With mere hours left until Rosh Hashanah, I find myself shockingly unprepared. I remember back to when I was in Yeshiva, how I spent the month preparing myself, how the moments moved towards the holiday, the culmination of thirty days of slichot and pouring my heart out to Hashem over and over and over again.
I remember how doing so was a cleansing, that pouring and pouring with my words, my thoughts, my feelings brought on a cleansing of its own. I am reminded of a Mashal that my Rav used when he noted the way some people say words of Torah or Teffillah without thinking or investing in them. They were compared to a bucket, and for someone who did not meditate, focus and hold onto them, it was like a bucket with a hole. But even though the words -which can be likened to the flowing of water as in the Gemara (Messechet Ta'anit) -may flow right through, he said, at least you are left with a clean bucket.
And so, by bringing the words into my mouth and pouring out my soul, I felt cleansed. Purified and ready to face my Creator on the day I choose -again -to accept him as my Ultimate Master, my King, my Father.
But this year, I found to my chagrin, I have had no such luxury between the utter craziness and business of my daily life. While I worked hard to incorporate what I could, it cannot compare and I found myself falling far short of where I know I can be, where I feel I should be. I'm not ready.
But it's coming anyways.
I am the kind of person (in case you didn't notice) that has a mild obsession with preparedness, and so not feeling prepared evokes anxiety, fear and a sense of incompetence for me. If nothing else, it is an awakening and a personal lesson. But as long as I have time left, I will endeavor to make whatever preparations I can.