Unproductive Mondays

One of those quirky things about church work is that Sunday is a workday, and so you choose a weekday to be your day off. Nearly everyone in the office takes Mondays off, but it's better for me (at least at this stage in the game) to take Fridays off. This means that Mondays are quiet around here. Seriously quiet. Crickets-chirping quiet. Eventually, Mondays are going to turn into days where I can be productive, without much in the way of interruptions. But seeing as I'm still new around here, and seeing as it's summer, and seeing as VBS just ended last week, today is not only quiet, but empty. I have very little in the way of explicit tasks to accomplish. So I've been doing some initial musings on the texts for Sunday, in preparation for writing my sermon, and I've done some reading. But I have also stared wistfully out my window at the sun and the blue sky, and wished that I had an excuse to get out of the office for a while, despite knowing that the heat and humidity would drive me back indoors (my office or otherwise) within a matter of minutes.

The slow pace of today also means that my mind has been wandering all over the place:

I'm in the market for a bike, and have done some investigating as far as brands and models go. Three things have come out of this process: first, that I have high hopes for riding my bike everywhere all the time once I get one; second, that I know next to nothing about bikes, but think that I could do well with the Kona Smoke, the Specialized Ariel or Crosstrail, or the Trek 7100 WSD; third, that even the low end of nice bikes exceeds my price range, which is a severe bummer.

In my summer-induced desire to become outdoorsy and adventurous, I want to go camping. Even though I've never been camping and have no idea what I'm doing. I also want to bike and run and take evening walks and go swimming. Lots.

It's been far too long since I've had time to really cook something for dinner; something real and tasty and nutritious. I'm sad that I have an evening meeting tonight, which means that I can't cook. Perhaps tomorrow. In the same vein, I would really love to throw a dinner party sometime in the near future. Something formal enough to feel like a real event, but 100% casual. (If that makes any sense).

I have a brand new library card that is burning a hole in my wallet. I can't believe I've had it for a week and haven't gotten around to using it!

I'm still figuring out how to deal with odd-houred workdays and how to take advantage of my inconsistent, strange, and even inconvenient blocks of free time.

So...anyone out there have any advice as far as navigating the world of inconsistent hours? Or as far as buying a bike? Or even as far as a good dinner-party menu, should I ever get around to throwing one?

1 comment:

  1. There are going to be times and seasons when you will be so busy as a pastor that you'll wonder how you ever wondered what to do with your time. So, at these slow times I'd suggest you just take it easy.

    We pastors have some flexibility with our workdays. When you become a parent it means that you might be able to attend school functions that other parents who punch a clock can't do. When it's a beautiful day and you have no looming deadlines and no scheduled meetings, go for a walk or a bike ride, lie on a blanket in your backyard or in a park reading a book. Go home early and cook a nice supper.

    Because there will be weeks when you've got two funerals, a wedding, Sunday worship, hospital calls, council meeting, committee meetings, and you'll be stressed out and won't find time to spend with your husband and then come down with a cold. Knowing that it will balance itself out eventually with those cricket-chirping quiet days will help you get through those kinds of weeks.

    Our synod recommends that pastors get two days off each week. Most people get a two day weekend, so why shouldn't we? I've always taken Friday and Saturday as my weekend. Sure, funerals and weddings happen occasionally. On those occasions I make a mental note (if not a physical note) to make up the day off that I lost at another time. It might be when I go along on one of my kids' school field trips. It might just be one of those slow days that I decide I can afford to take a day to relax or work on some project at home.

    You'll figure out how to schedule your time as you live and grow into your vocation and your job. Because being a pastor is both. It's a calling but it's also a job. You also have a calling as a wife and sister and daughter and friend. Those callings deserve and need your time and your attention as well. Start good habits in your time management and self-care right now as you're beginning your life in pastoral ministry so that you don't have to break bad habits in the future or change peoples' expectations when they've gotten used to running your life and schedule the way they want.