Observing the Sabbath

Soldier Boy and I are very motivated people when it comes to the cabin.  We are far better at imagining upgrades, finding materials and putting it all together for the cabin than for the house.  When we are at the cabin, there is always something to do.  Always something we can do better.  Everything we do is a learning experience.  It’s messy.  It’s exciting.  It’s extremely rewarding.

And it’s exhausting.

Too many times we have started the week on Monday needing another weekend.  Too many times we have backed out of the laneway, whispered goodbye to the cabin and then lamented the things we didn’t get to do.  Like kayaking.  Or reading.  Or getting started on that letter to my dear friend in another province.  What’s the point of this charming little haven in the woods if we aren’t going to just sit and relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that surrounds it?  If we don’t ever stop working?  If we don’t ever stop to listen to the music of the wildlife or to see the wildflowers bloom?  If we don’t stop just to have a conversation with each other about nothing in particular and reconnect after a long and busy week?

So, last weekend, after another weekend spent in perpetual work mode, we had to lay down the law.  We invoked an ancient ritual and set it in stone.  Hear ye!  Hear ye!  From this day forward, Sunday will be a day of REST!

You know how it is.  There’s ALWAYS some to be done.  Even if it isn’t major, there’s always some thing to build or tear down, there’s a new skill to be learned or something to be redone because we didn’t get it quite right the first time.  But no more on Sundays!

I will read and write and play the guitar! I will take the dogs on long walks through the woods and then nap in the hammock! I will swim and snack and kayak!  I will wander around with my camera!  I will enlist the boys to play a game of Sewer or a game of cards if it’s raining.  We will enjoy a campfire and some drinks and finally, go to bed rested and filled with joy.

It will be hard at first to settle into the idea of not working.  We live in a workaholic culture.  I will continually have to ask myself if what I want to do should be considered work.  For example, is dusting work? For me, this is acceptable Sunday work since it takes all of five minutes to dust the entire cabin.  Is planting flowers work? It’s enjoyable so it’s acceptable too.  How about installing the new Lifestraw water-filtering system?  Well, we’re getting kind of low on clean water so again, I’m going to say that’s fine. 

But no building, no installing or assembling.  No demolishing or heavy lifting.  No leaving the property to buy tools or supplies unless it’s food, wine or other fun things. No painting. No major reorganizing.  I think you get the idea. 

So today marks the first Sabbath.  The first official day of rest at the cabin.   The first day I get to completely ignore all the things that “need” to get done and just focus on doing all the things that really should get done instead – relaxing, laughing, re-energizing, re-connecting with friends and family and creating fun stories and incredible memories.

You should too.



2 thoughts on “Observing the Sabbath

  1. My wife and I had to issue the same decree. I was going nuts working and never enjoying the lifestyle we were creating. It took us two years to hike the state land 5 minutes from our home, three years to realize that we also needed a vacation, four years to get our sailboat on the lake, and five years to take a bike ride on the paths in town. We have scheduled Sundays and Mondays as our weekends this summer and are taking the days off to enjoy family and the world around us.


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