Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quiet Days at Home

From a prayer recorded in my journal in September 2003:
"God, today is Wednesday. I'm not very good at Wednesdays yet. But the laundry is going, the dishes are drying, and the kitchen is clean..."

Nearly eight years later, I still remember that day.

It was hard to quit my teaching job, and the transition from that daily life to a new one was challenging. Knowing that quietness and solitude are important, and abundantly aware that Sundays would not fit the bill at that time, I set aside Wednesdays to step away from work (that is, church-related tasks).

This was after I'd been teaching for six years. It wasn't a traditional schedule with summer breaks; this school had an additional summer term of classes required of all students. So when I stopped teaching, it was the first time in six years that I went home at night without lesson plans to write and/or grading to complete. Six years! In fact, because that teaching job had been my first after college graduation, it was really the first time in my adulthood that I went home at night without a big pile of work waiting to be done.

Truth be told, I didn't like this new quietness of Wednesdays.  There was something missing and it felt like a gaping hole in my life schedule. It was sheer determination that kept me from working on (most) Wednesdays. I felt agitated. Those days did not feel very restful. I redirected my energy into things like cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry, which subdued the restlessness just enough. It felt like a lot of work to be still.

Time has passed, and over time, I have become more comfortable spending days off quietly at home. It sometimes still feels like an effort to step away from work for a full day, but far more doable. And I find that it helps me to re-orient a bit, to see more clearly as I tackle the tasks on the other six days.

I am grateful for quiet days at home.

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