Hello all! It’s been a while since I’ve written, and I still have some things about personal soul care that I want to share as I go through the journey of what it means for me to care for myself in the midst of the adventures that come with home life, seminary, and ministry. I by no means have this down to a science or can say I do this well for myself all of the time. The reason I am a few weeks behind in posting is for this very reason. Some added responsibilities for school came up, Holy Week activities were approaching, and home life got interesting as my car got side-swiped on the way to class on the highway. It felt that my trying to add strain to my schedule to write about self-care seemed a little inappropriate. But, there were meaningful things in all of these stories that came together to create the adventures of recent weeks, culminating in me writing here from lovely San Francisco tagging along while my hubby is here for business. I’m a Boston girl through and through, but I think I could fit in well with the groove of Northern Cali. So- here are three adventures that have kept me from my blog, but aided me in thoughts about self-care in the process.
Home/Friends/Family: On my way to class about 2 weeks ago now, out of nowhere I hear and feel a jolt to my passenger side blind spot. A car had accidentally drifted into me and my lane headed towards the city. Mind you it’s rush hour, and in the Boston area we have the joy of what’s called “active breakdown lanes” to accommodate rush hour traffic. It’s brutal. Nobody was hurt, cars were drivable, and no cops were involved. I was impressed with the speed at which both insurance agencies got to work, but still, it’s a lot of phone calls and paperwork, and time to drop cars off, deal with rentals, etc. I could have tried to go to school, and keep up with a busy schedule, but I knew that I needed to take my time and not stress myself out too much in this process. Besides, one of my best friends was going to be in town and staying at our place for the weekend, so I took some time to make sure things were extra nice for her arrival. I was able to see through the hassle of this to see the blessings, because I allowed myself the time to do so. I was so blessed that everyone was safe, that the other driver had insurance, and that I lived so close to the resources I needed to deal with this incident. I also had a chance to reconnect with a friend and spend time with her like I hadn’t in a few years. Normally, I would have let a situation of getting the house ready for company and dealing with this spin me into a giant storm of stress and drama. Not to say that I was at a zero in these areas, but it was lower than if I were to deal with something like this a year ago.
Seminary: Well, I had a paper due the Wednesday of Holy Week, and was wise enough to see my schedule for the week ahead and know I had to have this paper mostly finished BEFORE Tuesday. I had a date set with Tim to finally enjoy our Christmas present tickets to see Sigur Ros. I didn’t want to be too stressed so I could enjoy the show. While I had a bit of work still to do the Wednesday the paper was due, this was a rare moment where I did most of the work far enough in advance so that it wouldn’t be the normal crunch I normally write my papers in. (I’ve always used the excuse that I write better under pressure, but maybe I was wrong all these years…) Needless to say, dealing with school differently allowed me to enjoy an amazing night with Tim, and a concert like no other. My school stresses didn’t end there however, as I found out that my Comprehensive Exam required to receive my degree was going to be sooner than thought- so I was also trying to review years of study to compile an overview, highlights, and a bibliography of influential texts for my advisors. The “exam” part really comes through the process of putting together and submitting these sources, which has its culmination with an interview with two professors. While it was a ton of work, the process of digging through the past four years of studies (it’s a two-year program, but took the part-time “contemplative” pace) was in fact a very rewarding challenge. I was able to see all the puzzle pieces that made up my time in Seminary, and I was glad for all that I have experienced over these years. And, with pushing up this exam date, I can now say that very little stands between me and graduation in just over a month!
Ministry: Well, Holy Week is always crazy in the life of church ministry. It was very rewarding to be part of a new church community as we went through this week together. I was blessed to be able to have some great conversations, experiences, and meet some new families. The joys of Easter Sunday were such a blessing, that despite all of the work that had to go into this week, it was worth every second!
So while I took a break from writing about self-care, I figured it was silly to try to stay up late writing about things that I wasn’t taking time to do for myself. I had some great opportunities for personal worship with the beloved community of Boston University School of Theology, I was able to take time to practice yoga in class, and on my own, and was able to have enriching times with family and friends, even in the midst of these crazy two weeks, and I am all the more enriched because of this! So while I have a long way to go, I am certainly trying to “practice what I post”.