually I probably gathered that this had happened. But I come from a nuclear family who never discussed such things, who still doesn’t, and so seeing those words on paper is sobering even now, 13 years after I first read them.
We saw “Monuments Men” today. An imperfect film with noble intent about incredible subject matter.
I don’t know why I felt the need to share this, but I did.
To those whom we lost. L’chaim.