Wednesdays are my Sabbath days. This is a rhythm that learned from my family, that we would practice together. The day of the week changed with the seasons, and sometimes it was just a half day, or a few hours, but we would set aside time to rest. The guiding principle for this day that my parents passed on to me is this: do what brings life.
Today, Wednesdays are an oasis in the middle of my week. I don’t do any work, and the people in my life know that I spend the day resting. Some weeks I come to Sabbath broken and tired, in need of a good night’s sleep and a day in bed. Other days, I arrive energized and have time and peace to create and process. I try not to make too many rules for myself, and abandon the lie of constant productivity.
Today I awoke tired, and with a headache. I turned my phone to do-not-disturb, and didn’t check my email. After breakfast and tea in bed, with a silly show, I moved around a bit. My head (and space) felt cluttered. When I feel this way on Sabbath, I try to listen to my body, to not force anything, to do what feels good and right and life-giving. So today, I did some laundry. I changed the sheets. I replanted plants.
I don’t always do chores on Sabbath, but when I do, I do them because I want to. I use the physical clearing and cleaning to open up space in my crowded and cluttered mind. Often, I’ll water my plants, and enjoy their growth and green.
I need Sabbath in my life because I would go, go, go, go, go, go…. and forget to stop and rest. When I’m stressed, I forget about my body and pain and balance and slowing down. Having a weekly practice like this helps me to stay grounded. It brings me face to face with efficiency, my sense of urgency, and compulsive productivity that I let rule my life.
Wednesdays give me space to breathe, space that reaches beyond hump day into the cracks and in-betweens of the rest of my week. Pausing in such a radical way and doing only what brings life grounds me on my journey to a simpler, more honest, more aware, more intentional life.
So, as I come to the end of my third cup of tea in my favorite yellow mug, perhaps I’ll fold some laundry. Or watch Gilmore Girls for the afternoon. Or listen to my novel. Or go on a little adventure. Maybe I’ll color in my ocean coloring book, or look out my studio window for a while. I might make banana muffins, or play panda pop on my phone. I welcome the day without hurry or rush, and take a deep breath.