Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Of New Beginnings

When making decisions, especially "major" or "significant" ones, I would think most of us are compelled, both internally and externally, to provide reasons for our choices, to defend or justify them to ourselves and those around us. When we do something that seems likely to change the course of our lives, we are often expected to have thought it through carefully, to have weighed our options, sought out wise counsel, done appropriate research, etc. in order to present a rational, logical explanation for our choices. We do this, not only to win the emotional or tangible support of others, but to make peace with ourselves. This is particularly true when we have little insight into the potential outcomes of a decision. Ironically, when discussing such decisions ahead of time, it's not uncommon to be asked questions like "what does your heart/gut/God tell you?" or "what are your instincts?"

I want to stress that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this seeming juxtaposition, nor with the process of coming to decisions described above. All of these expectations are reasonable and generally helpful. What I want to say, though, is that the process of coming to a decision is simply that - a process - it's the way we prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally to make a choice, even though in all likelihood we had already made it subconsciously sometime before. We usually need to understand our own choices to be comfortable with them and to make others (friends, family, etc.) comfortable as well. That said, sometimes we become too enamoured with the process and this has the potential for considerable damage. We can be gripped by fear in the absence of the "right" answers and feel immobilized by the possibility of not being understood when, quite simply, the issue is often one of time.

Why are we sometimes too afraid just to admit that it was "the right time" for something to be done? After all, "for everything there is a season..." I struggled with this most recently when deciding (somewhat suddenly, I'll admit) to get married and come to Japan just over two years ago. And now, here I am, having made another big decision, and while all those initial suggestions have been followed, if I'm most honest with myself and others in response to inevitable questions of "why," the answer will simply be that it was time, and so it is.

Of course, that lengthy philosophical explanation conveniently saves me from having to discuss the considerable list of influences on this particular decision, be they economic, paternal, environmental, or other. All that to say this: Takako and I will be leaving Japan in early February, at which time we will spend three months in Israel before returning to Canada where we intend to live for the indefinite future. We are presently quite busy with various tasks associated with preparing to leave – getting rid of/packing/shipping our earthly possessions, closing various accounts and handling other personal affairs. Speaking of time, it seems to be flying lately.

As always, we’re tremendously excited to be returning to Israel to continue our work promoting Yad Hashmona. In terms of returning to Canada, I outlined in a previous post what I would miss about Japan, and there are many things I look forward to in Canada, especially reconnecting with friends and family. There’s a great deal of uncertainty at the moment when it comes to work and such, but I am confident that, as has been the case ‘til now, each new stage of my life will be even better than the last.

With Hope,
Joseph

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