Monday, March 31, 2008

I Hate Monday's

Okay, it's official. I hate Monday's. I don't even want to go into all the details as to why. Just believe me when I say, I hate Monday's. I just do. I've had four in a row that have been utterly frustrating. I'm even starting to equate Monday and 'pain in the butt'. Case in point: my cat was nagging me about wanting his dinner tonight when I got home late. I told him to stop being such a Monday. He didn't get if he's understood anything else I've ever said to him.

I have a favorite bible verse (one of many) that I printed out and taped to the edge of my computer monitor at work so that I can read it SEVERAL times a day.

Philippians 4:6 - Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes it truly calms and centers least temporarily. Sometimes, my phone rings when I'm only half way through it, which completely negates any positive feeling I might have gotten by praying it. You know what that means? That means that I'm not actually praying; I'm pleading. And that means that I'm not trusting.

I need to find a way to let go of all the frustration. I can only do what I can do. And I KNOW that stressing over it doesn't fix it. Nevertheless, I'm curious to know what my blood pressure is around 2:30 PM on a Monday compared to say, now. I am NOT a stupid woman. Why can't I figure this out? (Holy cow, just typing that sentence brought tears to my eyes!)

Frustration is the emotional reaction that occurs when a person is prevented from reaching their goals. It's a feeling of annoyance at being obstructed or hindered. Frustration always leads to defeat, because it wastes precious time and energy, which otherwise could have been used in other, more constructive and creative efforts.

Response to frustration - ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I have any influence over the situation? If not, LET IT GO. Stop wasting time and energy. If I do have influence over the situation, address item 2.
  2. How much energy will I need to exert to modify the situation? Everything I do requires energy, and I only have so much of it. I can choose to use my energy to be productive or put it into reserve and rest. If the energy it would take to change the situation isn’t worth my time, then it isn’t worthy of my time and energy to be frustrated about. If I do decide it's worth changing the situation, effect change by addressing item 3.
  3. Follow through and work towards change. This is the easy part. But I have to keep in mind that I have to actually exert the energy until one of two things happens: (a) the situation changes, or (b) I decide that exerting the energy is no longer worth it, and re-evaluate item 2.

Sounds easy. But I still get hung up on item 1, the LET IT GO part. A friend of mine also suggested to me that I offer it up. I'm not sure that I can adequately pull that one off either. So, that's my new prayer. Lord, help me to offer it up and then let it go. Only with Your strength, can I hope to find peace in this situation, but only if it be Your will. In Your most holy Name. Amen.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What I'm Reading

Writing Down the Bones - Feeling the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg.

I got it for Christmas from my nephew and God-son, Cameron. I'm sure he picked it out himself.

I started reading it just after I got it, but got distracted by other things. So, I picked it up again last night after taking Jeff back to Kentucky. It's an easy read. And it's humorous while still being informative. I like that. Not to mention, I needed something light and positive after my three hour drive, half of which I spent with a brooding teen.

Jeff had not been in a good mood all day and seemed to resist the prospect of heading back to his dad's. I don't blame him, but I didn't enjoy getting the brunt of his attitude.

I've really been slacking on my writing lately. I'm just so worn down after work. Or I'm simply in no mood to write. It's easier for me to write about the mood that I'm actually feeling. Since none of the characters in my books is dealing with 'the office' like I am, I've been avoiding writing. I need to learn to remove myself from my world and put myself into the character's mindset. Wow, killing two birds with one stone... I get to be in a different mindset AND I get writing done. I REALLY need to work on that.

At any rate, I figure one way for me to get back to writing more regularly would be to focus on writing in other mediums. If I'm not going to write myself, I'll read all about it. I actually have several books about writing. So, when I finish this one, I'll move on to the next one.

I'll write again. I have to. How else will I ever mark that item off my bucket list?

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Book of Poems

This morning, Mike (a co-worker) stopped by my desk to give me a book. 'Standard English Classics - Sohrab and Rustum' by Matthew Arnold. It's a book of poems, published in 1906. He purchased it from a library that was selling a lot of old books.

It's been awhile since I've read poetry. I quickly looked through the table of contents to see if anything jumped out at me. I read the poem below and I loved it. Instead of speaking to the sea, I'd be speaking to God. But I love how he speaks of the stars and the sea being perfectly themselves without worrying about what God's other works are doing or thinking. They excel in being what they're supposed to be, being what God willed for them, attaining this beautiful, powerful entity that we see. I think there's a lesson in there.

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

Weary of myself, and sick of asking
What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel's prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o'er the starlit sea.

And a look of passionate desire
O'er the sea and to the stars I send:
"Ye who from my childhood up have calm'd me,
Calm me, ah, compose me to the end!

"Ah, once more," I cried, "ye stars, ye waters,
On my heart your mighty charm renew;
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you,
Feel my soul becoming vast like you!"

From the intense, clear, star-sown vault of heaven,
Over the lit sea's unquiet way,
In the rustling night-air came the answer:
"Wouldst thou
be as these are? Live as they.

"Unaffrighted by the silence round them,
Undistracted by the sights they see,
These demand not that the things without them
Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.

"And with joy the stars perform their shining,
And the sea its long moon-silver'd roll;
For self-poised they live, nor pine with noting
All the fever of some differing soul.

