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The Joy of 24/6

Practice

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A busy writer begins a personal Sabbath and finds himself profoundly grateful for the rest.

This article appeared in the Spring 2001 issue of Spirituality & Health. In college I lived downstairs from an Orthodox Jewish girl who, on Friday evenings, would disappear from the regular flow of campus life to observe the Sabbath. I asked her once how she felt about missing out on the things that preoccupied the rest of us — particularly the parties that I found so compelling. She told me simply that she was grateful for the rest. I am not a religious person. And I don’t mean to trivialize my former neighbor’s religious observances (which I know were far richer than she let on). But almost twenty years later I find that I have become a Sabbath observer, of sorts, too. And I, too, am grateful for the rest. Let me explain. My observance began nearly two years ago, during a time when I was working at home, alone, and going out with friends nearly every night and most weekends. I was expending enormous energy on both my work and my social life, but neither was satisfying. In fact, behind my game exterior I felt an inchoate depression that increasingly left me lying on my bed waiting for cl …

Robin Campbell is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York.


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