I am a little more than two weeks from parking my behind on a sandy beach. Okay, in a chair on a sandy beach. I’m in pretty serious need of disengaging.
Joel Gascoigne talks about it over at Buffer: The Habits of Successful People: They Disengage to Renew
It makes sense. I find myself running (okay, walking, I don’t run) from the day job, to the church stuff, to the writing stuff, to rehearsals, to any number of things and rarely is there time to disengage.
If I want to watch a movie, it’s on my laptop or on the tv in my office while I’m working on something else. Last night I watched The Apartment because I’m still working my way through my bucket list challenge to watch all of the Best Picture winners.
The only way I’m likely to sit through a movie without at least checking email or Facebook or something on the phone is in the movie theater. And yes, I’m responsible enough to turn my phone OFF at the movies. Thankyouverymuch.
So, now we’re up on the weekend and I have a list of things to accomplish. I have a light to hang in my home office because the lighting is terrible. I just have to take the time to do it. I have to borrow or buy a pair of bolt cutters to break into the storage shed because I lost the key. And when I get in, I need to mow, then start looking at what paraphernalia we’ll be taking to the beach (not much, we’re downsizing).
I have a hard time getting to Sunday, the day of rest. In fact, it’s rarely restful. Most Sundays we’re at church early for choir rehearsal, then a quick lunch and I’m off to another rehearsal, coming home to write or study, or coming home to mow the yard. Don’t judge. My ox is often in a well. [Luke 14:5]
But I hate the fact that we’ve gotten away from the concept of Sunday as a day of rest. Face it, God knew what he was doing when he rested on the seventh day.
I grew up in a world where stores weren’t open on Sunday, where you went home from church and after Sunday dinner (it was the noonish meal, but still dinner), you took a nap, or did something else restful.
It was a world where most people worked one job. Where we weren’t connected 24-7. Where the things we “had to do” didn’t consume us the way they do now.
I went to a Christian college where, on Sunday afternoons, men and women were not allowed to be together on campus between 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. (if you’re judging here, you’re missing the point). It was a time for reflection and rest and for respecting the Sabbath. The students referred to this time as “Holy Split.” The college discontinued that practice not long after I graduated.
On a side note, I was in a quartet that sang about this for our freshman talent show. Guys, if you’re reading this, we need to get back together to re-record that.
The point was, setting aside time to disengage.
All of this rambling is to say that I have things to do before I can get to the beach to disengage.
Ironically, I do that at the beach by getting up well before everyone else and going to watch the sunrise. I’m okay if sometimes people want to join me. But don’t talk to me before about 9:00 a.m. Unless you’re bringing Starbucks and Duck Donuts.
But it’s there I find renewal. I find energy.
My aunt that passed away last fall told me that because my sign was Cancer that I drew my energy from the ocean. I’m not so much into astrology, but I do know that the beach is the best place for me to disengage.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the mountains where I grew up. But I was born for the beach. Something about the rhythm of the waves washes the cobwebs from my brain.
Ask me how I want to spend my retirement and I’ll tell you living at the beach, writing the next great American novel(s).
I’m not there yet. Before I get there, there’s work to be done.
But along the way, we still need to find time to disengage. To allow the energy to be renewed. To sort through all of the stuff that bombards us every day.
Then, we start all over again.