Day six of my sabbatical, and I keep waiting to get down to business and start enjoying myself. Sink into relaxation. Feel a sense of inner peace. But, instead my mind is whirling with: plot ideas for the book I'm NOT working on, self-ministrations as to how exactly I should be spending this time off, annoyance for not feeling more relaxed, a mental to-do list which I couldn't possibly accomplish in just one month, and a sense of foreboding about that day about 3 weeks from now when I either have to go back to my job or NOT. Today at one point I was literally standing in my living room frozen for two hours wondering if I should garden, write, clean out the closet or just give up and have a glass of wine.
As I continue to berate myself for my seeming inability to just relax and enjoy, I am increasingly mindful of the difficulty of quieting all my inner voices, each vying to tell me what to do next.
Is it really surprising that stillness is hard to come by? Most of us are constantly on the go between jobs, commutes, errands, families (or dogs), and countless other pressures in the course of a day. To do a "full stop" on that life for a month is like suddenly coming to a standstill on a New York street during rush hour. Your feet may stop moving, but the crowd will continue to abruptly jostle you along, and many people will give you "strong verbal feedback" to indicate how they feel about your decision to stop moving.
So, I'm going to accept the swirling thoughts for now and stop trying to get to a place that I'm not yet fully ready to inhabit. I have faith that I will find my stillness eventually.
Those same New York streets are always quiet at 6am on Sunday morning...