I haven’t been writing for the last few days. Before you decide to give up on me let’s look at the meaning of this. Summer, I expected would be a more relaxed time. I would fit all kinds of things into my schedule that there never seemed to be time for during the year. I found that it doesn’t quite work that way. During the year there’s a fixed schedule. Even allowing for some measure of flexibility, activities are more or less set in place, and everything else kinds of adjusts itself to that schedule. Summer has its own rhythm.
Besides, both during the summer and the year it always happens that things come up. These things are opportunities that require my attention right now. It’s the meaning of the moment.
What am I to do with my ongoing obligations when that happens? Should I go to sleep later and later? Once during a logotherapy workshop someone said that her issue in life is how to not go to sleep so late. This question could be approached in different ways. It occurs to me now that it’s not only a matter of organizing one’s time or even of examining one’s values and weighing what is more important in the hierarchy of tasks for the day.
Those things are worth looking at too. But there’s more to it. In Jewish life we greet the Sabbath day saying, “I am finished with all of my work.” That’s it. I don’t care whether I’m really finished or not. It doesn’t matter that I have this one little bit to take care of and this job will be out of the way. I consider it done. By taking this attitude I put myself into a whole new head-space of availability. In the situation of Shabbat (Sabbath) I am available to think about God’s creativity, instead of my own. I contemplate God’s involvement in everything going on in His world. Another example of this kind of availability and focus is when I’m sitting with a client. No one else exists right now. Nothing else matters. It is as if it’s all finished. I don’t have to worry about it.
So what do I say when I go to sleep at night? Do I say, I must do absolutely everything on the list of what I wanted to get done today? Or do I say, “There will be another day. I’ve been given the time and energy to do just so much and the rest will wait until tomorrow.”
This is not easy for me because I have a strong inner drive to finish a task I’m in the middle of. But it’s one of these challenges of trust. Can I trust that in any case this is not all up to me, and I can go to sleep knowing there’s more to do tomorrow? Sure, I can be a bit flexible. I don’t have to shut the lights at ten sharp. But I also don’t want to be driven to finish. Whether I continue until it’s done or stop as if it really is finished, that will be a conscious choice.
So hopefully, dear readers, I will try my very best to write every day but know that when I don’t, it’s also a good sign…