Sunday, August 7, 2011

Final thoughts

The book is in.  The prints are made.  The marathon is run.  The retreat is over.  

I guess that means I have to go back to work. 

And, actually, that's okay with me.  If sabbatical lasted forever, it would not be as useful as it actually is.  And it'd be boring. 

I love my job.  Really really love my job.  I know that is a luxury, to love one's job, and so I feel very fortunate to love mine.  But I definitely needed a break.  Here's some of what I wrote about being on sabbatical when I was at Mercy Center:

When I was heading out of the office last May, I had this overwhelming feeling of entitlement, as if this sabbatical was something I had earned, something I deserved, it was my right.  I'm not sure what exactly changed my attitude (except maybe distance) but I have come to a place of profound gratitude and humility.  This time away was a gift to me from my parish, from Lilly and from God.  I did work hard to get to this place, but many people work hard and very few are rewarded with such an exceptional gift as three months to spend with family, traveling, relaxing, visiting, cultivating a long-lost hobby.  Entitlement got me nowhere (as is usually the case) but the switch to gratitude has released a lot of little stressed-out demons from their duties on my brain and shoulders.

I'm not going to lie and tell you all that I experienced some kind of major personal growth.  I, in fact, did little deep thinking.  But I did find that rest that I feared was so elusive in the beginning.  And I am coming back to this job that I love so much-- my vocation and life's calling-- with renewed energy and renewed excitement.  That is the point, I suppose.  I didn't deserve it any more than anyone else, but I did get the time that I needed to "accomplish" this rest.  And so I'll respond by continuing to do what I do best: loving the church community, teaching about Christ, preaching love and respect.  I am not smarter, deeper or more profound* for having left, but I am ready to return with an energy for the work that I haven't really felt in years.

I can't wait to see you all next Sunday!

*but, truth be told, I may actually be a little cuter since this rest has helped me lose the worried look and the perpetual bags under my eyes.  HA!

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