Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation. For when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer; Since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment… Go some distance away, because the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and a lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen. ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
Spending three days at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson did just that for me. The work was looming, the to do list was becoming the task rather than a tool to use to manage tasks. I had to get away.
Imagine two little kids on a seesaw. The challenge is to see which one can hold the other end up. Remember that game? You’d be pushing off up in the air. Then down, then up. At some point, you’d try to stay down. First time didn’t work. Lean into it more as if you could add more weigh. BAM– did it!
The seesaw that was my life had gone from a gentle up and down to bouncing and jerking and then… was stuck with one heavy end of tasks, phone calls, documents, filing, bills to pay, a mélange of home and business to do’s weighing me down. My social, personal, and relationship life was up on the top, legs dangling, wiggling, trying to get control.
First day at the Center I strolled around the desert grounds, walked the labyrinth, just looking and breathing. I gave myself permission NOT TO WORK. It was not hard; I had begun to resent the writing goals set for myself in January. I ate alone, talking to no one except an occasional hello to other sojourners. I slept like the proverbial baby. Second day I did yoga, sat in the sun, took all my writing folders to the quiet book-lined library, laid them out and culled, shredded, filed the keepers.
Something in me shifted from “Gotta get this done” to “Let’s see what I really want to do.” Two pretty good blogs came into focus. A writing schedule was clarified.
Third day I did a free write, took a walk, wrote outside in the sunshine. And felt in harmony with my writing life and myself. The seesaw was level.