Outside my window…
Sunshine! Forecast calls for a high of 75. Nirvana.
How do I find the balance between technology controlling me and it helping to make my life easier and more enriched? This Lent, I’ve discovered this is a difficult question to answer. (More on this topic one of these days.)
Whatever the case, I’m disconnecting for the remainder of the week until we’re basking in the glory of Easter. I want to focus on the Triduum. I want to focus on living a life of purpose (that should be the purpose of life, right?). This past weekend I had only a small pocket of time to plug in to the Internet. While it was overwhelming to discover a heap of unread emails in my inbox, it was also nice to not be tethered to technology. The inbox can wait. How dare I think I’m so important that not immediately responding to emails will leave a void in others’ lives? It seems absurd when I put it that way, but I often feel guilty – yes, guilty – if I don’t give people prompt responses.
We’ve been so busy. There’s no time for extra stuff and blogging, while I enjoy it, is just extra. It’s icing, but it’s not the cake. And the cake is a towering one right now – at least seven layers – and tough for me to swallow without choking. (Yes, I’m feeling a wee bit overwhelmed preparing for a move, helping my husband prepare for his oral boards, preparing for two trips next month that require airplane rides and hotel reservations and transportation/carseat headaches, preparing to rent out our townhouse, preparing my heart for the Easter season, etc., etc.)
Have I mentioned my husband’s work schedule is crazy? I miss him. He works full days and then has evening board reviews. He was able to find someone to cover a shift on Saturday, so we could go house hunting again. What a process. We’ve seen over 30 houses. When we first started looking, we were thinking remote and bucolic. Then we wondered if this was the best move for our family at this stage of our lives. Do we really want my husband to have a commute after a long day? How will I meet new friends homeschooling in a new town in the middle of nowhere? So now we’re thinking of settling into a more in-town community. Oh, but it’s so lovely. We’ve found a few older houses with so much charm. Now charm can be code for “needs a lot of work.” It’s true they need a bit of sprucing up, but I can just see myself sipping lemonade and reading stories to the girls under the shade of the mature oaks that tower over the lawns. On nice days, we could walk to go get ice cream or to visit a cafe. I dream of writing the rest of my book in that same cafe. But is it the right decision?
We never imagined it would be this difficult to buy our first home. (Technically, our townhome is our first home since we own it, but it has always felt more like a rental.) We need to sit down and make a list of pros and cons for each of the properties we’re considering and then go from there. We’d actually found a perfect home and even put in an offer, but it didn’t end up panning out. I know our home’s out there. We just have to find it, take a deep breath, and just make the decision to buy it!
The girls just keep asking if there’s a yard and if we can get a dog. The answer to both of those questions is, “Yes, yes, yes!”
So I’m pondering quite a bit these days. :-)
Lightweight, airy clothes and ballet slippers with a bright floral motif. My hair is actually down for a change, thick and longer than it’s been for a long time. I’m trying to decide if I should chop it off again or let it grow for a bit more.
Good friends. We have so many. On Sunday evening we had dinner at a friends’ house. The girls ran around the house with their sons and then settled down to eat pizza on a blanket (think: indoor picnic). Meanwhile, the adults sat and chatted over goblets of red wine and delicious stir-fry. After dinner one of our friends played the guitar and sang along to his strumming (he’s quite talented). It felt so good to be in the company of friends with the acoustic guitar singing smooth melodies.
We’d been trying to get together with these friends for a long time, but our schedules had just been so crazy. Dave didn’t get home until just before we had to leave, and I was tired and thinking we should have just planned for a quiet evening at home instead of adding something else to our jam-packed calendar, but as soon as we got there I felt refreshed. The evening was a good reminder to me to always, always make time for good friends.
On the homeschooling front…
Holy Week is the only “curriculum” we’ll be embracing this week. It’s quite enough.
I’m overwhelmed. (Did I mention that already?) We’ve officially outgrown Sardinesville. There’s so much purging left to be done before our big move in June. How do we accumulate so much stuff? (Um, other than the grandparents’ endless showering of gifts?) :-)
One of my husband’s uncles has a secret recipe for an addictive batch of Chex party mix. I’ve been experimenting with my own recipe to try and come up with something just as tasty – or even better. I’ll also be making some haroset for our Seder meal on Holy Thursday.
Spiritually, I’m trying to spend more time journaling, writing prayers to God, sharing snippets of my day like I would do with a good friend. It’s cathartic and keeps me focused. (Too often my prayers end up morphing into thoughts about what I need at the grocery store.)
Mentally, I’m reserving most of my brain power to making the right decision about our new home.
Emotionally, I’m feeling much, much better. Every day I feel like spring is happening within me. There’s warmth and the dead is made new again.That always happens – eventually. It’s the process that can be difficult.
Physically, I’ve been focusing on more strength training exercises. I’ve also been trying to incorporate more interval training into my fitness routine. This is a great way to make the most of your time since you burn more calories with intense, short bursts of activity, and the strength intervals build muscle mass, which helps to rev up your metabolism.
The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr. It’s a memoir I can’t put down even though it dumps you into a tough, depressing childhood.
“Maybe you should steer clear of the depressing memoirs for a bit,” my husband suggested, seeing me shake my head sadly as I read about the author’s mother’s emotional, drunken rampage where she burned all of her children’s favorite toys.
Maybe, I consider, but it’s just so darn compelling and honest and blunt and even funny, though when you start to chuckle, you feel uncomfortable like you’re not really sure if she’s joking and would want you to laugh at the dysfunctional family that was her reality. It also makes me thankful for my boring but happy life.
A memory scrapbook pieced together with photos and letters for a friend.
And lists. Lots of lists of things to do, things to write, and pros/cons of certain properties.
My husband and I make the right decision on a house.
For several family members’ special intentions.
For our country.
For an old friend I reconnected with on Facebook who is my age (30ish) and is on dialysis for renal failure.
For a meaningful Holy Week and a glorious Easter.
To live the Liturgy…
Our focus is on Holy Week both in terms of our homeschooling plans and our life in general. We have our Seder Meal for Holy Thursday with our homeschooling co-op. On Friday, we’ll be attending a children’s Stations of the Cross.
April in Georgia. This when the grayness of the cold months completely disappears into the brightness of spring. It’s beautiful, hopeful, and sometimes magical to see the black and white world turn chromatic.
“The cross: it is the privilege of the Christian, a stumbling block to the world. Inherent in our baptism, infallible in its coming, incalculable in its graces, the cross enters all our lives sooner or later. Its coming will make us or break us. It often makes us only after breaking us.”
~From Minute Mediations for Lent by Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP
We’re off to see another house today. Dave had to take off work. It’s crunch time.
Then, aside from preparing for Easter, a special someone in our family will also be celebrating her first birthday on Monday, so we have lots of new life to celebrate this weekend. Last year I was in labor on Palm Sunday. This year I was holding a happy, chunky baby-soon-to-be-toddler in my arms during Palm Sunday Mass. It’s been the quickest year of my life. Really. How is that the days can seem long but the years fly by?
Have a holy Triduum and a joyful Easter!