Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bulletin From Sabbatical

As the winter solstice came and went I found my resistance to posting on this blog, which had been growing through the summer and fall, impossible to overcome.  I'd been writing here for seven years,  and my blogging well had run dry.  It was time to let it replenish. 

We spent ten years in a house with a recalcitrant water well, and I learned the hard way to pay attention to its moods and its periodic needs for rest and recuperation.  No matter how high the pile of dirty laundry, if the water level was low there was nothing to do but wait for it to slowly rise again.

So after New Year's I decided to give myself a sabbatical.

It's not just the seven years of posting that finally got to me.  Our move to Wake Robin last summer, followed by my daughter's cancer diagnosis, had discombobulated me at a deeper level than I realized.  Thankfully, my daughter is doing very well, which means that we are slowly beginning to breathe again.  The move to Wake Robin feels like the right decision, but it has made a radical change in how we live, and that brings with it its own quandaries and dilemmas.

Why is it, for example, that now that I no longer keep chickens or grow vegetables or cook or shop for groceries (or post on my blog) I seem to have less time than ever?  Maybe it's because the chickens and the gardening, etc. have been replaced by other stuff that I cannot resist, such as:

--A surprisingly demanding yoga class twice a week
--Weekly visits with Bisou to the residents of Wake Robin's nursing facility
--Daily recorder practice, and duets with my recorder buddies once or twice weekly
--Dinner with fellow residents three or four times a week (optional, but fun)
--Daily dog walks (not optional)
--Daily walks to the community center for meals and classes (2/3 mile round trip) often in a sub-zero gale
--English country dancing once a week
--Ditto ballroom dancing...

For a former hermit, let alone a hermit with CFS, this is a major shift in activity level.  You should know that, compared with my fellow residents, who hike, snowshoe, ski, garden, maintain the community trails, sing, serve on committees, make maple syrup (locally known as "sugaring"), and practically run the place, I am the very soul of sloth.  But one does what one can.

Sometimes, when things get quiet, I hear a faraway tinkling, as of water falling drop by drop into the depths of my writing well.  There's not enough to run a load of laundry yet, but there may well be by sugaring time.