While the transition hasn't been smooth, I've achieved my first and most important goal: freeing up some personal time to focus on the more important things in life. By working only 4 days a week, I finally have the free time to do...well...anything.
Unfortunately I've used this past week to catch up on watching movies and playing video games.
Perhaps that's one of my draws to religious life: the structure and schedule of a daily routine. While my previous life was hectic and always on the move, I never felt like I was "wasting" time, if that makes any sense. When Project A finishes, move on to Project B. By the end of the year, I'd created such a personal schedule that I had no time to just waste.
If you know anything about my past, I'm pretty good at wasting time.
Left to my own devices, I can spend days accomplishing nothing. Doctors say it's a side effect from the Dilantin, but I think that's just an excuse for me to be lazy. There are days I struggle to just get out of bed - where I must coerce myself out of bed because of something important that must be done. Creating a personal schedule has been the easiest way to combat that this.
Now that my life has taken a turn for the better, perhaps I was on to the right idea, just focused in the wrong direction. A personal schedule would still keep me on task and focused, yet I have time to focus on what is truly important now: my spiritual life. And while I've done plenty of reading, I haven't actually taken advantage of my free time yet. It's a perfect opportunity to start some good habits.
At noon everyday, the Paulists at the Catholic Information Center of Grand Rapids have Mass. Part of religious life is being able to meet your brothers for morning and evening prayer. While my mornings start around 10-11AM, there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to attend Mass each day, just as the Paulists do. Besides, I feel if I can start the day off with the energy I feel after attending Mass, I'll never have an issue with being lazy again.
Of course, I thought about doing much much more. I thought about taking the Eucharist to the home-bound or even the sick and bed-ridden in the hospital. I considered volunteering a day out of my week at Mary Free Bed or God's Kitchen. I have so much time where I can make a difference in someone's life, I think to myself. Why should I waste one second?
The answer, I tell myself after much thought, is because of my other bad habit: I like to dive into projects rather than pace myself, eventually losing steam and all interest. I'm considering the rest of my life, not some side hobby. I need to find my limits and work within them, rather than running full steam and hoping I never have another seizure.
Tomorrow I will start my day off with the Paulists. Hopefully I have a good story to share when I next log in.