New Year’s Resolutions, Jewish-Style

Today is the Jewish New Year. I am Jewish. So it is my new year.

I’m not so religious. (Translation: I didn’t go to temple today; I did go to work… “go to” meaning I went to my computer since it doubles as my office.) But I still like the opportunity to have a second go at the New Year, and thus New Year’s resolutions. Everyone says September is the new January, so the timing lines up well.

This year’s New Years Resolution, you may recall, was to make more phone calls. I was a great phone person in high school, but not so much anymore. My friends know I’m easier to reach via email, though I long to improve in that regard. The resolution was twofold:

  • One phone call a day to an across-state-lines BFF
  • Call new local friends just to say hi

Truth time. You guys, I am failing miserably at my rezzies. The twofolds are unfolding. I still resort to text with my local new friends. I continue to be surprised, and also afraid someone was mortally injured, when they call me. As for my across-the-country besties, I try. But I’m not doing nearly as well as I’d hoped. And when I do follow through on my calling plan, I seem to spend much more time playing phone tag than I do actually talking to anyone.

So just as sure as I’ll eat apples and honey tonight, I will start calling. Now I’m getting religious about it.

Wasn’t there a time, back when I was a wee young thing, when the resolutions were to stop talking on the phone so much? Maybe they were resolutions like: “cut down on phone time in favor of in-person gatherings” or “stop gabbing so much, read a book instead.” Not this girl. Not this day in age.

I will dial. I will pick up. I will talk on the phone. My friendships will be stronger for it!

Do you reaffirm resolutions in January? (Even for the non-Jews, it seems to be a time of fresh starts.) Do you hope to talk on the phone more? Or less?


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15 responses to “New Year’s Resolutions, Jewish-Style

  1. It’s not your fault if your friends don’t pick up. Even those that receive phone calls often won’t cal back. It’s a very common occurrence, and helps facilitate the increasing number of games of phone tag.

    If you’re determined to engage yourself in phone conversations, it may be helpful to ask your friends which times are best for them (as in, when are they not working, sleeping, showering, at the gym, etc).

    Good luck!

  2. Anné

    I think your post is very timely as my husband and I just moved from Chicago to Michigan (for his job) and are staying with some friends that are very Jewish (they were off from school and work today and tomorrow). As I’m applying for jobs here I’ve found more people call instead of email or text and I’ve been the type to let it go to voicemail if it’s from a number I don’t recognize. Truth: I’ve missed two possible interviews because I haven’t answered the phone, but I think it’s because here in Michigan people don’t care if they have a cell phone or not (land lines are still the main phone in many houses). But i don’t know… It’s a different culture, I suppose, and it’s funny how I’ve gotten back to always calling people or answering my phone more instead of texting! 🙂

  3. I miss hearing my friends’ voices. I’m resolving to call more often, too.

  4. I do hope to talk on the phone more! (and yes… can remember being told to get off the phone in high school because I was tying up the phone line/ preventing others from using the internet… oh the days of dial up!)

    I finally stopped getting frustrated with conflicting schedules and never meeting up for coffee anymore and just decided a phone call was a good compromise.

  5. Lyla

    September is the new January, isn’t it?? Thanks for that. First time I heard it. I totally relate to what you’re saying about phone difficulties too. I applaud your resolution and drive to “just do it” – make the call, pick up, etc. I think a lot of phone aversion that comes in adulthood has to do with our constant professional interactions… most people work jobs where they’re constantly on the phone negotiating all kinds of favors and exchanges. Even in our personal lives, we call for doctor’s appts, reservations, get information for insurance, taxes, etc. By the time I’m done with a day of that, the last thing I want is to be on the phone. But it is so essential to good relationships… so I applaud you for doing you thing! =)

  6. How about resolve to find out what kind of communication each of your friends like best? Maybe some of them are email gals or would prefer to text then get together. I am an email/texter. I am not a phone talker unless I can’t get together and that’s all we have. Even then it usually starts with phone tag but then we have both decided that it is worth the extra effort. I don’t know, it just seems like you have such stringent goals to which you must accomplish but it seems like friendship should be more carefree??

  7. I do think about my life and how to improve it in Jan. (and in Sep.), and I, too, must make myself make phone calls. Texting is too easy, and not immediate enough when I’m calling to see if my sick friend needs anything. There is always the risk of an awkward silence, but doesn’t everything worthwhile come with risk?

  8. I do not set resolutions – it seems to set me up for failure. I do make small goals for myself, but making more phone calls never occurred to me as a resolution. I’m starved for friendship yet it never even crossed my mind. Unfortunately, I have so few people to call they would soon get tired of me, but I really should make more of an effort & put it on my to-do list.

  9. Rachel! I just started reading your book and if I only lived in Chicago and not Boston, I would totally be sending you an Evite for a friend date!! Your story is so incredibly relate-able, and I feel like I am reading about my own experience a few years ago when I moved to be with my (now) husband who was in grad school.

    And as a fellow Rosh celebrator (more for the food and family, not so much the temple stuff) I totally take advantage of the new year resolution opportunity. This year I’m committed to slowing down, and enjoying the small things (super easy, right?) and try something outside my comfort zone like taking a class in something totally unfamiliar. Here’s hoping!

    Thanks for the great read, and looking forward to following your blog!!!

  10. I agree with Lyla, after having to talk to people on the phone at work all day I do not want to be on the phone during my free time. Occasionally a phone call can be enjoyable though.

  11. Nancy

    I like Janna’s idea. If your friends want calls, call them. I prefer texts and emails too. Though I do want a visit occasionally, especially over dinner!

  12. I too am Jewish of the religious variety … didn’t go to temple cos the kid won’t allow but hubby did, big meals the works and NO WORK!!
    I don’t shy away from the phone but my regular calls list is pretty short – I should make more of an effort to call more people and reaffirm friendships to beyond “she’s calling me, she must want something.”
    My resolution this year was actually to be more assertive. I am too much of a “yes” person … I need to learn to say no more.

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