Based upon all I have learned from more experienced clergy and read in books my current state of being is just fine. I have mostly stopped jumping out of bed thinking I am behind schedule. I have reduced the number of to do lists I have been scrawling on scraps of paper. I have experienced the crushing emotional weight when I realized I could not answer the hospital call I received. I have felt the guilt that comes when others make comments about not having adequate vacation time, let alone employment that allows them to receive the gift of a sabbatical. I have even cleaned some parts of our home that had not been cleaned in some time.
Seven months ago when this sabbatical was approved I was shocked when I did not immediately feel refreshed and restored. I laugh in disbelief at myself then and laugh still. For whatever reason my mind believed once the sabbatical was approved I would feel as if I had taken a sabbatical already. That same kind of thinking followed me all through the planning stages and into these first weeks. For some reason I thought handing over my keys and shutting off my cell phone would make me feel completely rested, even when logic tells me this is not likely.
Since I am slow in slowing down I have managed to read half of the books from my sabbatical reading list. Though it has felt luxurious to finish one book and pick up another without worrying about what tasks I should be doing instead. It has felt wonderful to be in conversation with these authors. As we have traveled north and south to join some of our dearest friends in their celebrations the landscape and time have given me ample opportunity to ruminate on what I am learning. I am looking forward to the rest of the books in my pile and maybe discovering a few new books.
I am also hopeful the next two weeks will find me enjoying the rest I have been given. I believe it is possible, even if I might have to create a to do list for how to make that happen.