Thursday, February 10, 2011

On a Break

Last Sunday concluded a five week break I took from my weekly gig of singing at a church here in Chicago. I've been singing there for six years and due to life just feeling like a lot, I decided there was need in the new year to take a break from the obligation. A solid time away of doing whatever I wanted to do, whether that meant not getting up or traveling across the country, I did it. I was so fortunate to be granted the opportunity and for that I am extremely grateful.

It has been a really good five weeks. I was able to go to Arizona, and Indiana. I was able to not do anything and also check out another church. I was also able to go to brunch... something I do love to do, but hadn't done much of in the last years. There is something about a good Sunday brunch where you sit for longer than you should and eat more than you should. Talking about the weekend at hand and the week to come. Assessing successes and lamenting failures. For some reason, that meal is different from the rest and I'm thankful for having the opportunity to enjoy it, particular this last Sunday in the midst of the snow.

My take away from this break is more than an appreciation for brunch (thank God!) but, I think these reflections about brunch are a little part of a bigger feeling about my time off. I know, that it is important to remove ourselves from certain obligations periodically to understand where they sit in our lives. But, saying it and doing it are two very different things. It actually caused me a bit of turmoil to consider removing myself from something I always do and something I like to do! But, I felt overwhelmed. The last year was very difficult in a lot of ways and sometimes when things get hard I'm not the type of person who can just throw themselves into work. It's more the opposite, in that I just shut down. I felt myself shutting down. I needed a break.

So, I took one. I'm so glad I did!

In fact, I feel excited to return!

There are certain things we can't take breaks from and certain things we shouldn't, but in this instance I know I did the right thing and as predicted, it has flown by.

I keep thinking about how there are certain ways in which we find validation throughout the week. Whether through loved ones, work, creating art or working out (I don't relate to the last...) we seek to feel affirmed as a person who has or is or does this. I've missed that in being absent from my Sunday gig. I miss the affirmation as a singer. As one who leads people in song. As one who has something to share and offer and give musically. As much as I love brunch, I'm not doing a lot of leading in song at brunch!

All this to say, if you can, give yourself a break. Step away. I bet that after, you'll know more clearly whether you want to go back or not.

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