“Think out of the box,” was our daily refrain in advertising. Fresh ideas were key in the creative department. And “Expect the unexpected” was one of our buzzwords.
This, however, does not only hold true for ad people. It is real life, actually. Unexpected things can surprise us anytime, even if you go on a sabbatical, when things are free and easy.
As soon as hubby and I had landed in America for a vacation, he had tummy trouble for two days, which might have weakened his immune system. Then he started having a terrible cough, which antibiotics or humidifier could not cure. Within this time, he took a sudden fall in our bedroom and fractured his wrist.
Not any of these twists and turns were expected. With his left hand in a cast (for 6 to 8 weeks), this stubbornly independent macho-man needed an assistant with every move.
That’s not how creativity (in advertising) was defined. But in all, with his condition that suddenly required a sedate pace, we changed gears and leisurely visited unexpected places—exotic restos in neighboring cities, book stores, kin within the state, parks, and the library.
We stayed home on most days, spending time reading and with beloved grandson, Adrian.
In these calm and quiet places, we found the grace of rest and refreshment, which is what a sabbatical should be.
True, we can plan and plan and plan, but . . .
“And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, ‘Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year . . . You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, ‘If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.’” James 4:13-14 (MSG)