Rev. Gail marriner
UU Santa Fe Minister
As much as I enjoy putting up holiday decorations, I think I enjoy taking them down even more. After all the busy-ness of the holiday season comes the relative quiet of January. It’s like the Jewish folktale where the man complains of how crowded his house is and the rabbi keeps counseling him to bring another of his farm animals indoors – the horse and the cow, the sheep and the chickens – when he finally gets to send them back to the barn his little house feels spacious with only his wife, kids and mother in law.
I fully intended to pace myself last month. After fighting with a head cold all of November and nudging the Board and the Program Council to step back a little and observe the holidays rather than meeting just to meet, what did I do? I said “yes!” to more holiday observances than ever! I added an extra Dickens’s Christmas Carol performance, helped with our new Holiday Kid Camp, initiated a new Winter Solstice Gathering. I worked really hard at all of them and I enjoyed the high that comes with packing the days with holiday activities and then navigating the self-created obstacle course smoothly. Wheeee!
But being too busy – even with the good stuff, isn’t good for living out your values. Too much to do with too little time to do it has been documented as undermining compassion, careful thinking, kindness, joy. When I am stressed out I look for efficiencies and short cuts. I do exactly what must get done – and no more. I develop a temporary, busy-ness induced tunnel vision and things not on my list cease to exist for the duration. I am sorry about that.
Thankfully, January is just around the corner and with it a return to a relatively sane schedule with comparatively few extra obligations (just the Legislative Session and the Upstart Crows production of Merchant of Venice…) Even so, the start of a new decade is a good time to reflect on what’s important and needs attention, and what’s just busy-ness for the “buzz” of it. I wonder – could we declare 2020 the year of slow?
Blessings, Rev. Gail