Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Need a "Not To-Do" List



We've had a nice weekend with spectacular November weather! It has me thinking that November may be another of my favorite Florida months, just behind April.

Maia's 11th birthday was this Friday. This was the friend/event year for her too. On alternating years we have parties for the girls at home or they invite one friend to an event of their choice. It could be a movie or bowling or the like. This year Maia chose ice skating! I considered the day a success, because in the 90 minutes I was on the ice I didn't fall down once! Maia skated by and said, "Mama, you're doing a good job - much better!" I said, "I've always skated like this. I just don't like to do it, because I don't like to fall!"

I had one terrible fall on my rear a few years ago and quickly retired the rollerblades after that. Maia has since inherited them. I'm just fine on my bicycle, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, the skating itself was invigorating! I was happy to know that I could be indoors and so cold, but then I could walk out into the warm Florida afternoon and leave all that cold behind!

I did spend some time on my bicycle this weekend too. Frankly, I really need to be finding time - taking time - for more exercise. I relied last year on our walks and rides and the once-weekly ride to the park for our homeschool P.E. day. We've had to be meeting at another park temporarily, though, this year, since there was some work going on at the park closer to us and so have not been riding, as it is quite a bit farther away. After the new year we will be back closer again, but in the meantime, I need to find some room in the schedule to get more regular exercise.

So today was my Sabbath and I really didn't have any one thing pressing, but the same thing happened that always happens and I think this is particularly amusing that I was listening to the Creative Mom Podcast today and she began talking about this very thing simultaneous to it happening to me. I get a certain window of time for myself and all of a sudden it's like when you have your baby and your baby finally falls asleep. Now, what should you do with your time?! Sleep while the baby is sleeping (which is the advice everyone gives and seems to be rarely followed)? Read a book? Do the dishes? Work on that craft project (or two or three)? Blog?

On the drive home from church, I actually pictured myself lying on the grass in the autumn sun and reading a book and perhaps dozing off. Did I do that? No I did not. I did eat my lunch out on the picnic table. But then I watered the garden and then remembered something I wanted to look up online. So, I gave myself about an hour online and then I started feeling like I ought to get outside into the glorious weather and do some moving around. So, I decided to take a bike ride while the girls were occupied playing with the neighbor girl. But, I kid you not, something like THREE minutes into my ride I started feeling like I ought to be back at home either writing to one of my penpals or working on knitted Christmas gifts or do some Christmas planning in my journal. All pleasurable things, to be sure, but they picked away at my sense of well-being and kept me from remaining in the present moment, which is the only place I ought to be!

In my head I know that the work really never ends and if you are going to take a Sabbath rest, you need to allow the work just to rest too. It will be there when you return. I read Wayne Muller's, Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest, a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. Perhaps it is a book I need to revisit. Perhaps I need to consider renewing that resolution of 2006 of observing the Sabbath each and every week. I have not let it completely slip away from me, but I have not made the concerted effort I did before, either.

And, crazy as it seems, it is an effort.

For me, anyway, really achieving the blessings a Sabbath offers, I find I need to plan and prepare for it. I need to know that we'll have plenty of leftovers in the fridge for the family to help themselves to, or I need to have something easy to put into the crock pot. I also probably need to think about what I do or do not want to do on this day, so that I don't have that monkey mind nagging at me to be doing something - anything, it seems - rather than whatever it is I am doing!!

And now, here it is 10:50 p.m. and while I have rested some, I do not feel as rested as I know I could if my mind was rested too.

So. To implement:

-Regular observation of the Sabbath
-Prepare ahead of time, so that there is as little work to do as possible
-List things I do want to do (only a very few!!), so that I don't have other things calling to me in the midst of doing them
- Let my family know that I will be refreshing my commitment to this
- Check out Muller's book at the library to read - on my next Sabbath! :)

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