A New Foundation

“If you can’t work out what’s going on, you’re better served by building a better foundation.” -from “12 Rules to Learn to Code”

Already a month has passed since the beginning of the new year and the new decade. I am one month removed from Everything That Happened Before, one month into my new story. 

I came out of my three month sabbatical at the end of 2019, not necessarily with a Big Epiphany, or a Grand Dream, or a two-, five-, or ten-year plan. I knew going into it I shouldn’t realistically expect such things, but I also kind of hoped… for an easy answer. A clear path. An obvious open door. A neon sign or two pointing in The Right Direction wouldn’t hurt.


What I did come out with was an appreciation for the practice of sabbatical itself. Of holding the time to focus on the important over the urgent, on being over doing, on taking small steps without worrying too much about getting “there,” wherever “there” is.

If anything is clear at the beginning of Whatever Comes Next, it’s that I need to focus on building a strong foundation for my new story. A foundation rooted in the lessons and practices from my sabbatical, so that as I re-enter the working society, I continue to hold space for my self to live and grow, to “create sanctuary” in my daily and weekly routine.

One way I am aiming to do this is to reserve one day a week as a “sabbath,” a word which comes from the same root word as “sabbatical,” meaning “to rest.”

However, just as my sabbatical was not simply a vacation, my sabbath cannot be simply a day off. It needs to be an intentional, focused period of rest, incorporating the same elements as my sabbatical, into this new foundation. As A. J. Swoboda writes in Subversive Sabbath, 

“A rest is not the only thing that matters. What matters even more is the consistency and rhythm of rest that we enter into.”

What does a sabbath even look like in the 2020s? What should a sabbath look like for me? Can I even take a sabbath as a tour guide when I sometimes work literally all the time?

There are a lot of questions I’m working through, but like everything else in life, I am building this foundation one little step at a time. Always Forward.

Are you trying anything new for 2020? Do you practice sabbath, or some other form of intentional rest? …Seen any neon signs potentially leading to grand epiphanies lately? 


2 thoughts on “A New Foundation

  1. I do practice a weekly sabbath in which I try not to do anything I consider my regular work. (It’s hard!) It’s an interesting and rewarding discipline- well worth doing.

  2. Hi Janelle, I always love your blogs! What a gift you have to put feelings, thoughts & experiences into words. I do take a day a week (often Sunday but not necessarily) to intentionally rest & connect in a loving relationship (often it includes a yoga class & time out with a friend for lunch). I take 2 – 2 hours off mid work week to attend yoga class & meditate/pray every morning to start the day. This balance
    keeps me sane & grateful for all the good in Life! Big hugs & lots of love to you, Madelaine

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