Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday has arrived, and with it, Lent. I said in my homily today that Lent has the potential to be more than just 46 days of New Years resolutions. Sometimes, people use Lent to make a new habit stick. One year, I gave up meat and that stuck for over 14 years. To this day, I tend to pick vegetarian options. Friends joke I do "Meaty Monday" instead of Meatless Monday.  Last year, I gave up Facebook, and it was an excellent choice.  FB had started to consume my life.  I spent hours trying to stay on top of my feed.  Giving it up for 46 days (remember, 40 days of Lent plus six Sunday feast days. I just find it easier to keep the fast without breaks.) was so good.  I got outside more.  I felt happier. I got done with stuff on time.  When I turned it back on, I took the drastic step of no longer using it for work.  I dropped all my work "friends", keeping only real friends who met the criteria of "would sit down and have coffee with them".  Some of them, I met through work.  But overall Facebook became much more manageable.   This year, I opted to take at least a few weeks off, since I notice how absently I've been reaching for my phone. In the dark cold days, or on days when I commute via transit, I've been goofing off in Facebook to the exclusion of noticing what's going on around me.  I don't enjoy that feeling so I decided to take a few weeks off.    But really, this year, my jagged edge is around my work-life balance. I spent so many years working so many extra hours that I'm a little at a loss for a part time schedule.  I tried a retail job. It was relaxing, but its demanding times coincided with my actual job's demanding times.  I don't mind work, but I didn't want to work evening shifts.   I want to find something to do that is fun, reasonably social, and fairly creative. I have some extra time to burn.  Maybe I should try launching as a freelance writer.  Maybe I should volunteer to walk puppies for a rescue society. So I think a good Lenten discipline will be to spend some time on my days off thinking very deeply and taking some steps to actively fill that time.    I'll likely use this blog as a journal to help me figure that out. Which is a fair warning, in case you were already bored.  But I do intend to start working on photos again, so I will likely have more visualize interest coming up!   
See? Visual interest from Sweet Cheeks in Oregon. I'm definitely planning to challenge myself on photos!

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