May this New Year be filled with health, happiness,
and sweet times together for you and your loved ones.
My head tilts slightly as it does when I’m confused, and no, that never actually helps.
Or maybe it does, because just then I catch up. The card is a hand-written greeting from the Baycrest Foundation in Toronto. I sent them money last year to sponsor/support a seriously senior guy who was raising money by walking some aspirational distance so I’m on their don’t-forget-about-us contact list. And if I follow the breadcrumbs, the Baycrest Foundation supports the Baycrest Centre.
Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe.
“Aha!” I think, “It’s for the Jewish New Year. But why so early?”
I have Rosh Hashanah mentally scheduled for about the third week of September because that’s when it occurred in my first year of university, when I first became aware of it. But due to the lunar basis of the Jewish calendar, Judaism’s High Holy Days and festivals wander about with reference to the Gregorian calendar. Rosh Hashanah happens sometime in September or October, and this year that sometime is this coming week.
So I wasn’t ready for the Jewish New Year. But ready or not, Jewish or not, it comes around, you know? And although I appreciate mid-winter festivals as much as the next Canadian, September always feels more like the start of a new year than does January. Even though I’m no longer in school, there’s just something about picking up the threads of my regular life after a few months of summer. It’s the time of year my mind naturally turns to setting new goals and to re-committing to old ones.
Now back to the senior who provoked all of this and who knows something about setting goals: Marvin Gordon. After walking 1 million steps last year in time for his 100th birthday on 31 December, this year he’s taking part in the first-ever Walk for the Ages event to raise money for the fight against dementia. Maybe he’s read the back of Baycrest’s card.
Thank you for helping us create a world
where every older adult enjoys
a life of purpose, inspiration, and fulfilment.
Shana Tova! May it be a good year for Marvin and for all of Baycrest’s clients. And may we all enjoy a life of purpose, inspiration, and fulfilment and help create a world where others can, too.