Monday, September 21, 2009

Sabbatical: Day 4

My plate is nearly empty. I am now officially on sabbatical. And it feels so incredibly good!

What is this about? It's about rest and recharging. It's about taking time to breathe and be. It's about margin.Taking a sabbatical means that I have intentionally dropped all (well, nearly all) volunteer activities that I have been involved in. It means my personal schedule has been trimmed as much as I feel would be wise for right now. It means I've worked hard at practicing saying the word, "No".

Can I tell you that it's been hard to get here? There are so many opportunities for me to give my time. At church, in my moms' group, in my community, at school. And those are all things that I love. Many of the opportunities have been fun. And cutting back hasn't been without a feeling of sadness. I miss the Task Team meetings for GEMS - they are always a great time of encouragement and it doesn't necessarily feel like work. I miss the time with those women. Last week I walked out of my Toastmaster's meeting, knowing I wouldn't return for three months (and Home CFO, come the end of December, you can badger me about coming back). I felt like crying. I love my time at Toastmasters.

But I also know that I've been jumping from one big project to another, from one deadline to another, from one event to another. For years I've lived this way. It's easy to get there. Many people around me are in the same boat. How many of us have actively chosen a busy lifestyle? And how many have simply slowly succumbed to it?

As it is, I will be busy enough shepherding my children from place to place and event to event. Three children and their activities can be pretty time consuming. I get that. Yet those aren't necessarily the stressors of life. It's those activities on top of the ones we have ourselves in that work together to put a heavy burden of stress on us.

So I've gotten out of that for the moment. I will be helping at school on a limited basis. I'll still be going to things like small group and church and work (for the whole 2 hours that I have to spend there each week). Otherwise I'm free. Free to think and explore new things. Free to do that spur-of-the moment activity or opportunity that comes up. Hopefully free to lend a hand more often, but also free to say "no" to that too.

And I plan to do a lot more writing. Certainly here on the blog. But also for wider publication. It's always been my dream. I've given it a little time and attention before now. Just now, it gets to be center stage for a bit. And that feels very good.

How about you? When was the last time you took time off from the busyness of life? How did it feel to take a break? Do you need to give yourself a break right now?

1 musings:

everydayMOM said...

Working from home is definitely complicated. So often, we try to do all of the things other stay-at-home moms do, but then we don't have time for our personal goals... in your case, writing!

I think it's great to clear the plate to make some more time! I have had to say "no" to sooooo many things over the years, and often other people couldn't understand that even though I didn't go to work, I had a job... If I did other things during my "work hours", well, I didn't get any work done!

Now, I have a new "job"... educating my own children. And once again, even though this job isn't recognized by many people as legitimate, I can't sign up for things or go shopping or volunteer during my "work" hours.

Good for you for stepping back from some of the "good things" that maybe were taking time away from the "best things" in your life.