I have always admired teachers and others who manage to wrangle a sabbatical from their employer. A long get-away from work is uncommon in the business world. But in educational circles, it’s fairly routine to take time off to learn, do research or write a book. This past Sabbath my husband David and I took my father-in-law to synagogue. David’s Dad is someone who can be called a “tough old bird.” He’s blind from macular degeneration and has Parkinson’s disease, but he doesn’t miss a thing. “Where’s the Rabbi?” he asked. I told him that our Rabbi is on sabbatical in Israel for the summer. “And you pay her while she’s not working?” I explained that learning is part of her work so she can teach us more. I proudly told him that she’s a renowned author; , alt, . “And nobody minds when she gets paid for not working?” He remains unconvinced.

Every generation seems to see the values of the next generation through a different lens. For my father-in-law, remembering the depression left him with a work ethic that put financial security above all else. My generation, the baby boomers, made it a priority to work a little less and attend more of our kid’s sporting events and school programs. I can see how my daughter’s generation will have even more time to put family first. Her job with an advertising agency gives her five weeks of paid vacation a year plus seventeen paid holidays and unlimited paid sick days.  

I like the direction we’re headed. Technology and telecommuting gives me the flexibility to take my mother to the doctor in the middle of a workday and I don’t miss a phone call. , created our website, keeps up with thousands of pages of code and turned a concept into a movement. He does all this and more, while being a stay-at-home Dad to his five year-old son, Ben. It’s easy to know your priorities; it’s hard to find the time to live them.

I can do it all; I've got lists.
Yet, why do I sometimes forget to talk to You?
Were You not on my list?

Help me to keep You at the top of my list,
to keep my priorities in line:
You, family, friends, community, career.
Help me remember, I cannot
always do it all, only You can.
Help me to do whatever I do
with You ever most in my mind.

I trust You to help me navigate
these hot springs of my life.

Transport me to my next stage,
where I will prosper and grow,
with your guidance and love.

I trust You to get me through.
Yes, this hot flash- and all the others- shall pass.

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