Well, it’s almost over. My extended sabbatical has permitted me to find that elusive calmness and peace that comes when we are alone with our thoughts and at one with our universe. I have spoken little in these three days. To my husband and daughter yes, of course, but only to a select few. I have tried to regain as much as possible my own vision of the world. As I edited and worked on my book, I became lost in my characters and their dramas. I am elated that I was a grown up and actually got 150 pages edited. I am well on my way to the completion of this task. I also have felt my creativity bubble to the surface like steam emerging from a tea kettle.
This ability to be alone, which I truly was afraid I had lost, came back to me in full force on this sabbatical. I have been alone before in the last 16 years of marriage, but always for a “reason”. I was going to a conference, or to visit my parents or some other “reason”. This is truly the first time in 16 years of marriage that I have had the courage or the opportunity to just take a “time out”. To focus on a personal project that I knew I needed space and time to concentrate on. I was single for 20 years before my marriage. I remember all too well my “alone time”. I learned to be happy on my own, although I longed always to find my “mate” and have a child. Life is about balance, and it is also about being happy with one’s self. No one, as they often tell you, can make you happy. You must find the joy that comes from inside of you. These past three days people watching and observing, alone in the restaurant booth, reading my book or just gazing and not talking, I found joy. Alone in my hotel room, with CNN on mute, my laptop blaring an old funny movie or t.v. show that I had transferred to an external hard drive, and my other laptop open to my writing and editing, I found joy. I found her where she had always been. Inside me.
Tomorrow I go home. My joy is there too. My beautiful and talented daughter and my incredibly loving and supportive husband. My sabbatical had nothing to do with them. But in the end, it was for them. When I finally checked my email, one of my daily reminders seemed appropriate
And that, dear friends, is probably the most important thing I have done during this time. The Strike is over. Everyone can now get back to work.