In Sister Joan Chittister’s book, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily, there is a chapter entitled “Holy Leisure: the Key to a Good Life.” I opened to it today in search of some good thoughts about foolishness or what it means to be a “holy fool,” since today is April Fool’s Day. What I found lurking under all her words was Sister Joan’s deep understanding of balance, the mainstay of St. Benedict’s rule of life.
What I have heard most often in conversations over the past month is a determination to get rid of clutter and bring some order to life because of the necessity of staying home, i.e. not going to work. This is—especially for people like me who seem to get less organized with age—what seems to be a golden opportunity because of having more time with less to do. What I find, however, is that the days are passing and my achievements are not commensurate with the number of days that are already gone from me without any success to show for the time spent.
My conclusion is that perhaps my understanding of “balance” is rather skewed. How to get to balance might entail freeing myself from guilt about not achieving what I plan for a day but planning differently. What is it that would qualify as “leisure” nowadays? I can’t go to the movies or to a concert but maybe a TV movie in the middle of the afternoon with my housemates would be allowed. Or maybe I could put on earphones and listen to the “ONE” CD of all the #1 songs of the BEATLES, even occasionally singing out loud or dancing along with Paul, the best of all Beatles.
What would call you out of this distressing time we are living in and raise your spirits? Spending a couple of hours doing whatever it is might be just the thing to make the rest of the day worth the time and even worthy of the designation “holy.”