"Bounded by themselves, and unregardful
In what state God's other works may be,
In their own tasks all their powers pouring,
These attain the mighty life you see."

O air-born voice! long since, severely clear,
A cry like thine in mine own heart I hear:
"Resolve to be thyself; and know that he,
Who finds himself, loses his misery!"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Either we create our circumstances based on our decisions or God simply wanted it to happen that way. Well... apparently it wasn't God's will that I be able to sing a note above an A this morning. And since most of the songs that we sang hit a D, it wasn't pretty. And for me, that was VERY frustrating.

I know that Easter hit early this year. VERY early. In fact, I read that Easter hasn't been this early in the year since 1913 and won't be this early again until 2228. Nevertheless, I did NOT expect snow! When I lived in Colorado, I could expect snow on Easter. Easter AND Halloween. But in Indiana, snow happens in the winter. I know spring just started two days ago, but still. It doesn't snow in Indiana on Easter! Well, today it did.

Regardless of the weather, what a glorious day! It's Easter! Whereas Jesus is the 'reason for the season' during Christmas, Easter reminds us that Jesus is our salvation every day of our blest lives. Thank God!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday

I started off the day driving down to get Jeff. Six hours and 400 miles later, we made it back to God's Country. He's home now. He'll be here for a week and a day.


Unlike last year, his friends here are on spring break as well. So, he'll have his peeps to hang with during the week.

As soon as we hit town, we went to Los Bravos for lunch. Jeff loves that place and misses it when he's gone. So, we did that first thing. Then we went to my parents'. Jeff got to see his grandparents, my older brother and his family, and my little brother and his wife. Also, an aunt and uncle were in town for a bit. So, he got to catch up with everyone right away.

Within a couple of hours, he was already out and about with friends. Just as if he'd never left. He just fits here.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday?

It's Good Friday. I've been wondering why we call it Good Friday. I mean, I understand and accept that the events that occurred on Good Friday had to happen in order for us to have an Easter. But I guess I never really understood why we call it GOOD Friday. Somebody is just going to have to explain it to me.

Unfortunately, I had to work today. And I worked a long day. I was one of the last people to leave the building. But I got a lot done. And since I had a lot to do, it worked out pretty well for me. So many people take Good Friday off that I didn't have the disruption of customers calling all day. I know I probably should have taken off too, at least half a day. But with my current workload (and backlog), it didn't really seem like a responsible choice.

I hated missing church and the procession to the cross though. Touching the cross and trying in my little brain to imagine what it would have been like to carry it through the streets or, God forbid, to be nailed to it. Of course, I could NEVER adequately understand it. But I at least try to appreciate what Christ did for me.

My brother and his family got into town this evening. So, I spent some time with my dad and Alan watching IU get beat. It was kind of a bummer that they lost, but it was really nice spending time with two of my favorite guys. And tomorrow, I get to see my VERY FAVORITE guy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Holy Thursday

Okay, my Holy Week started off with a communal reconciliation service Monday. I served my penance by teaching my last religion class last night. I should NOT be this THRILLED that the CCD year is over. But I am. I probably need to go to confession again. Actually, we still have the closing mass yet. But that's a few weeks away. And I enjoy mass, so even these kids can't ruin that for me.

My Holy Week continued tonight with mass. I've decided that I really need to go to mass during the week more often. I know I have an easy, convenient opportunity on Tuesday nights. But I need to check around to see if there are other local masses that I can attend through the week. I just love the peaceful, centering feeling that comes with mass. I really crave that right now.

Subject change... Every week on Thursday, Helium starts their weekly writing contests with all new topics to write about. I don't always write an article for the contests because I don't feel I know enough about the topics. But this week, one of them was Catholicism. I chose four topics that I thought I could write about. I've started making notes on two of the topics: Saint Bernadette and Confession - Does it give us permission to continue to sin. But I haven't written the articles yet. I really need to get on that since the contest week ends Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Favorite Day

Today is my favorite day of the year. Not because it's March 12th. I love this day because it's the first day since winter that I could go outside and just sit in the yard and enjoy the moment. No coat. Ho snow. No ice. No wind. Not even rain. Just a beautiful day. Spring is on the way.

It's hard to believe that five days ago we got six inches of snow. The kids were dismissed from most of the local schools early. In fact, basketball games during Regional week in Indiana were THAT'S some serious adverse weather. Hoosiers are pretty serious about their high school basketball.

But today, it's like 60 degrees and GORGEOUS! Blue skies. Nice breeze. Birds chirping all over the place. Just BEAUTIFUL. I LOVED this day! My favorite day!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This is my brain on overdrive.

I have been so busy at work lately that this picture is a perfect depiction of what's going on in my brain. Keep in mind that the little blue balls are supposed to be moving all over the place, but that feature was lost when I uploaded it onto my blog. But I think you get the idea.

I was so exhausted as I was driving home from work tonight (at 7:30pm after an 11 hour day) that I was near tears. So tired. So worn down. Lots of work and this nagging cold. Just exhausted.

So, after having a bowl of chili, putting on my flannel PJ's, and snuggling with Linus, I'm feeling much better. But I still feel like I could sleep for 15 hours. Unfortunately, I have to be back at work for a meeting in less than 12.

I worked last weekend; I am NOT working this weekend.