When I was younger, I found Shabbat really boring. It makes sense though. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV. I wasn’t allowed to drive anywhere. We lived in a town without kids my age, and so it meant just hanging out with my family for 25 hours. It also meant just taking a break from everything- which as a kid, why do you need a break?!
When I went to college I started to appreciate Shabbat. I looked forward to the 25 hours of my week that I would not be in the library. I would not have any meetings or rehearsals. I would just have time to sit, hang out with friends and maybe read a book for fun. When I directed plays, my actors always knew that they would have 25 hours off a week. We were still going to get everything done, but they had Saturday to do whatever they wanted. I never understood how people did school work for 7 full days. I did not think that people had to keep a day in the same way I did, but to take a day that they are not writing papers or doing research. Take a day to wonder outside, see what is going on in the city, or just chill with friends.
Only last week I was talking to someone at Shabbat dinner and she found it great that we were at a dinner for about four hours and there was not a phone in sight. We just sat and chatted. She thought that having one day not to be totally connected to the outside, but to take the time to be totally connected with people was great.
There are still times that Shabbat frustrates me. Times that I am with my parents and there is nothing to do besides going to shul, so over the 25 hour period I read 3-4 books. Or when I have no one to share the day with so I am just sitting on my own.
But I think that in general I take it as a day to sit back and recharge. This week was one of those weeks. My timing was off for everything. I thought a class I was teaching was 30 minutes earlier and had a slight panic that no one showed up. I thought a school group was supposed to come and hour earlier. I arrived for a meeting exactly on time, when I thought that I would have 15 minutes to do some work. So in some ways it was no surprise that on Thursday at 4 it dawned on me that it was Thursday and I had no plans for Shabbat. [This was a time that it was frustrating to be single, for if I had a partner it would not be a big deal to just make a meal for the two of us, but being alone, it is just not nice.] And so I emailed the rabbi and invited myself over. I went to sleep earlyish on Friday night, woke up lateish today (I get to shul at 9:30 instead of my daily 8:30), and after lunch went home to read.
So now I feel a bit recharged. This week is also going to be a busy one, so hopefully the recharging will last until at least next Shabbat.