Tuesday, February 14, 2012


“Acedia” is a monastic term that describes a kind of boredom with your life. We all have things we dread, things we procrastinate doing, or things we simply do not want to do. Acedia is more than that. It is the sense that everything is a chore, everything is exhausting, everything is meaningless. Whenever I feel like this, and it seems to happen more and more frequently, I have the feeling that “I’m over everything”. As my wife often says, “I’m tired and I’m tired of it”. I know I am feeling this way when I have a sense of fatigue that goes far beyond a lack of sleep. It is a mental, psychological, and spiritual weariness. I think everyone, except for the most extremely positive and optimistic people, sometimes feel like this. So what does one do about it? The first step is to simply recognize it. The second step is to remind yourself that your feelings are like the weather, always changing, and that your feelings are often a poor representation of reality. I also find it helpful to change my routines as much as I can. I know I am a creature of habit and routine. Sometimes I take comfort in that. However, I also know that my routines can sometimes create a rut that brings on these feelings of acedia. Sometimes we all need a break from our lives and responsibilities. Sometimes we need a “me” day. Sometimes we need a good nap or perhaps a night out with friends. From time to time I need to go out to the monastery for a weekend and make a retreat. We all need someone or something to periodically give us a boost or sense of renewal. We all sometimes need to re-charge our batteries so that life does not overwhelm us or totally drain us of all zest for living.

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