“Maybe you’ve just been on sabbatical,” Joisey said as we wrote love letters last week.
I suppose I have been. I like how some self employed people say, “I take two full days off then I feel fully recharged.” Wow, I needed like two whole months. And I’m practically unemployed.
Ladies and gentleman, I am calling my blog absence a sabbatical. I am labelling it so for my own benefit. I didn’t stop thinking about it, I just couldn’t put anything out. Did I miss it? Well, I missed being able to put thoughts into words. I missed the urgency I had to work lines through in my notebook. I missed the compulsion to explore a thought, engagement in a new business or product I discovered, and the ability to breeze in and out of a party without double booking my evening or feeling really tired. Anxiety came for an extended visit, and I hated myself for it. Books and magazines I wanted to read piled up. Articles I was working on became lost in an actual pile. I was even physically ill most of the time. So yes, let’s call it a sabbatical. I needed one. A sabbatical from writing, but more so a sabbatical from me, from my circus of a mind, which sounds pretty pathetic, but it is what it is. My sabbatical has been very helpful though. Really good for me, and I feel, with some serious prayer, exercise, excellent nutrition, and warm hugs, I am coming around again.
I’d say my sabbatical started in the fall, so that is way more than two months. To explain what makes it a sabbatical to me, would be to simply state that for a while I was dealing with persistent physical discomfort I talked a bit about here, which really messed with my mind, or maybe it was also my mind that messed with my body. This prompted me to go into “coasting mode”: taking things in and thinking about this and that, without knowing or feeling that there was a bigger purpose I was moving towards.
A big part of my dilemma is feeling guilty for being so unsettled in spite of having a life that is safe, loving, steady and truly full of the best people I could have ever prayed for. There are naturally very stressful moments that I work through and then need to retreat from. There have been disappointments and trust lost in some people very close to us, for whom the saying ‘blood is thicker than water’ may carry no meaning as I painfully accepted.
I know that I am an adult, but it was huge for me to come to terms with it this Christmas. Learning the ropes of my mother’s latest routine from her staff while seeing first hand how Alzheimer’s is changing her steadily over time was not something I could ignore. “Okay, we’re doing this. This is real, I am in charge now, and if I mess up, a lot is at stake, but if I don’t man up, even more will be.”
During my sabbatical, I wondered why I wasn’t interested in anything that used to make me happy. My therapist said it is because there are lots of uncertain things happening simultaneously. That I am not investing my heart into anything partly to self protect and partly because I am not sure of how I feel about anything. I then realized when the fog lifted that I am tired of this holding pattern, this safe place where I have been sitting. Hanging from a rafter, swinging not here nor there, untouched, unbothered. Over the weekend my husband and I were discussing some serious things ahead and he asked me, “Are you ready for it though? Do you think you can handle it again?” And to him I said with some tears in my eyes, “I will never be ready if I give myself the allowance to constantly over think it. But being here, in this holding cell, where I am not choosing to do this nor that, where I am protecting myself by not making choices… it’s really no life at all. And I don’t think I want to live that way anymore.”
I am scared out of my wits. But life has always been good to me, and I always get through things. We all do. If there is one thing I know it is that we all have our s#^t. Everyone has some kind of demon to fight or mountain she must climb, and you just do it. You do it because you have to. And you do it because no matter how uncomfortable and uncertain it is, you know you need to and you want to be somewhere that isn’t where you currently are, because that place you’ve been living in doesn’t suit you anymore.
So that’s where I have been. That’s where I am.
I have always wanted to be the kind of woman with focus, drive, and vision. The kind of woman who doesn’t have it easy, but has the self belief that what she creates and the way she contributes herself to the world matters deeply and should be taken seriously. This woman has passion in everything she does. She brings her A game every day, even when hours earlier she pulled the sheets over her head and wanted to sleep through the day. She takes care of herself before taking care of others. She inspires other women to do the same thing. I have always thought that woman was someone else. I have secretly hoped for years that she could be me. Maybe to someone else I already am.I read a post by Eden Hensley of The Road to The Good Life, and there was a specific line in there that made me feel determined. One day soon I will write this line myself, but until then, I set my sights on it, knowing I am headed in that direction, just as I am today, post-sabbatical.
|Made with Studio by bp. Original text: Eden Hensley (source)|