Sunday, September 29, 2019

September 29: Sunday Night, Feeling Prepared, Powerlessness

Sunday night.  Probably my least favorite time of the week.  It's all about getting my 11-year-old son to take a shower and put on his pajamas.  Making my lunch.  Setting out my work clothes for tomorrow.  Double checking that my lessons are planned and my books are gathered.  Leaving nothing to chance before I go to bed.

However, I know that I'm going to forget something.  I always do.  That's the way I roll, always feeling as if I'm forgetting something.  It could be a bill that is coming due.  Or an assignment I forgot to grade for my students.  Or some writing deadline that went whooshing by me like a freight train.  There's always some shadow looming over my shoulder that I can't quite make out.

I like feeling prepared.  That's why I addressed my Christmas cards for this year back in February.  And I bought a Christmas present for my nephew back in January in Florida.  At the moment, I'm planning to order the pictures that I'll stuff into those Christmas cards.  I just made a reservation for a little trip I'm taking to Calumet on Thursday, and I've completed two writing tasks that were on my to-do list for today.  Like I said, I like feeling prepared.

Of course, there are things for which you can never prepare yourself.  Illnesses.  Car problems.  Marriage problems.  Money problems.  Kid problems.  These things strike like lightning from a blue sky.  There's no way to anticipate them.  That's when you go into survival mode and live minute-by-minute, as opposed to day-by-day.

I've been doing the minute-by-minute thing for quite some time now.  It's exhausting.  And I don't see an end in sight.  Yesterday, I talked about everyone leading lives of quiet desperation, as Thoreau said.  It's a pretty apt description.  You can prepare and prepare all you want, but there will always come that moment when lightning strikes and everything changes.  Then, chaos for a while.  Desperation.

I'm looking for a way to end this post on a positive note.  Something hopeful to say.  The only thing that you can do sometimes is acknowledge your powerlessness and give your problem up to your higher power.  Because it's always at the lowest times when God steps in and helps out.  That's pretty much the way it works.  When you hit rock bottom, there's nowhere else to go.

Saint Marty embraced his powerlessness quite some time ago.

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