It was still dark when I went for my run this morning. Fortunately I live in a well-lit neighborhood.

I’m in a bit of a funk over the job situation I talked about earlier, so it was nice to get out and focus on something that is just for me. (I kind of hate describing it as a “jog” since I’m on the second week of a couch-to-5k program, which means I mostly alternate walking with plodding. But hey, everybody starts somewhere.)

It may seem odd that a single woman who lives alone needs “me time” but I’m a pretty by-the-book introvert, and working around people nine hours a day is stressful for me. What I’ve always liked about walking (and now, jogging) is that it gets me out of the house, my source of obligations and responsibilities, without sticking me in the middle of a group of people the way work does. It being in a space and time that is free.

In the rabbinic Jewish tradition, there is a notion of “sacred time”, the place where spiritual experiences happen. Sabbath (shabbat) is the best example of this: you can be anywhere, absolutely anywhere, and observe shabbat. Sacred time is reflected in a lot of religious traditions, of course (daily prayers, weekly services, etc.) but usually it shares prominence with sacred spaces, such as cathedrals or mosques or temples. Jews have had to creatively extend the concept of sacred time to everything, though. Being “homeless” for a few millenia will do that to a people.

I think of this when I’m out for a walk/jog, because this concept of sacred time is a good description of how I feel about the experience. It’s not about being rootless or walking away from responsibilities, but rather, moving into a time/space continuum that is re-energizing, a way to reconnect with myself that is not pressured by all the kinetic anxiety of daily living.

I’m being given a lot to think about, as well, with how life is going for me. I needed the time this morning to pull back and go “que sera sera” to my worries and frustrations, focus on my goals, and remember what is important.

Important things last, in just the same way sacred time is always available to us no matter where or when we are. Important things are my writing, my creativity, my plans for the future. Fretting about the job I do or might do or will be doing is pointless, and a short-term concern anyway. Time away from everything this morning helped me rediscover all the things I truly value and feel gratitude for.

I could get used to that.

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