It’s week three of my sabbatical, and after lots of sleep, Hulu, and time in the woods, I’m finally feeling ready to share some reflections. So, here are three brief gleanings from these first three weeks.
- You don’t know how fast you’ve been moving until you stop. In the 12 months preceding sabbatical, I did the hardest and most-rewarding work of my career. In the midst of it, I knew I was over-functioning, but I didn’t expect when I stopped to experience withdrawal symptoms. For the first week of sabbatical, I felt anxious, itching to check my email and find out the latest developments at church and Connections Ministry. Keep such a pace has diminished my capacity for stillness, and rebuilding my habits of silence has risen to the top of my sabbatical priorities.
- I’m still not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. My intention was to cut back to part-time daycare for the baby and to pick Ollie up from school more often, which I’ve done so far. And I’ve really enjoyed the extra hours of reading and exploring the ravine with Ollie, discovering bugs and dirt and attitude with Ceci. But I’m also remembering how lonely and long four days a week with a toddler can feel. Shouldn’t I want to spend all the time with my kids? I feel guilty that I don’t. But sabbatical is supposed to be about rest and renewal, and there’s not a lot of time for either of those things when kids are around. I’m still discerning the right balance between mom time and me time.
- 40 is not the new 30. At least not physically. To deal with my anxiety over not working, I jumped with both feet into a new exercise routine, and promptly experienced joint pain from the landing. Moving from 1-2 workouts a week to 5 in a row reminded me that my body is not as resilient as it once was. Some of this will improve over the course of these three months, some of it just a new reality that comes with age. Hopefully, age also comes with wisdom, telling me that 5 workouts a week is ideal but not always realistic.