Sunday, 5 October 2014

You Thought 7QT Was Random?

Jennifer Fulwiler created Seven Quick Takes Friday for bloggers to pull together a blog post out of seven thoughts/ideas/stories which they didn't have the energy or desire to expand into full blown posts. A kinda cheat blog post. I regularly post those, mostly because it requires less effort than thinking through one idea and making it readable.

Today I feel the urge to blog, have the time, but NO attention span worth speaking of...

Of course, the smarter option would be to get off the Internet, take a nap, and wait to blog when I have something coherent to say... but then I'd never blog.

So here you go. 12 Random Not Even Authentically Bloggable Tidbits.


Who says only Humans of New York can capture candid meaningful moments and expressions?

"We all wear masks."


I love catching hidden (or not so hidden) meanings and analogies in the Lord of the Rings... every time I read it, I'm like "Ah ha! Another Catholic analogy!" So of course I was excited to read a blog post called 'Éowyn & St Thérèse: The Story of Two Flowers.'


This is cool: (via Unequally Yoked)


Something I've been thinking about: what's the happy medium between constant self-justification and constant self-accusation? Both are real temptations, when anything goes wrong. "Everybody else was wrong, but me." Or "In some way, it was really my fault." How to be free from false guilt, but honest about real weakness and shortcomings? How to be conciliating and seek peace when someone's mad at you, while accepting the truth of your own sin, but rejecting anything which is NOT true?


Kinda related to that is this snippet from Leticia at Ramblings of a Crazy Face:

The one thing that I am learning how to do is how to set boundaries. How to say no and how to not feel like what someone else thinks or feels is something that I can control. I can’t. I can only control myself and do what I have to do to take care of myself and how they feel or what they think is on them. That is so hard for me because I have always heard that thinking of yourself is selfish. I’m still not sure how it isn’t selfish, but I know that God wants us to take care of ourselves.

Yeah, so how does setting boundaries work alongside sacrificial love that gives all? So confusing.


Also, here's another balance question:

What's the balance between 'keeping it real' and complaining all the time?

Person A: How are you doing?
Average person: Fine, how about you?
Me: Horrible! I couldn't sleep last night because it felt like I was coughing for hours, and every time I swallowed my throat HURT...

Yeah, TMI is the name of MY game.


On a completely unrelated note, (I did say random, so why do I need to explain?) riding in my city has gotten scarier in recent months due to an outbreak of crazy suicidal dogs over running the streets. I used to think city stray dogs must be street smart. No more do I think it. They stumble around in the middle of crazy traffic, shoot out into the street at unexpected moments, draw out all the bad language my mind is trying to forget, and keeps my guardian angel on his toes. My brother had a road accident a few days ago with a dog shooting out in front of him.

Although I am neither a dog-lover nor a dog-hater, I have seen too many limping or mangled dog bodies for my peace of mind.

Only in my city: First horror and then relief when you realize the mangled corpse on the road is just a piece of brown sacking.


Funny conversations while hanging out with our parish RCIA team at a wedding reception.
Me: Hey C, what about YOUR wedding?
C: Me? Why me?
Me: You're 25, you must be thinking of it! Does your family do arranged marriages?
C: No...
Me: Ooh, then can WE arrange something?
C: (Embarrassed!)
Aunty* 1: Yes! You're looking? I know someone!
Aunty 2: I also know someone! (Pulling at her purse) I have a photo!

I love our Indian culture where everyone takes a strong and active interest in everyone else's future marriages. Well, I only love it when I'm not at the receiving end.

Aunty 1: What about you, Sue? Can we look for someone for you?
Me: (piously) Only God is my matchmaker.
Aunty 1 (very seriously): We are all God's instruments.


I heard the cutest love story the other day. Paraphrased: They were for different states and communities, which in India is a no-no for marriages. They were working in the same area and saw each other, and started talking. They fell in love, but her family forbade her from marrying him. they even beat her, to try to change her mind, but she told them, "I will marry only him." Finally she ran away with him, with only the clothes she was wearing.

She said for the first year of her marriage she only had one pot to cook with. So she would cook the rice, serve it, clean the pot and then reuse it to make the dal. It was only after the first child was born that their families began to speak to them again, and all was forgiven. She told me, "He is such a good husband, he doesn't tell me that I'm not allowed to go anywhere, he likes me to wear jeans, he doesn't mind if I leave my hair loose." It said so much to me about most Indian marriages, that her husband is an exception.


I discovered yet another Time-Sucker. Facebook was bad enough. But have you played 2048? I looked it up out of curiosity when my sister posted her high score on FB and everyone seemed to know what she was talking about. I looked it up... and came back to real life four days later. Okay, not four days, but there have definitely been some hours sucked away through this game.

Here's the reason (I think): It gives me space to think. I love mindless repetitive tasks for exactly that reason.  There's always so much going on in my brain and in my life that there doesn't seem to be space to process it all. That also may be why I have such an active dream life. My brain is frantically trying to figure it all out, fit it into patterns, draw conclusions, put pieces together. When I play games like 2048, my brain feels free to do so peacefully.


Here's one of the reasons my brain gets tired easily. Whenever I'm giving a talk, or listening to a talk or a homily, I'm not just listening to it. I am switching between different perspectives as I listen. First, there's me... what am I personally getting from this? Then there's Truth-Scanner, where my brain is constantly comparing what I hear with authentic Catholic teaching that I'v read or heard. There's so often heresy taught so naturally that my brain is always on alert. Syncretism alert! Prosperity gospel alert! Etc.

Then my brain keeps switching to different people in the audience. What is THAT person hearing? Are they getting what they need to hear? This is too simple for that cynical person. This is too high-falutin' for that simple person. This is too Catholic-sounding. This is not Catholic-sounding enough.

Phew. No wonder my brain hurts.


Something I was going to write about at some point... I've had some anxiety struggles in the past year. I've tried a lot of different ways of dealing with it, but the most successful one was this book:

And then a good friend dropped by a few days ago with an 'anti-anxiety package', with solutions that she looked up online. It included chamomile tea, a scented candle, lavender soap, probiotic yogurt and hot chocolate because tea and coffee make my anxiety worse. It was so special. I can only wish I was so thoughtful.

Okay, goodbye.

*Aunty doesn't mean blood relation, it's just a generic term for any woman in India over the age of... 40?

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