Tuesday, June 16, 2015

jobs, work, and volunteering

Since I retired, I have had some difficulty deciding how to spend my time. I find something I think I love and then, it starts to feel like work and I don't enjoy it so much.

I started at River Rock the day after I retired. That was great fun for a while but after a while, it became overwhelming. There was too much to do, too much to learn, too many responsibilities. I left when I was diagnosed with cancer and never went back.

I volunteer at the historical society and I enjoy that a lot but the pressures of promoting their events is starting to wear on me. I woke up at 3 am, worried that I had forgotten something and sure enough I had. Sigh.

I work at Lone Star and always enjoy once I am there but the idea of having to go somewhere and miss things I would like to do gets old. I told Mary one day I might be getting close to too old to work that hard. Sigh. Maybe I am just lazy.

I've been very productive in the past few months, even at that. New door installed, new driveway, garden is in great shape, read many books, trying to learn about dragonflies and photography, cooked a ton of rhubarb, started working with a trainer, had a bunch of fun.

I read an article this week called The Disease of Being Busy by Omid Safi. This is one of my favorite parts:

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is yourhaal? 
What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know. 
I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul. 
Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence. 
Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.
And this sweet ending:
I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing? I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the state of my heart. 
How is the state of your heart today? 
Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.” 
Seems like a good goal. Be less busy.

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