Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So what did you do with all that time?

Good question... bad question... maybe just not the right question for someone who suffers from the sin of keeping score. Not so much now with other people, but still with myself. My mentor emailed me four questions (for my upcoming evaluation) before I left, and ended her note with: "Have a great retreat. Be gentle with yourself."

I am not good at being gentle with myself. There are old tapes that I have tried to erase... words from my childhood: You have got to be the laziest child I've ever seen. You're so selfish, just like your father. If you don't get out and get a job I'm not supporting you... that last one spurring my enlistment the very next day into the United States Navy. I saw a sign that said "Uncle Sam Wants YOU!" and thought "well good, someone does." and enlist I did. (Bad decision, but it led to good things, so I don't necessarily keep score about my pitiful failures.)

But while I appreciated that no one at Holy Cross could care less whether I attended the Daily Offices, I was keeping track internally. I think at some point I finally gave up and wandered over to chapel whenever I heard the bell ring. It was easier that way. I did skip Compline every night. It was the right thing to do... partly because I'm used to our convent's schedule of saying Compline directly after supper cleanup. We have elderly sisters who would refuse to go to bed early if someone were still up to pray, so we all pray early and then they can go to bed. I love that time of day: it's only 7:30 and I am showered, in my jammies, ready to relax. Sometimes I read for awhile, but often I hit the pillow and am gone by 8:00. So that schedule prevailed. I only made my bed once. That might have been a stretch had I not spent most of my time bundled up under the covers, reading, knitting, working on artwork. I never once went outside. All that gorgeous scenery... and I only looked out at the river during meals. I am a cave dweller at heart. All those zodiac predictions that a Sagittarius loves the outdoors are not untrue, they just don't take into account inertia. Once I'm inside, I'm inside.

So what did I do with all that time? I finished a book and started two more. I finished one knitting project and started another. I completed two final Christmas images and have three more in various stages of completion. I slept and dreamed and ate, and took long hot showers. I braided my hair. I goofed off. I had a great retreat.


GTB said...

Good for you and welcome home you were missed!

Lisa said...

Glad it was a good retreat! And welcome back!!

Rlamb said...

happy birthday

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to a most transparent, modern,
spiritually sensitive, creative, and faithfully intentional