I write, speak, invest, network, and question to stimulate fruitful conversation. Let's talk about human flourishing! It begins with freedom. Holy leisure is the key to human being, freedom and generativity. Please join me in the adventure of realizing Christ!
SAW 13: Leisure vs Work
Describe the work you do.
I’m a homemaker – logistics, meals, hospitality, housekeeping, financial management, shopping, errands, transportation for a household of six. I’m a mom – raising and homeschooling and loving and conversing with and praying for the kids. I’m a blogger, writer, website manager, non-profit director, marketer, singer and speaker.
What training, credentials, ongoing investment, physical capabilities and skills does your work demand?
For most of this, the training has been on-the-job, learn as you go. I have some background in business management and non-profit organization management. I need communication skills, lots of patience, systems thinking skill, creativity and, thankfully, not a great deal of physical stamina. More than ‘skills,’ wisdom and maturity are needed. I’ve had to learn more than I ever wanted to know about using the computer, dealing with websites, social media, e-newsletters, and PowerPoint (but I’m glad I learned it!).
Does your daily work correspond to a vocation from God?
What things besides your work are parts of your identity?
My friendships and creative projects are huge aspects of the ‘whole me’. My dreams and aspirations, my songs and poetry, my ‘life narrative’ of pain, struggle, joy, defeat and triumph, also.
How do you typically spend Sundays?
- Coffee and the NYT crossword puzzle
- Loooooong nap with prayer, journaling, reading, contemplation, poetry (and some sleep!)
- Easy-going standard dinner: basically, roast chickens, potatoes, veggies
- Hanging out in family space
- Evening or night prayer
- Maybe a walk about outside if the weather is nice, during the day
Describe ‘holy leisure,’ or ‘keeping Sabbath’.
The release of acting for being acted upon, of doing for just being; of moving for being still. Holy leisure: being at home with myself because Christ is present in me. Sabbath-keeping: dropping everything possible to move toward Christ in freedom.
What ‘work’ are you doing on yourself to become more ‘you,’ or to improve ‘you’?
I’m trying to fast regularly (for weight loss and for spiritual discipline). I read a lot as intellectual work, and try to respond to whatever I read in some form. I’m trying to move out of my comfort zone and take new risks with creative challenges.
Describe how your life is ‘in balance,’ or not.
I love the balance of my life – the proportions of work and rest, alone and family and public time, creative and practical activity, sacred and secular focus. I feel a resilience in the balance – there is not one element that could suddenly throw off the whole equilibrium.
Describe how your daily work is/is not satisfying.
I love being in the flow of creative work. I enjoy the challenge of meeting new demands, and of putting my thoughts into new formats. I am sometimes daunted by a new learning curve, and feel impotent and frustrated by technological malfunctions. I do not enjoy the task of marketing my work, and find email communication unsatisfying to the extent people do not respond. I love together-time with the family, but as the kids get older, there is less and less of it. I am not as fond of managing them (Do your chores. It’s your laundry day. Get the dishes done before leaving.) as I am of just talking and laughing around the dinner table together.
What are the top 10 things you’d do if you were completely free?
If, by ‘completely free’ we mean that I have sufficient time and money, I’d:
1. Take an unhurried tour of all Gaudi’s major works
2. Get a master’s degree from the School of the Annunciation in England
3. Pull together a dream team to produce my “What About Gaudi?” exhibit
4. Have an enclosed, no-chlorine swimming pool built by my house
Well, I could go on and on with ways to spend money. But what if ‘free’ just means ‘free time’? Then I’ll:
5. Learn Spanish, French, German and Italian
6. Learn to play the piano and the cello
7. Do the collaborative creative projects I have in mind
But, again, that’s just magical thinking, as there’s much less time available than would be needed for even one language, instrument, or project. What if ‘free’ just meant ‘uninhibited’?
8. Do a public poetry recital
9. Give the archbishop a month or two of full-time work…whatever he needs done.
10. Wear crazy-fun, over-the-top clothing in public.
There! Now, what would you do?
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