Inspired by my brother Damian and by the book My Year of Living Biblically, I’ve been taking a weekly sabbath this term. I am not religious but the idea of a day in which I was not allowed to work fascinated me. It seemed like a good way to take care of myself. It has been great. It is a radical lifestyle change for me, almost shocking. I have four rules for the day:

1. No school or business related work at all.

2. No fretting.

3. No counting, timing, or keeping track of anything.

4. No planning.

It’s a work in progress. Some grey areas I’m wondering about are reading and writing. So far I haven’t been doing them, except some brainstorming… which can verge on planning, now that I think of it… well, that’s why it’s a work in progress. The key elements are that it is restful and rejuvenating, and that I only do things for the pleasure of doing them, not for some future result.

I almost called this post “My Fledgeling, Faltering Sabbath,” because after three good weeks, I worked straight through last weekend, ten hour days, just like old times, and it’s looking like I’ll do the same this weekend. I have a draft of my thesis due on Tuesday (actually it was due tomorrow, but I renegotiated) and I will need at least every coherent hour until then to pull that off. I wonder if I can get back on track. Often I find that I only stick with things as long as I have a “no exceptions” rule. “Trying to do such and such a little more” is rarely effective. And I don’t have a religious community to keep me on the straight and narrow. Hmm. It seems like breaking my sabbath to worry about my breaking my sabbath.

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