Thursday, May 24, 2012

5/24/12 - Social Sabbatical


My life has changed dramatically since Dad died last September.  His death had a domino effect on my life.  For example, I began earnestly, vehemently questioning my life, my path, and my aspirations.  In Dad’s death I also found freedom and became willing to do whatever God wants me to do so that I can accomplish my dreams.  I had no idea the first step would be to create this blog – which was done after wrestling with God for answers one late night in October.  Immediately upon the creation of my blog, I found Glenn’s blog through a Yahoo! article.  Since then I seem to be travelling the transformation highway at mind-numbing, supersonic speeds.

This 7-month journey has been exhilarating and challenging, to say the least.  I balked at creating this blog and I balked at moving to this apartment. The blog turned out to be a huge blessing in my life, and I suspect the move to this apartment will follow suit.  Go figure!  God has a plan and He knows better than me.  What a concept, right?  LOL.

So, with the dust settling, my mind quieting, and my emotions healing, I have once again been ardently concentrating on turning to God for the next right step, even if that step is to do nothing.  I recently was asked by a wonderful friend to be their prayer partner.  We talk once a week by phone, do a quick catch-up, make known our requests and close with a prayer for one another.  We continue holding each other up in prayer throughout the week.  This, and getting back to my prayer and meditation time each morning, has made a huge difference in my life.

Still, I suppose it’s no surprise that moving to this apartment felt like a complete failure, a huge step backward, and ultimately at times it seemed like it might even be the end of my dreams instead of the beginning.  That thought was devastating because while I have often wondered about my decisions and my ability to pull it all off, I still have never lost the hope of accomplishing what I have come to believe are God-given dreams: to write and live life mobile in an RV.  So my fervent prayer has been to “feel” that permanent connection/oneness with God again, get back to leaving the results to Him, find my enthusiasm and gratitude again, AND be shown what to do to keep the dream alive.

Well, I got my answer(s).  And as it turns out, this apartment is right where I’m supposed to be, but there’s an addendum.  There is something else I’m to do that augments this phase of my journey, and it’s probably the hardest thing God has yet asked of me since October.  I am ecstatic about it, but for it to be successful, I have to tell people NO and set boundaries.  That has never been easy for me.   Just thinking about standing my ground on this makes my heart pound and my hands sweat.  I even get short of breath!  I will do it however, and once I get past telling people about it I will actually enjoy it and look forward to it, but I’m concerned for and about the people that may not understand.  Some may get their feelings hurt or even flat out be angry with me.  Others may even go so far as to question my sanity, but I assure you, I am okay.  Still others, like most of my wonderful readers, will intuitively get it and support me through it.

Here’s the Deal –


I am going to take a 6 month social sabbatical.

Definition –


For the next 6 months I will do nothing but work…. and write.

Should local family or friends want to see me in this 6-month period, I will meet them at a nearby restaurant for a quick meal as long as it is within 5 miles of my apartment.  AND I will do this only once a week.  Nothing else. 

I realize that it can be perceived as being selfish or self-centered.  I get that, but I am very grateful for this opportunity and it is not one I am going to pass up.  It is Inspired and is not an idea I would have come up with on my own.

God has been giving me the idea in pieces, over time.  It formalized into an action plan this week.  Some of it even stems from the stories my wonderful readers have been willing to share with me!  Thank you.

One such friend pointed out that this will take me right up to the Holidays and the timing is perfect to start the New Year.  Another has been encouraging me to say “no” for quite some time.  And a lot of you have told me to pursue my passion and do whatever makes me happy.   Well, writing makes me happy.  I’m sorry for all the celebrations, gatherings and fun I’ll miss out on this summer and fall, but outside life has to stop for awhile so that I can give my writing a chance.

This may seem extreme to some, but six months is a blink of an eye.  I actually will savor the time.  By the time I work 40 hours a week, take care of the dogs (1.5 hours minimum per day just to walk them 3-5x), maintain my household (even tho it’s a small apt. there is still cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.), there really isn’t that much time left over.  The 6 months is going to fly by and this will also allow me to cull and organize the rest of my belongings.  I have things from the move that are still in storage!

As with all God nods, this decision is surrounded by beauty and light.  There is also great peace (as long as I stay out of self-induced fear).  I don’t know what the end result will be.  I just know this is my next right step.  I look forward to sharing it with my wonderful readers as it unfolds.  And as always, I’m glad you’re here as I continue this journey to the open road while Living In Grace.

 

Note: Regular blogging to resume manana. ;)

15 comments:

  1. I support you 100%. Love you so!

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    1. Oh, Leslie - you sweet thing! We x'd in cyberspace. LOL. I just sent you an email about this post and you beat me to it with a comment. :) I love you too. Very much. xxo

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  2. You go girl! I do these from time to time myself. Every so often you need to de-clutter internally as well as externally. so long as you keep it God centered you should do fine. You'll be in my prayers. God bless. 8^)

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  3. Well, you know I'm behind you on this! True freinds in your life will understand your decision, the rest you can truly live without. When I went and started my "sabbattical" and moved into a cargo trailer from a 4 BR house, some people looked at me as if I had 3 heads and a tail!! My sabbattical has evolved into a continuing journey, and with each day that passes I KNOW I did the right thing----for ME!

    That moment will come for you too!

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    1. You don't have 3 heads and a tail? Dang, I'm disappointed!

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    2. @ John - yes, I know I have your support and it means the world to me. Thank you for the encouraging talks and for helping me keep my dream alive! I also know you love the mobile life and I am glad you are happy. That's all that matters. :)

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  4. Debra my sweet friend, this is along the lines I was telling you I wanted to see, you following your passion !!! I will be one of those people that will have to give up seeing you the way that I wanted BUT your following your dream and I couldn't be happier.I'm so glad you decided to follow God's plan for you and your true love.
    You'll do great, I just know it !!
    Love ya my sweet friend and keep britening up those rooms with that smile <3

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    1. @ Don - ahhhhh, thank you my friend! Will do! :0

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  5. so does this mean no more blogging? is this our last post until the new year? good luck and write lots of cool things.

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    1. @ Sandra - oh no, I did not mean to insinuate that at all! This blog was the pivotal point for all these changes and it keeps me accountable. Plus it brought such wonderful people into my life - like you! Nope, not giving it up. :)

      I sure hope I write a LOT, and it would be really great if any of it is considered "cool". LOL. Am looking forward to reading your blog this weekend. Love and hugZ to you and yours.

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  6. Awww Debra, and just when I was going to ask you to drive half way across the country just to bring me a slushie :P

    I'm sooooo happy that you're jumping on the NO train! Call me whenever you need the practice and you can shout NO NO NO in my ear. I'll double-NO ya and we'll both get a good laugh out of it :D

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    1. @ Maria - a slushie? Now if you had made it a triple chocolate shake we may have had a deal. LOL. Also, does a double-NO make a positive-yes? You're so funny. HugZ! :)

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  7. My first thought was the same as Sandra's wondering if you were going to continue to blog. I'm glad to see you are :)
    Best of luck with your plans.

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    1. @ Ann - I'm so sorry. Should have made that clear-erer. ;) A friend just told me about a workcamping gig in the Cumberlands. I am going to look again but I think I remember you posting some beautiful pictures from that area on your blog. Wouldn't it be great if I make it out your way one day? But 1st, the next 6 months. :)

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