As the High Holiday Season begins, we typically begin to draft our resolutions for coming year; as the current year waxes, the coming year wanes.
And with the years transitioning, we reflect upon the present and begin committing to teshuvah (repentance) and charting new pursuits for the coming year so that we may be inscribed and sealed for a good year.
Part of the High Holiday season includes engaging in new pursuits for the coming year; whether it's the traditional implementation of a new exercise regimen, healthy living regimen, emersion in mitzvot and Torah study, or becoming more active in the community and world, we all strive to start fresh and work toward making the coming year more luminous than the prior one.
For me, this typically includes becoming more active in the Jewish community and taking greater steps in learning. The former goal has already been on my list for a while and I have made great strides throughout the year. As for the latter, the learning, my main intellectual goals have been devoting more time to Torah study and teaching myself how to code HTML/CSS.
This year, learning Torah and involving myself in study has compensated for the soul-crushing reality that is working in the retail industry; it has filled me with inspiration and direction as I climb the mountain toward improvement. Ever since I attended a Torah study session, the inspiration and wisdom that flowed from it has me craving for more. Although attending events involving study are in flux given my schedule, I nonetheless will go whenever I can and also stock up on books to keep at it on my own.
Coding, on the other hand, is more of a means to the end of adding another skill set that can showcase my technological savvy. Due to the demand for coding and web design skills -- coupled with the state of the Illinois job market -- it became clear that I needed to learn these skills to gain a competitive edge and escape the retail world.
As the High Holidays approach, I'm thinking about what these goals have to do with teshuvah. Both are somewhat mirrors of each other: Through Torah study, one unlocks facets of the consciousness and soul previously unknown to them; coding allows us to use our existing technical and creative knowledge to create something tangible from empty space. Upon learning these hidden aspects of ourselves, we understand in greater depth the workings of the physical and digital worlds, and can use that knowledge to help repair the world.
Although these are the hobbies that currently preoccupy my non-working hours, it's possible my ADD -- or soul -- could inspire me to take on another in the coming year. My drafts typically undergo rigorous revisions before a final is submitted; how everything progresses and changes can foster any number of possibilities.