Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do not disturb: I'm on retreat


I had a bit of a terse email exchange with someone yesterday because, the day before, he mentioned that my convalescence must be "like a retreat". Being that I have little else to do but parse every word that comes across my screen, I took the time to instruct him how this, while certainly a time of redemptive suffering, was most definitely NOT a retreat! How funny that he should even suggest such a thing.

Of course, this person is dear to me and the exchange was disturbing so I have been rehashing it in my brain. In hopes of learning something more than how to irrationally respond from "where I am now" and instead see it from a well-intentioned perspective, here is what I discovered :

1. Sleep - When I go on retreat I usually don't get much sleep (there is no AC and women, when gathered in a group, seem to like to chatter well into the night, thereby keeping the rest of us awake). Still, the sleep I do get is normally quite sweet. Even the few times I slept in a convent during my college days (I had a friend in formation and another who was just a nun-magnet) were some of the best nights of my life in terms of deep, peaceful rest. During the last few weeks our sleep, while not long, has been relatively undisturbed. Even the little boys who used to be up and ready to roll at 6 AM have been snoozing until at least 8. While it makes me feel slothful some days, I realize it is only a short period of time and, once past, we will likely be back to our early morning routine. Such is the blessing of home school - no bus to miss!

2. Prayer - When on retreat, I am usually up at 5 (quality not quantity of sleep!) to join the sisters for Lauds and daily Mass. There is something soooo refreshing about getting your body up soooo early just to go and pray. It always calms me. No nuns here and there is little hope of my rising at 5. Still, I have managed to get into a pre-breakfast rosary/novena routine (offered this morning for the aforementioned email sender) and that has made me look forward to the mornings - a blessing for me the, decidedly not, morning person!

3. Quiet - I can't call this house quiet, at least not between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM. Yet, there are moments during those times when I can sit upstairs, away from the chaos, and be reflective. This was something that was missing during my normal, non-cast routine. I am so grateful for these times of solitude.

4. Meals - One of the best parts of a retreat is showing up and having food ready to eat - without my having done anything! I have been so blessed in these last weeks to have had that more days than not. The ladies from a Catholic mom's group to which I belong, as well as the lovely women of our parish, have made sure that our nutritional needs are being met. The parish ladies, especially, having cooked for their kids over many years, have a keen understanding of what to serve a little person.

It seems, as often happens in my life, I am wrong after all. While this time away from my normal routine isn't always so pleasant, it is most definitely blessed. With that, my apologies to the email writer...turns out you were right in many ways. Thank you for helping me take the time to realize that even a period of challenge and suffering can be a "retreat".

I am so very blessed :0)

No comments:

Post a Comment