Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Thoughts

I have just returned home from a family Father's Day dinner at a local restaurant. It was a very nice meal even though I had to pay for it. My oldest son is also a father so we both received some cards and gifts. At one point in the meal we paused to remember the grandfather's who have left this world. This is my first Father's Day with out my Dad. Although I still have the evening ahead of me, the meal was a nice conclusion to a good weekend.

Yesterday afternoon my oldest son came over and completed a number of chores for my wife and me. I am no Tim the Tool Man but somehow my son is gifted with the use of tools and the ability to fix things. I am a klutz for the most part. In the evening my wife and I attended a 50th Wedding Anniversary party for one of her cousins. When they got married my wife was the six year old flower girl in their wedding. I am still trying to get my head around the fact that my wife and I will be married 35 years later this summer. Time marches on and nothing can stop it.

My younger son informed me last night that he will be attending St. Meinrad School of Theology in the fall. This is the next step in his studies for the priesthood. This was not his first choice of schools but he is accepting of the Archdiocese's decision. My wife and I are thrilled. I am thrilled because St Meinrad is also a Benedictine monastery with close to 100 monks. With Nick as a student there I will have ample opportunity and reason to visit. My wife is happy because he will be close to home. St. Meinrad is only 75 miles from where we live. It is a beautiful place and much like the Abbey of Gethsemani. They both follow the same basic Rule for Monasteries but each with a different emphasis.

Last night I was thinking that although I do not feel ordinary, I do not feel special either. On the surface my life certainly seems ordinary. My life is full of daily routines, obligations, and tasks. In spite of this I really try to not to live an ordinary life. If the surface of my life seems ordinary and monotonous, I strive to constantly find the extraordinary within the ordinary. This is very challenging. I read to enlighten my mind. I reflect to enlighten my soul. I strive to slow down and live in the moment so I can be present to life more fully. Still, it often feels like I am just going through the motions. It is difficult to not feel like my life is a series of robotic motions that simply include a rotation of work, sleep, eat, laundry, work, sleep, eat, laundry, etc. Sometimes I am unhappy but I am also aware of all that is good in my life. If everything doesn't go my way, there is still much to appreciate and for which to be grateful. I strive to make my gratitude outweigh my unhappiness. I think part of my current struggle is a feeling that I have lost my sense of purpose. For what reasons do I do what I do? What is the point of my surrender to the boredom and monotony of life? Buddhism says our suffering is a result of our own minds. How is my mind causing my own suffering and unhappiness? How does one break the dysfunctional patterns of one's own life? How do you escape from yourself? If our own mind causes our unhappiness and suffering, and not other people or circumstances as we like to believe, what kind of cartharsis is needed to break the cycle? Real happiness and contentment seem to elude me. Why I am so restless?

1 comment:

Littlefair said...

Are you asking why we are here?