Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Making a List

Once upon a time, I was a time management fanatic, of sorts. I had a planner; I prioritized; I checked off the items that were completed, and forwarded the ones that weren’t.

I haven’t done that in a long, long time.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally had to make a “to-do” list. Not only did I have a list of things to do, I had categories. I think that might be the “too many irons in the fire” routine. At any rate, I had my list separated into “house”, “chapel”, Altarations orders, wedding stuff, autistic step-grandchild-to-be stuff, and “other”. To be honest, not too many items have been checked as completed, but at least I have a more organized view of what needs to be done.

When unpacked, the volume of fabric and
trim is overwhelming!
The orders…wow…I haven’t ever had so many orders to complete at one time. There are three orders for rose antependia. There’s one for a black antependium. There was a pending order for a violet antependium, which I have completed, as of two days ago. There are a couple of miscellaneous other smaller items.

Despite the list, I still have had trouble falling asleep a couple of nights, as I mull over the things I must get done, and when I must complete them. My brain starts spinning out of control, with a thought process along these lines: “Gotta get a copy of the wedding rite. Ash Wednesday is sooner than I thought. When can I deliver that violet antependium? St. Stephen's tabernacle veil...ugh, that's hard. Oh...need a long linen cloth to go over the violet antependium. I know which readings I want for the wedding; should I push the issue? What are we gonna do with our little autistic guy at the wedding? Wait, how long is that other altar? Oh, wait! I have to help my friend pick up his new motorcycle on Tuesday! How do I get myself into these things?"

A casualty of the snow load...
And in the midst of that semi-organized chaos that has become my life, my husband wanted me to take him to the ER the other night. He will need hernia surgery, but it turned out that we weren’t facing an emergency situation after all, thanks be to God! But as for his daily chore of cleaning the horse stall, which is full of giant puddles, melting snow, and patches of ice, he’s out of commission; and that means I take over. I don’t mind doing it for his health, of course, but it is just one more thing to work into my schedule.

That schedule, of course, is comprised largely of liturgical prayer and private devotions, and all the other stuff has to fit into the cracks of time in between praying the hours of the Divine Office. The temptation is to cut short the prayer time in order to get a little more work done on any particular project. Actually, the temptation more often goes the other way: extend the time working on a project, and then end up having to cut the prayer time short. Once I am working on a project, I sometimes find it difficult to stop. Ora et labora, yes...but it is sometimes difficult to strike the balance between the two!

At least the snow is melting!
Surely, this is Satan’s joy: to see a person who is striving to maintain her spiritual life become distracted with more worldly concerns. Lent is almost upon us, of course, and while I usually look forward to that penitential season, this year I have some apprehensions. The Lenten practices I have adopted are not easy for me, and the more stressed I am with worldly concerns, the less inclined I am to do the hard stuff. But I will make an additional effort to keep my Rule.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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