Last week, I caught myself saying, "It's been a bad week." This wasn't at all true, though. I had one bad day last week. Just one. It was a doozy, but it was only one day. The rest of the days were pretty good, if not great. Why did I keep saying it was a bad week?
It's easy to let the dark moments overtake the good times. It's too easy to let one bad day - or one bad moment - corrupt the days around it. I had to keep reminding myself that every time I did that, I gave that one day way too much power.
I mentioned on Tuesday that I spent a recent Saturday at a Sabbath event. The point of the day was to rest and to reconnect with ourselves and with God. And I did that, not by engaging in the wonderful experiences the planners spent weeks designing but by curling up in a chair and writing, writing, writing. It was something I easily could have done at home. But I wouldn't have. I hadn't. I needed to put the time in my schedule. I needed to set aside the time and walk away from my to do lists in order to do something my soul desperately needed.
In the course of my writing, writing, writing, I realized something about this year - this crummy, sad, grief- and stress-filled year.
It hasn't all been bad. Yes, the bad parts have been deeply disturbing. But there have been a lot of great moments in there, too. I started to think of those great moments as "Sabbath." This fall I started a job that has kept me running harder than I have for a job in a very long time. And I have loved it more than anything I have ever done in my life. This job is an emotional Sabbath from the grief of this year.
Every December I put together a huge poster of pictures from the year. I have it printed up with the year and then "A Year to Remember." I've had a hard time thinking very positively about that poster for this year. 2011 will always be the year of 3 major family deaths in 9 months. How could I possibly find 10 pictures to celebrate this year, much less 30?
But there is plenty to celebrate this year. Plenty of joys to off-set the pain. I'm trying to see those moments as gifts from the Lord. Times of rest to help me reflect, recharge and refocus before dealing with whatever comes next. I am so thankful for that gift of Sabbath.