As part of my continuing quest to be open, honest, and up front about my life, and in honor of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, here is my own personal list of six things I’m most sorry for this year.

That My Life Will End

I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy that my life will one day end. Of course, it’s not just my life that will end; yours will, too. All of ours will. Yes, it’s true—ask anyone. Calm down, now; there’s nothing we can do about it. Still, I’ve just always found it tough to accept the idea that life will go on forever and ever after I’m gone and I won’t be aware of it. At the very least, I’d want to have a never-ending subscription to Time Magazine, and be able to read it in the afterlife. At least that would be something. But this nothingness, this void, this end of existence, seems so depressingly final. It just doesn’t seem fair. I hope our life-extension experts are hard at work on dealing with this, because I’m verklempt over it.

That My Recliner Chair is Too Comfortable

How did I select this particular chair? I tried out every one of Macy’s recliners that were out on the sales floor until, like finding the perfect job, the perfect falafel, and the perfect relationship, this one spoke to me. It said, “I’m the one. Your search is over. I will envelop and comfort you every night.” As a result, I have the mistaken impression that life is fun, relaxing and comfortable. How many times have I fallen asleep in it, reading a book or watching TV? It’s my body’s dessert at the end of the day. And as a result, every other experience comes up short in comparison. Well, almost every other experience.

That Our Nation’s Challenges Will Never End

Okay, now that I’ve worked my way through my resentment about death’s finality and my too-cozy recliner, I can focus on the USA. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that no matter who’s in power, Democrats or Republicans, there are still conflict, issues and challenges galore. Crime. The economy. Unemployment. Budget deficit/federal debt. The gap between rich and poor. Taxes. Corporate corruption. Race issues. The environment. Health care. Gun control. Abortion. Terrorism, to name a few. And to drive the knife in deeper, we’re always hearing about successful Scandinavian countries that are doing everything right in comparison. Like Finland, which was recently cited as the world's happiest country, according to the 2019 UN World Happiness index. Which raises the question, when do we get our happiness?

Rise of Anti-Semitism

After 2,000 years, anti-Semitism continues to plague the world, with a particular rise throughout Europe. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “In recent years, there has been an increase in antisemitism in the form of hate speech, violence, and denial and distortion of the Holocaust. These incidents are occurring everywhere, but especially in the Islamic world and in lands where the Holocaust occurred.” One bright spot – there don’t seem to be any hurricanes being named after Jews. We had Katrina, Harvey, Dorian, Florence, Matthew, and others. So far, thankfully, no Hurricane Menachem, Chaim, or Rivka.

That I Still Haven’t Visited Israel

Please keep this to yourself, because I don’t want to be thrown out of the Chosen People Club. I have been to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Charlotte, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Cape Cod, Hawaii, Canada, and Italy. And my Jewish girlfriend is making a strong request for our next trip to be to Thailand. And so another year has gone by in which I have not visited the Land of Milk & Honey. Is it because I’m a vegan? Because I’m nervous about personal security there? Because we like Italian and Thai food? Or that I’m simply saving it up for a really special occasion? Whatever the case, the desire is there. It’s on my list. I promise! In fact, feel free to recommend your favorite Israeli cities and tourist destinations and I’ll make note of them and even thank you afterwards. Because as bad as I am about visiting the Holy Land, I’m pretty good at gratitude.

Exercising My Gratitude Muscles

Speaking of gratitude, I can’t tell you how many times this past year that I’ve ended a phone call, text message, email, or in-person encounter, regretting that I did not express any or the proper amount of appreciation for the person and/or what they did for me. So, sometimes I called or wrote them back to remedy the situation; other times not. If Jews were allowed to have tattoos, I’d have “Be grateful and express appreciation” written someplace on my body where I could notice it regularly. That aside, I’ll just have to make those traits part of my being a work-in-progress, starting with letting you know that I appreciate your reading this, and if I sent this article to you and you just ignored me and then I cursed you under my breath, I apologize.