After the Whirlwind

Sunday was one of the more unusual days of my life.

It started with a triathlon with my dear dance mom friends.

And it ended in South Hadley, MA, where I'm spending the week at the Glen East Workshop, taking a sermon-writing class with Lauren Winner. Debbie Blue is the chaplain, preaching at the evening worship services. And Over the Rhine are the resident songwriting instructors, and will be giving a concert on Saturday night. When I got to my room after the long journey from Chicagoland to New England, this poem was on my pillow.

Can I just say that while I felt remarkably well-rounded on Sunday, and marveled at the novelty of having been passed by lickety-split bicyclists on the racecourse in the morning and by Linford Detweiler at the wine and cheese reception in the evening, the whole day also made me feel pretty tired.

Was I really surprised that I felt tired? No, not really. But I didn't just feel physically fatigued. I felt drained, worn out. One of my mother's oft-repeated refrains is "Don't overdo it," and I totally overdid it.

I also felt guilty. Because if I overdid it on Sunday, you can only imagine how my dearly beloved family might have felt. Ben, who also cares for the children all day almost every day, has been waking up early with the girls while I train. They schlepped over to Naperville at the crack of dawn to cheer me on, not just at the start and finish but after the swim and bike, too. They were nearly as tired as I was by the time we got back to the car; Ben yawned the whole way home, and the girls passed out in the backseat. After a brief interlude in which I cleaned up, reheated leftovers for lunch, and grabbed my second set of packed bags, we headed off to the airport. Now I'm here and they are there and I miss them and they miss me. 

I am so very grateful for my family's support, and for the opportunity to be here. I'm thoroughly enjoying the week, despite my weariness. 

But maybe I've been "leaning in" too hard, and am in danger of tipping over. 

I do work fairly diligently, if not with the most regular of hours (the flexibility of this vocation never ceases to delight me). And in addition to taking my pastoral responsibilities seriously and continuing my education like nobody's business, I'm still plugging away at this dual vocation of writing, and nurturing friendships that mean a great deal to me, and taking on time-consuming hobbies. Like, for instance, training for a half marathon this autumn. (More on that soon.)

I haven't exactly been neglecting my family. We had a couple of weekends recently wherein we more or less circled the wagons and spent really quality time together in an intentional and lovely way. And I do my fair share of the household chores, including serving as the primary cook. 

Maybe I just need a restoration of Sabbath, or even a sabbatical from so much icing, regardless of how much I enjoy layering it on. 

Must I always do so much? 

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