Donna Swarthout is a freelance writer and instructor in the Honors Program at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. She lived in Berlin, Germany from 2010 - 2012. You can read more about her experiences on her blog Full Circle. Her work has appeared on The Jewish Writing Project, AVIVA-berlin.de, and in Tablet.
A life-long discomfort with institutionalized Judaism is hard to shed once you reach the mid-life years. Sure, it’s great to keep an open mind, but there’s also the sense of not wanting to waste time on pursuits unlikely to enrich one’s life. Some of us narrow our options as we get older in a bargain to reduce the odds of having regrets.