Thoughts from a week off…

I’ve had the last week off work, leaning into the space afforded by the 5 hours a day the boys are at school, enjoying the extra time to walk around the beautiful places near us, to read more books, to sleep on a chair and then jerk awake, wondering how it’s suddenly half an hour until pick up and couldn’t I have done more with these precious hours? 

I’ve been in search of the right experience, the moments to make this week special, the high of rest and the feeling of being topped up again ready to go go go. I know, I’m not sure 5 hours off a day for a week can make up for the tiredness which seeps in my bones from the last 8 years of parenting with a year of global pandemic thrown in for good measure. 

And so I walk on. 

I think this is the longest time off I’ve had with space just for me in a long long time. Leaving aside my slight playing for sympathy or my unrealistic expectations for what on earth I thought would happen in this time it has been good. Not amazingly wow, not complete filling of the tank, but a slow and steady, gentle, putting in of things that are good for my soul and might just last me until the next opportunity for time off. 

I’ve walked each day, enjoying the wonder of many sunrises, the beautiful world all around, the leaves I’ve watched grow from buds now changing colour and falling to the ground. The sky now visible in the woods. The space between the trees grows wider each day and I am captivated by the way the sun lights everything up in such different ways each morning. 

And so I walk on.

I’ve stepped back from the world of social media, seeking connection in more direct ways, and seeking greater connection with the source of all this. I’ve slowly pulled back from mindless scrolling on my phone and have the attention span again to read books without tapping my phone every few minutes. This is a longer process and whilst I love the connections social media brings, I also want it to feed the flesh and blood relationships I have. Harder to do in the world of lockdown part 2 but a necessary aim for deeper richer living. I’m toying with a sabbath rest from social media each week, and putting it into intentional times in my day. I’m wondering how to fill the gaps in the day with good things, with soul refreshing wonder rather than mere numbing. 

And so I walk on. 

The realities of lockdown 2 have yet to sink in. Being off work means nothing much has changed in our world on a large scale. The details are making me sad though, the lack of being able to welcome people into our home, have a cuppa with a friend, have the boys friends over for fun and have dinner with friends. Our social world feels small again and as time goes on I fear that our brains will learn this small too well, that pushing out to relearn physical connection will be hard. And maybe it will and maybe pushing through that will be a wonderful retraining of our brains.  I feel the ache of lost time with people coupled with the thought that maybe we weren’t made for so many people in our head at one time. The questions are loud and the answers are few. 

And so I walk on. 

The boys are still at school and I’ve enjoyed this week of space. I think the full weight of the restrictions may hit when I go back to work tomorrow and have to go back to the online world, making the most of whenever it is dry to walk with people instead of meeting in our lovely church cafe. I’m holding into the hope that this may only be a month. I hold onto hope and try not to see the numbers on my calendar rushing towards December. Tomorrow I will engage with the C word, tomorrow I will allow my brain time to think and ponder advent, to think about how to mark what will be a very different experience this year. Tomorrow I will engage again. For now I shall write, read and drink some more tea.

And so I walk on. 

Grateful for the rest and hoping to walk on in more intentional ways. Hoping to remember the author of these sunrises, the painter of the sky, the maker of all, the One who calls me to love and be loved.

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