For those of you who have been in town and noticed, I have been on a three-week leave of absence. I returned to the office this week and will be returning this Sunday for church service.
The first week off, it was hard to unwind from the driving buzz from which I seemed to operate. I vacillated between “Ooh, I wanna do this project (chore)” and ” I’m just gonna chill out and read a magazine even though it’s not even noon.” When I would hear from friends or people from church, there was just the slightest admonishment in their voice or their emails about my not doing ‘shtuff’. “This is your time to rest and relax.” “Yes, but how can I relax in the middle of such a mess…” I would start some version of a cleaning or organizing project and then pull myself up short, stop and switch gears to something more well, mindless.
One of the hardest challenges was how to manage and balance checking e-mails. I have three active e-mail accounts: two personal and one from the church office. As with most email programs, when one account loads, so do the rest and you can see the mail come in and often read the subject line(s). It has been very difficult to ignore e-mails. Which ones to read? Which ones to answer? It turned out that in a few instances, it was very fortuitous that I did read and respond to certain e-mails. I’m sure I confused some people when they would get an answer to one email they sent and no answer on the very same day they sent other information. Ah well. I did take the time to Unsubscribe from dozens of e-mail newsletters or commercial mailings and really trimmed the amount of e-mails I receive daily down to less than 100. That is a habit I plan to continue on my return.
At the start of my hiatus, I made a lengthy list of the things I wanted to accomplish on my generous time off. Here is a recap of how I fared:
THINGS I DID NOT GET DONE:
–clean the bedroom closet
–organize all my files
–join a gym or yoga class
–take a meditation retreat
–clean the refrigerator
— read all the books on my “to-be-read” list
(although, I have seven new books on my nightstand that I have started and two in the guest room)
–finish writing the sequel to “How May I Love You Today”; complete the edit on my book on prayer and affirmative living; and the other book on pastoral care that remains in my laptop
–clean out my car
–start cleaning out the garage
–complete my scrapbook from my Installation; and the new scrapbook I bought for photos of my dog, Chai
THINGS I DID ACCOMPLISH:
–bought lots of new books to read (including fiction) and visited the library thrice
–walked the P.V. High School track (almost daily)
–played with Chai, Beau and Belle
–cleaned my bathroom
–did lots of laundry
–got caught up on the posting into Quicken that I had ignored
–took a trip to Los Angeles to participate in a tribute for my beloved drama teacher, Marilyn Moody and our famous principal& NFL refereee, Jim Tunney, who were inducted into the Fairfax High School Hall of Fame
–while in Los Angeles, I got to visit some very dear, longtime friends I had not seen in years
–read all the backlogged magazines that have been sitting on the coffee table for months
–watched a lot of movies and television shows
–listened to CD’s and updated my iTunes
(including the Broadway soundtrack to “The Book of Mormon” and other show tunes)
–spontaneous bursts of dancing
–learned more about how to effectively use my iPhone
–long phone chats with my friends
–unscheduled cat naps with the cat (and the dog)
–cleaned and re-organized the guest room/prayer room
–began work on the new class I start teaching next month
–Don and I created a current Vision board
I have spent many hours in contemplation during this time off. Perhaps I didn’t uncover a lot of new things but instead, began to revisit and refresh many previous ideas or concepts. There was one quote that I had read awhile ago from Abraham-Hicks that tried to explain that we never really get everything done and we’re not meant to. I regretted that I didn’t keep that quote to re-read each day as part of my spiritual practice. Yet, I have been reminding myself of that every time I faced another chore or project I wanted to tackle.
My intention is to return to my workday routine this week without it becoming routine; nor to have it spiral off track becoming unbalanced. I want the renewed and refreshed me to return to active work status with ease, grace and joy. In advance, I have already planned some scheduled R &R along with other ideas for ways to keep the creative juices flowing for more wholeness and balance.
Reporting for duty, sir.
P.S. As my synchrodippity would have it, before signing off, this arrived in yesterday’s e-mail:
“All is well, and you will never get it done. Life is supposed to be fun. No one is taking score of any kind, and if you will stop taking score so much, you will feel a whole lot better — and as you feel a whole lot better, more of the things that you want right now will flow to you. You will never be in a place where all of the things that you are wanting will be satisfied right now, or then you could be complete — and you never can be. This incomplete place that you stand is the best place that you could be. You are right on track, right on schedule. Everything is unfolding perfectly. All is really well. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun!”— Abraham — (Excerpted from the workshop in Tucson, AZ on Tuesday, February 20th, 2001 # 118)