Re-try, again.

Well, it worked, I suppose.

I’m on my eighth week of my eight week sabbatical, and I have finally been able to deliberately do nothing all day, just because, without trying hard or being upset about ‘not getting things done.’

If you had asked me, I would have told you that I honestly didn’t think it was really going to take me all of eight weeks to unwind. I really didn’t. I picked eight weeks because, well, because. When people say God told them something, I really struggle with that. what does the voice of God sound like? How do you know?

In my limited experience, you know because you know, the same way you know that God created all the world, including you, and sent His only son as an atoning sacrifice for all of His lost children. I was sitting on my bed with a spiral bound notebook, working and re-working the numbers. Yes, I needed time off between work and school, but how much? One week? Two weeks? If I made it to the next paycheck cycle, would I have enough money–and then suddenly, interrupting all my thoughts and figurings, I knew it had to be two months. It had to be.

I closed the notebook, because there was no use thinking about it. It seemed more than a little scandalous to spend two months doing nothing, but I was certain. It seemed rather irresponsible, too, but you can’t go and tell the Almighty that He’s being irresponsible.

I quit my job. I really pissed off my boss, because she thought I should work the summer and that there was no reason to quit before school, and that I was self-centered and self-righteous, and I didn’t care about her or the company or the patients or anything. It was very uncomfortable. Yes, very uncomfortable, but still not even close the uncomfortableness of trying to defy God.

I guess that’s what some people would call being stupid for God, but I’ve never cared for that phrase. God, as the originator of all wisdom, is not stupid. He’s just not as near-sighted as the rest of us, and He understands and owns wisdom far deeper than we can perceive. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel a little stupid when people keep asking me what I’m doing. Nothin’. Just–you know, passin’ the time.

You quit your job so you could do ‘nothin'”?! Yeah. Don’t be jealous. How does that even make sense?! I dunno. Does it have to?

But today I got mad at Etsy for for not being creative enough (this is akin to complaining there isn’t enough room in the dump truck), and decided I was feeling sick and tired (literally; sore throat and headache) and needed to take a nap. But I couldn’t fall asleep because I kept designing clothes in my head, and had to sit up and try to sketch them out. I never did get a good nap in, but it was the first time in years I’ve been so creative I couldn’t sleep (or that I got mad at Etsy for not being creative enough).

In quieter years, I was good at the creative dreaming and really bad at the functional carry through. Over the last several years, I’ve been so conditioned and trained to be functional that even the last few weeks of sewing have seemed more rote than creative. I suppose here is where I’m supposed to make some sort of grandiose statement about finding balance in my life, but I’m not ready for rash promises just yet (ask me tomorrow).

I’m getting back that feeling that I can take on the world. Not slog through it–take it on! I’m not going to tell you that feeling will last long. But I’m not going to tell you it won’t, either. I guess that’s the point of taking a break, to fill you with impossible hope. (Okay, it really won’t last long. Want to know how I know? Conclusive studies over the last 8 weeks have shown that it takes no less than TWO consecutive late nights for me to be a basket case and need a nap. Bets are open as to how long I’ll foolishly do two consecutive late nights.)

It’s a feeling. It’s not reality. I know that. But the fog is clearing, and just in time–classes start next week. The panicky feeling is subsiding. I’m thinking again, thinking thoughts instead of to-do lists (although I did sweep the floor today, aren’t you proud of me?). What I feel like is that I’m ready to grow. I’m not stretched so thin with simply existing that I have nothing left to give to turning into anything else. I’m not the King of the World, but I’m ready to try again.

5 Responses to Re-try, again.

  1. If this post had a like button I would press it 🙂

    I feel a bit like I am caught in that not being able to dream place you mentioned. I haven’t lived with the high octane stress that you have in recent months/years (well, okay, my stint at nursing school was) but I feel like the last three–oh, maybe six–years have burnt all the dreaming out of me. It feels like all that is left is to keep grinding away until it’s all over. Kinda lost that hope for the future. Which then makes me think I’m not living much in the faith and joy of the Lord which kind of helps the dry cycle along.

    Sometimes I think I see a flicker of a dream, but I have no revelations like you. At least not yet.

    But I am glad that eight weeks can get your dreaming back, if even only for a little while.

  2. I was glad to read this. We’re leaving shortly for another weekend away (seems like we’ve had more away than home lately!), but I owe you an email or a phone chat or something before you return to the river.

    I’m so thankful that this time has been one of rest and renewal, and that important pieces have been coaxed back to life.

  3. Rundy, I wish I could find a suitable response. I know you’ve been stuck at a place where there doesn’t seem to be much growing, but I also know that God has good plans. I am praying.

    Abby, we’ll find a way to get together, even if I’m back in the river!

  4. Life goes in cycles. I’m glad you’re on the up side. I’m not sure where I am now. Probably wasting my time on the upside dreading the down side.

    Btw, this post was beautifully written. Honesty tends to do that.

  5. You’re too kind! I’m glad you enjoy my writing.

    We might tend to go in cycles, but God remains constant. You aren’t wasting time as long as you’re with Him. I say this because I have been finding more and more that the only balm for my anxiety and dread is re-counting the attributes of God, and the more I think about Him, the more the down-sides fade away.

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