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Calling.

Sometimes we get called to the work we need to do, and not the work we want.

The thing that keeps me awake is that sometimes I forget to be confident that I have all the resources available to do the work.

I'm in the middle of a divorce that is painful and necessary all at once - from a good man who lives in a way I cannot anymore - with four little children, a full time job, and now, an older father to care for, who is, mercifully, moving closer to where I am.

It's a lot.

People say, "Wow. You have a lot on your plate."  My response, "Yes, but I have a lot on my plate."

Some days, I get to the stopping point and I say to myself (and the work, and the world)....enough.

I've done enough for today.  And I have to sit, and rest, and let the discipline of not-doing, of allowing myself to rest, be a living practice that I have enough, that I don't have to constantly work to keep all the plates spinning, to make sure I've done enough to earn my keep.

In my past, as recently as two years ago, I would have kept pushing through the fatigue, and overextended myself, to live my commitments, to follow through, to get it all done.

To please others, mostly, and as a way of proving my worth.

I'm better at protecting my time now, at saying "no", at articulating what I can and can't do at any given moment. What I'm still working on is limiting what I do overall: slowing down, saying yes to vastly less activity and opening up to more rest and idleness. Making time to spend in quiet.

I've needed that.

So in order to preserve the resources I need in order to do the work that really needs to get done, I have to learn to say no to more noise.  I have to ask myself, "is this mission-critical?" And if it's not, to not be afraid of saying no. It's hard to do, because I wonder if my life has slowed down permanently, if I'll ever be able to function, out there, like I used to. The thing I've learned is that I'm still a high-functioning person, but the functioning is all internal, in my house, in my family.  It's not outward-facing at all.

My life and my work has almost always been outward-facing, and it's a radical reorientation, the gazing inward.  It doesn't garner nearly the same accolades.  But it can be the sweetest thing in the world.

This Abbess has done enough today.


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