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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Those lazy, hazy days of Christmas by Janey Clamp

There's a certain amount of irony regarding my blog this month. I had the topic already planned, looked ahead to the week it would fall in, and felt confident as I prepared. However, I got in from work today absolutely pooped, glanced at the diary and saw with dismay that I had lost a day and now this is being written the night before it's due. And the theme, dear reader, is "rest."

You see, over the Christmas period when the days felt longer and in every way better, I felt I could conquer the world - admittedly only from the comfort of my armchair. I was in control of the things in my life. Little jobs that had been on my mental to-do list were now finally getting done. (Setting the measurements on my dressmaker's mannequin was one, if you want to know.) Friends were being offered hospitality instead of apology. I still wasn't sleeping particularly well, but what did it matter if I didn't get dressed until mid-morning? I was on holiday! I was rested! I could accomplish amazing things in 2017! I will get a book published! Maybe two!

Then, on January 3rd, I went back to work. Within hours I was tired. 2017 felt an awful lot of time to fill - time I hadn't got the energy for. In the evening I looked across at dear Mr C and he looked a craggier version of the way I felt. All that lovely holiday restedness had gone.

I'm afraid I'm not going to dress this up with some wonderful theological gem about resting in the Lord and the Sabbath and all those other truths that could make a difference and sometimes really do. I just want to be honest with you and, in being so, perhaps you might find honesty within yourself in response. Life is hard work, whether you have a job or not. The daily grind seems to apply to our bodies and souls rather than the original context of wheat becoming flour. Those moments when the burden is lifted - in my case, that utterly joyous moment when you look in the fridge and realise that at this rate you won't have to cook again until at least mid-February - and we have time and capacity to dream are to be cherished highly.

I'm so grateful for the time I was able to rest this holiday. I mourn its passing. I feel the poorer for it having gone. I know it shouldn't be like that, and I hope it won't always be. But for now, I shall look for resting places within the busyness. I shall find ten minutes to read or write. I shall savour that cup of coffee. I'll enjoy that hug. And I shall count down the days until the next oasis.





Jane Clamp is Creative Writer on the Sunday Breakfast Show of BBC Radio Norfolk and on the Thought of the Day team at Premier Radio. She is ACW Groups' Coordinator.

10 comments:

  1. Reading this in my first quiet hour of the first day that the children have gone back to school, I can understand it in a sort of upside-down way! I've been finding that I can't take Sabbath from everything at once. Sabbath from work (and writing) means harder work in the house and with the family, while Sabbath from children means time to write and maybe even to dream. I'll take this article as a reminder to be grateful for whichever thing I'm able to rest from at the time!

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    1. That's an interesting thought, Amy, that rest in one area produces effort in another. Thanks for reading. I expect you'll be "watching this space" to see if my work/life balance gets any better!

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  2. I wound down so much over Christmas that I began to feel slothful and guilty. It's back to dropping kids off this morning and an early morning dog walk rather than a lazy start. I feel so much better. There's a time to rest and a time to work. It's about getting the balance right and finding God in both.

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    1. Yes, balance is absolutely the key and not one I'm too great at achieving. I do sense God's presence in every situation. How precious it is!
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  3. Ooooh Janey, can so identify here.... I too felt I could conquer 2017 from the depths of an armchair (actually from the comfort of a hotel room where I had 3 wonderful days of R&R). Life hasn't completely started to kick in just yet but even while I'm rejoicing that I've managed to stick to my New Year's aims on my two work days this week, I'm wondering if I'll be able to keep it up.

    Looking forward to our joint oasis at Scargill in June...! x

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    1. Hotel sounds nice! Looking forward to Scargill, too. Let's see if anything has changed for us by then!

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  4. My R&R came to an abrupt halt with one of my daughters being rushed into hospital bu, like you, I am appreciating the occasional quiet 10 minutes. So thank you for this post.

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    1. Sorry to hear that, Angela. Hope she is on the mend and life is calming down? Thanks for reading, and for all the ways you support me x

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  5. I know how you feel! Three days back at work, and I'm cream-crackered! Counting down to half-term now...

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    1. Yep! Always the countdown!
      See you soon x

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