Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent Thoughts and Plans

“Rejoice always”
Another year, another Lent is upon us and for the first time I’ve had people helpfully pointing out that I have ink on my forehead (in past years I’ve always been at home or at an intensely Catholic college for Ash Wednesday).
I am conceiving of Lent this time around as a time of purgation: getting the bad and overemphasized parts of myself out of my system. Speaking of which, I’ve noticed that some people justify their sins or otherwise unsavory behavior by claiming that they’re “getting it out of my system” (I’ve noticed this mostly in the process of doing it myself), when actually what they’re doing is putting it into their system. When someone, say, views pornography or blows up in anger they aren’t purging something from inside themselves, they’re reinforcing the bad tendency they already have. “I’m getting it out of my system” is a pretty silly excuse when you stop to think about it: do you conceive sin as a kind of reservoir inside yourself which can only be removed by doing it?
Anyway, I’ve decided to minimize what I ‘give up’ this time around and instead work on what I’m going to ‘take up’ (that sounded cheesy and self-righteous, didn’t it? Sorry). I’m not gonna run down a list of what I’m doing for Lent, since there’s the whole ‘go into your inner room…anoint your head’ command against holding up our good works to be seen.
The one thing I will note is that I’m going to try to be more joyful. While I don’t like to admit it, the fact is that I’m a rather grouchy person a lot of the time. So, as part of my Lenten commitment, I’m going to try to stop worrying, grieving, and growling so much and try to be more relaxed, more loving, more open to the joy in my life. Lent’s the perfect time to try to be more joyful, since, in the first place, it’s the lead up to the celebration of our salvation and, in more coldly practical terms, by removing distractions and trying to draw closer to God, we ought to become more aware of the reasons we have to be joyful.
Holy and Happy Lent to all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vita Nova

A month ago I finally moved out of my parents' house and into my first apartment. And I'm loving it!

Now, for those who don't know me, I'm of a rather solitary temperment: I don't like being with other people for too long (at least, most other people). Living on my own, therefore, has been a long-standing goal and now I finally acheived it!

But, the honeymoon's over and it's time to get down to brass tacks (what the heck are brass tacks and what does it mean to 'get down to them'?). Part of the moving out plan was that I would totally restructure my life: I would craft myself into the person I want to be living the life I want to live. So far, that's been met with only mild success. This blog, therefore, is a journal of my attempts to live the life I want.

It is now Feb. 8th: by the end of the month I want to have the following goals acheived:
1. Establish a daily schedule and follow it for at least one week.
2. Learn to switch between G and C on the guitar without stopping my playing
3. Get my pictures and sword hung up
4. Finish at least two chapters in my books (not necessarily from the same book)

Reasonably simple goals, so I really ought to be able to follow them. Next month I'll up the ante a bit.