Saturday, March 10, 2007

Un-tired

For several days I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts in order to write about how tired I am. How tired all the women are that I’ve talked to lately. How we seem to just run ourselves ragged, and for what?

But then a strange thing happened. I began to feel un-tired.

Partly, that’s because I took half the day off yesterday. Many of you know I’m employed by the school district to work four mornings a week, but if you’re a woman, then you realize that’s only a drop in the bucket of my responsibilities.

Yesterday, after preparing bruschetta for the international food festival in Caleb’s social studies class, helping to serve/clean up, then having an early lunch with one of my former coworkers at the school, I took the rest of the day off. Well, except for using the wet-vac to suction the water out of the toilet bowl so it could be removed (we’re tiling the bathroom this weekend) and making a light dinner and taking care of some Line of Departure business. You know how it goes. But I spent most of the day and evening reading or spending time with my family. I even took a 45-minute walk by myself (deep, contented sigh here).

But the main reason I began to feel un-tired, is because I took time to really think about how I spend my days. Let me back up.

Two years ago I put myself on a 6-month sabbatical from almost all outside responsibilities. I focused on taking care of my home and family and working through some personal and spiritual matters. In many ways it was excruciating, but at the end of the six months, I knew I wasn’t going back to the trap I’d fallen into before—saying yes, because I should, rather than saying yes because I was passionate about something.

Sounds good, right? But as a result, a year ago I found myself without much direction. I felt rather purposeless and, well, alone. I seemed to have discovered that there wasn’t much use for what I was passionate about . . . or at least very little outlet for me to use my particular gifts. I apparently saw the world with different glasses and had passions and interests that weren’t very practical. I felt pretty low and insignificant until I realized that God, alone, was enough for me (see my October 17, 18 & 21, 2006 posts for more on that).

So this week, as I considered complaining about why I’m so tired, I realized that I’m worn out with blessings. God has given me outlets for my passions. Yes, I need balance. Yes, I need regular solitude that I don’t often make time for. Yes, there are deadlines—deadlines I’ve usually imposed on myself. But the truth is that I’m deeply satisfied. And I’m thriving. I’m living intentionally, and it’s making a difference in people’s lives.

And you know what? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s good for a woman to collapse in bed at the end of the day because she’s been living outside herself. It’s good when she’s exhausted because she’s been tending her family the best way she knows how. It’s good when she’s bone weary because she’s been working her job as if she was working for the Lord.

All these things are good and pure and noble and praiseworthy.

However, I highly recommend the occasional day off.

3 comments:

Julie Harper said...

Caron, I understand completely about the sabbatical. About 2 years ago, I started divesting myself of all my outside responsibilities so I could go to grad school. It's hard to say NO when you're used to saying YES all the time. But it's liberating too. Good for you! Not many of us realize that we CAN say NO until it's too late . . .

Caron Guillo said...

Julie,

Grad school? How's that going?

Julie Harper said...

Grad school is going ok, except I'm taking stats this semester (there goes the GPA). Oh well. After this semester (4 more weeks) I have one more class and my graduate project to do. So I should graduate in Dec. with an MPA (public administration). Pretty cool stuff. Too bad they don't have a PhD at this school for PA . . .