The Challenge of Being Unscheduled

The third day of my Sabbatical, I lost the watch that my grandparents gave me on June 2, 1982, for my High School graduation. I thought I might have left it in a locker at the Y the day before. No one had turned it in at the desk at the Y, so I kept looking. I found it later in the day in my dresser, exactly where I had left it. I also lost my debit card. Later, I found it tucked into my checkbook, again exactly where I had left it. At the end of the day, I lost part of my iPad charger. After much searching, I found it under the passenger seat in my car. I had put it on the seat in the car – it took the better part of an hour to find exactly where it had migrated.

The next day, I sort of lost one of my sons. I was supposed to pick up my two older sons from school. I picked up one of them, but forgot that I was supposed to pick up the other. He waited patiently until my wife noticed he was missing and went back to school to get him, 45 minutes later. Later that night, I temporarily lost my cellphone.

I am not normally a person who loses quite so many things. Fortunately, I recovered everything I lost, but something is clearly going on with my mind and I know what it is. It’s the Sabbatical.

Normally, my time is relatively scheduled. Even when I have unscheduled time, I have a defined list of things that I need to do to prepare for classes and meetings or finish bulletin or Mlive articles. Suddenly, I am temporarily free from my synagogue responsibilities and in order for Sabbatical time to work properly, I need to let myself drift a bit. The lack of order in my life is expressing itself by a lack of order in my mind. I know from past experience that in order to let myself explore new things in a completely new way (part of the purpose of Sabbatical time), I need to give myself the unstructured time. Eventually, I will start on some reading and writing projects and a direction will present itself, and my time, although still my own, will fall into a less chaotic pattern.

Meanwhile, I am focusing on self care – exercising and strength training at the Y – and taking care of some long overdue projects at home. I am also trying harder to keep my things – and my children – organized.

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