This weekend, I decided to be shomer shabbos. While I am converting under the Reform or Conservative moment, I decided that I wanted to try everything out before I reject anything.
It was an amazing experience. It made me appreciate just how pressure Shabbat is, not only in the spiritual sense, but practically as well. The 24 hours change the pace of your life, the energy in your body, and how your mind works. You appreciate each moment, since you are refraining from the usual distractions and work of the rest of the week.
After this experience, I understand how I can keep Shabbat special, even if I am not being completely observant. It is more about making sure that Shabbat is distinctly set apart from the rest of your week. For some people, this might mean they will not drive or talk on the phone. For others, they might refrain from watching television or listening to music. Whatever it might be, you change how you interact with the world and recognize it as holy, rejuvenating time. In rejuvenating the spirit, you are more energized to do G-d's work during the rest of the days.
The services themselves were only okay. I am not thrilled with the Conservative shul we attended. Friday night services were wonderful, as always, but Saturday services were all praying and no spirit. The congregation mumbled through the prayers, blessings, and Torah portion. It was mind-numbing, nothing like my home Shul.
Spending time with D and M during the 24 hours, though, was fantastic. We ate, drank, prayed, laughed, studied, slept, and played. It was fantastic, and M did a particularly spectacular job of making my first shomer Shabbos special.