Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Too Busy And Too Tired

I haven't written much lately. I'm not sure I have even thought about much lately. The last few weeks have seemed busy but at this moment I struggle to remember the details. A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend at the monastery but it was not a restful trip. The weekend was full of meetings revolving around the management of a lay group I helped found about twenty years ago. This past weekend was mostly spent with my granddaughter which is always a joy, albeit an exhausting one. There was little down time because I also had to do various chores due to a lot of updating and remodeling work that is still being done at my home. Although I am happy about the improvements, the chaos gets on my nerves. Most nights after I return home from my work day I feel like all available energy must be used to maintain minimum life support functions. In other words I am generally exhausted. A day off, even in the middle of the work week and alone, would hardly be time to re-energize myself. I do have a vacation scheduled for June but it is a family vacation and family trips are not really restful either. A week after my family vacation I am going to Chicago with friends for the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival. It is an all day affair and I am sure I will have a wonderful time but it, too, will be exhausting. I think what I really need to do is schedule some time, incognito, at the monastery. I need to go there for no other reason than to be alone with myself in silence and solitude, striving to be invisible to everyone else there. This will be my goal.

I have come to realize that I cannot write anything of substance when I am tired. My best stuff is written when I am awake physically and spiritually. Apart from the issue of fatigue, I often feel empty of anything to say. The well of thoughts may be dry or my tiredness may be preventing me from seeing any water in the well.

Recently I was visiting with my friend, Fr. Dennis, who lives as a hermit near the monastery. He was telling me how settled he feels in his life and how small his world has become as a hermit compared to all his years in active ministry. This realization has brought him much happiness. I found myself envying him. I don't feel at all settled in my life. My life is still hectic and busy. I am as restless and conflicted as always, perhaps even more so the older I get. There are many tensions and internal battles raging in my life between commitments, desires, responsibilities, relationships, and personal needs. I appear calm on the surface and most around me think I am full of "inner peace". I do have moments of calm and peace, not to mention joy and happiness, but there is also a never-ending restlessness and exhaustion brought on by my own inner struggles. Fr. Dennis seems to have found peace and his place in the world but I am still searching for mine.

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