A well-thought out middle name is an underused tool.
My middle name should be “in progress.”
Jen In Progress.
In my case, In Progress would remind me to be compassionate, to others, but mostly to myself.
Mother In Progress
Wife In Progress
Friend In Progress
It would remind me that I will always be a novice no matter how expert I might become at a skill or a task.
Employee In Progress
Coworker In Progress
Marketing Goddess In Progress
It would remind me that self-expression is a gift wrapped in complicated responsibility
Writer In Progress
Coach In Progress
Community leader In Progress
And that how I define myself is as temporary as it is permanent
Jew In Progress
Israeli In Progress
Kibbutznik In Progress
If my middle name was In Progress, every time I made a serious decision, committed myself to a long term action plan, said Yes or said No, I would acknowledge that I am doing so with the purest of intentions as well as the greatest of uncertainties.
That I am always “in progress” means that I may always forgive myself. I may always start over. I may always assume that tomorrow will be better.
Even when it’s not.
In Progress reminds me to be in motion. To repair that which I may have broken. To rediscover the gratitude I may have misplaced. To reignite the passion I have let wane.
Jen Maidenberg is a writer, editor, activist and former assistant editor at the Arizona Jewish Post. Visit her website at http://jenmaidenberg.com/.