Monday, December 4, 2017

The warm-up post and the sabbatical

(This should be sub-titled: What you can write because no one is reading!)

It is far easier to think up a blog project or blogpact than to keep up the writing. Obviously. Writing for one's own blog is like exercising--it only really is for oneself, so how important can it possibly be? If you don't do it, no one cares. A couple of people may care that you don't exercise but that you are not writing--absolutely no one cares.

To me, not writing is like losing sight of a lifeline in a large ocean of infinite responsibility and duty. This is about the only thing I do that is for me. Everything else I do because I am supposed to, because it is an obligation, because it is my responsibility, because it is my duty. If I don't, who will. But with writing, if I don't, who cares? Well, I do. And this is the one thing I really try to keep up in order to remember that I am alive.

But the press of those responsibilities and the growing limitations of my body mean that if I miss a certain window in the day, I simply cannot make the time to write. The demands of the day have consumed me whole.

More frightening is to discover when you do fight your way through the jungle of everyone's needs and sit down to write, only to find you have not a thought in your head. You are so weary that every thought or idea has been sucked out, feels stale... you are not really living but simply putting one foot before the other, minute to minute.

And so yesterday, I dragged my body to an event, praying fervently that my mind would keep up. It managed. But I was struck by how difficult it all felt and started talking about taking a break. It feels do-or-die at this point. But I cannot go away, and unless I do, I cannot detach from all the demands--the one urgent question that becomes a one-hour discussion, the cheques that I must sign--the document that must be read... I am stuck.

But I must find a way to truly detach, especially from the work of the NGO, which is now becoming unbearably overwhelming. My great failure is not to be able to walk away at ten, not because I don't want to but because I have not raised enough money to hire enough full-time staff with a professional leader that can manage everything.

So the challenge this morning is not just to catch up on those SIX blogposts I should have written on schedule, but also to find a way to come unstuck and free myself so I can do the things that will help me reclaim my time and space for work that I love.

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