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13 January 2011

A Year of Sabbath

I cannot do the things on my list! My list is too long. I can't exercise because of the snow. I can neither drive to the gym nor walk in my neighborhood. Even if I had enough room on the floors of my furniture-cluttered home I can never focus long enough to work out at home. Videos and DVDs don't help.
My fantasy about beginning each day in prayer and meditation and lectio divina is just that, a fantasy. That's not how my spiritual praxis works. And I'm apparently too old to change. I am in spiritual direction and that is a blessed light in the darkness.
I have organized for a sum total of thirty minutes in the last two weeks and there is the one piece of mail I opened today.
I am writing. Almost every day. And I love it. I am blogging more and I am making real, good progress on my next book.
This is not the sabbatical I imagined. It is the sabbatical I am having. And I am loving it. I will not burden myself with unrealistic expectations. 
New list:
Pray in my own way
Do what I can with my files
Don't set myself up to fail
And don't worry about what I can't (or don't want to do).

I have learned from the first few days of my sabbatical at home that it is really hard to be on sabbatical at home. The phone keeps ringing; there is so much to be done. My modest to-do list seems impossibly long -
An hour a day for each would still give me plenty time to deal with all of the things that keep cropping up and REST!
Apparently, I have to learn how to be on sabbatical. This is a praxis practice. I learn by doing.

This is a year of sabbath for me. The year began with my waking and inhaling my first restful breath in a holy place. I left for retreat the night before so that I could live fully into my sabbatical. I wanted to get away. And then it dawned on me with the dawn. Somewhere between sleeping and waking, inhaling and exhaling I discerned that my sabbatical is not from my vocation but it is for my vocation. I am ready, eager for this journey. And it has begun...

[I imagine I will return to this post, update and repost it as I journey through this year.]

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