“But I’m on vacation,” I caught myself saying to me.
Yesterday, I threw some things in a bag — books, stuff for my hair, two swimsuits and one sweater, Jillian Michaels’ The Shred DVD, my bible, my journal, my laptop (to name just a few things) — and hopped in the car with H. I’d been wishy washy about this trip and, at the last minute, he looked at me with those eyes of his and the next thing I knew I was riding shotgun, on my way to Wisconsin. Our money is tight these days and sometimes, for very many different reasons, it seems easier to just stay home.
However, when I woke up this morning to see the sun standing vigil over Green Lake, I knew I’d made the right choice. There’s an Adirondack chair on the dock with my name on it (not literally; at least, not yet), and a salad bar that makes me smile. There is nowhere I have to be. There is nothing I have to go do. There is no humidity. It’s as if the Sabbath has come early and has plans to stay late.
Which is why I found myself thinking I could just let it go this week. The Sabbath.
I’ve been observing a self-imposed internet Sabbath these past few weeks. On Friday evenings, I unplug my laptop and let the battery run itself down. I don’t have “permission” to plug it in again until Sunday afternoon. Only lately, I’ve noticed, the longer I practice this Sabbath, the longer it takes me to actually get around to plugging the thing in again. It’s taken all these years, but I’m finally beginning to understand the whole thing about the Sabbath being made for us, and not the other way around.
Today, however, I began to rationalize things. Since it seemed the very grounds on which that Adirondack chair sits and from which the salad bar beckons me to eat my fill are bathed in perpetual Sabbath, I figured I could skip my internet Sabbath this week. (Let’s face it. This is a retreat center, yes. But, it seems even the retreat centers have discovered that lack of wi-fi could just be the death of them. I can get onto the internet from my room, from the patio outside my lodge, and from the internet cafe in the registration building. But not from that – my? -Adirondack chair.)
The moment I thought I could let it go, give the Sabbath a vacation, I knew I couldn’t. I knew I needed it. I knew, even in this place that seems to know nothing other than how to observe the Sabbath, I need to do it for myself, rather than having it done to me. So, I’ll hit “publish” on this post, close up the laptop and let the battery run down, and tomorrow I’ll eat salad and chill, on the dock, in an Adirondack chair.