Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day Thirty: One Month Down

It is hard to believe my sabbatical is one-third over.  One one hand, I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of rest and renewal, that I have no rhythm for this, that I have so much of my project left to do.  On the other hand, I've already been a few places, have a good library of photos and experiences to write about and I have all of my future travel plans made, details taken care of.

I'm in a good place.  I am resting. Though, as I've mentioned before, "resting" doesn't mean what it used to. Vacation used to be a time when I'd shed whatever was clogging my brain in favor of a pile of books and naps on the beach.

Kids changed that.  I remember my first vacation with our now four-year-old was so frustrating.  My brain hadn't yet made the switch:  I hadn't realized that just as he had changed our sleep patters, our eating patterns, my personal relationships, my work schedule, he would also be changing my vacations.

I've got my mind wrapped around that concept now and I don't get resentful or frustrated anymore (mostly).  Sabbatical (like vacations) has been more about slowing down the breakneck pace at which we are normally operate.  I'm sitting on the front porch, playing with the garden hose, eating pb&j, going for bike rides in the neighborhood.  It isn't profound, it is just different, different from how we usually operate and also different from how a sabbatical might look at another time in my life.  To some folks, a "normal" day around here might sound exhausting: Breakfast, run, trip to the children's museum, snack, plant herbs, lunch, nap time (my work time), off to the pool for swim lessons, meet kid friends for dinner out, baths, bedtime, work a little more...  But this is a really fun way to be together.  My kids and I are exploring all kinds of things together, and at a pace that is new to us: slow.  I haven't worn a watch in... hmmm... thirty days.  Usually, there's nowhere more important to be.  A bit of Carpe Diem, I suppose.

I ran into another local priest the other day when I was having lunch with my husband (another sabbatical treat!).  "So what, you're not spending a month in Asia learning Tibetan chant in a monastery?" he asked with a grin.  "No," I replied, "I'm travelling a little bit, but mostly, I'm learning what it feels like to just slow down for a little while."  So far, it feels good.

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