Staring into Space

Once when I was in seventh grade Spanish class, I heard my teacher calling my name, looking at me with a worried expression. I looked around and noticed that everyone but me had cleared their desks and were clutching their pens expectantly. Obviously the teacher had just given them instructions to prepare for a quiz, but I hadn’t heard a word she’d said. I have no idea how I could have failed to hear her instructions. I felt confused and embarrassed that my desk was piled high with books with me in my own little world.

After class she pulled me into the hall and asked, “Are you OK? Are you feeling all right?” I felt fine… didn’t I? I started to wonder. I’m rather introverted, so I can tune people out pretty well, but I’d never been so out of it in class before. I must have really been on overload.

I felt that same discombobulation this afternoon when a text message dinged: “I was asked to check on you to see if you are still on your way to clergy group.” I received this message while sitting in my chair upstairs at home, working one some church stuff, oblivious to the time. And the day, for that matter, and this meeting… that’s every month, after all. Oops.

I’d looked at the calendar earlier this week, knew this meeting was coming—had even received a reminder notice from one of the facilitators. With all those redundancies in the organizational system, there’s no reason why it would have flown out of my mind like it did. It feels a little like a deliberate sabotage on the part of my brain. Ooh, I know what’ll get her attention!

This year the DC area has been in a “snow bubble”; we’ve gotten very little as people around us get socked. I’ve been feeling cheated. Some folks think that’s crazy of me, and have offered to let me shovel their driveways. OK, that part’s not great. But as my friend Liz wrote on Facebook, “I wonder if snow days are God’s way of saying, ‘If you won’t take a Sabbath for yourself I’m going to enforce one with this cold manna-type stuff. Have some cocoa and relax, will ya?'”

I actually take Sabbath regularly—every week, in fact. But I still reach the saturation point sometimes. I didn’t think I was there, but a part of me apparently feels differently.

I think I’ll sign off and make some cocoa.

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4 thoughts on “Staring into Space

  1. marciglass says:

    I sympathize. I missed a conference call this week. And even though I took a Sabbath day Monday (a very restful and good day), I need another one ASAP.
    Maybe there is something in the barometric pressure, but the drama! Oh the drama.
    Calgon, take me away.

    Enjoy your cocoa!

  2. […] do a lot of activities that I was hoping to get accomplished during this snow break.  Maybe, as a friend and colleague noted, its God’s way of forcing me to take a Sabbath and do mostly nothing. No agenda. No […]

  3. Mamala says:

    Didn’t you say you’d had the 3 amigos non-stop since last Thursday? I’d say 1. you were on overload and 2. I’m glad you opted for the cup of cocoa instead of the clergy meeting.

    • MaryAnn says:

      Not all of them the whole time, but at least one of them pretty much the whole time, and two of them were ill.

      I think what I’m noticing about this experience is that this didn’t happen while I was in the midst of the craziness (though I did have plenty of “Calgon take me away” moments). Rather I had this mental lapse after everyone was better and after everyone was happily back to school. On the one hand this makes sense—I didn’t really have the luxury to let it all go until they were back to their routine. On the other hand, it felt redundant, or late. I was already feeling more restful; did I really need that message? Anyway… still thinking about it.

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