That’s how long I’ve been attempting to be a sane seminarian. People have a lot of advice for me. So far I’ve been instructed to:
- Eat better (meaning: shop more often, since veggies go bad; and plan meals instead of eating whatever’s in the fridge; and oh, yeah, plan meals too, since leftover takeout is too fatty and fried to be your friend) - including chewing slowly and taking at least 20-30 minutes for meals, sitting at the table, not in front of TV or computer
- Work out (preferably an hour a day; join a gym; swim; “whatever you like!” “how about nothing!”)
- Read these (insert crazy number) books because they’re oh so helpful and good
- Make sure you take a good chunk of time for daily relaxation (meditation, yoga, prayer, contemplation)
- Oh, and be sure to get enough sleep at night and take naps during the dayAnd take a quiet day once a month and at least 1 day off a week
- And go on retreat every couple months
Does anybody realize that these things require not only inordinate amounts of time (I don’t think I would actually be able to continue being in school or interning if I did it all) but money? And really, how great would it be to have finances to worry about on top of all this – sign me up!
I mean, I really don’t think offering me a huge to-do list is the answer to my need for less to worry about and accomplish. I am dying to just crawl into bed and watch a sappy movie. Or read the bible. Or read the Sunday paper still sitting unopened on my couch. Or go see a movie with my husband. Or go to Disneyland (I think my friend who works at Disney is making that one happen on Saturday, God bless her).
I want less not more. I want fewer responsibilities and definitely way less guilt about not accomplishing enough - even if it's stuff that's good for me. I’m talking about guilt for not walking an hour a day, for drinking a glass of wine with dinner, for staying up late to watch tv or blog because it’s my only outlet for these feelings.
Much of the time I wish I could just quit everything and start popping out kids, like my sister is doing, and just live that life – house, kids, days at the park, hell, even cleaning house and cooking! I know, I know, I’d be bored. I’m not one of those people who gets to have a “normal” life, free from the weight of the world or the weight of my own passions and dreams. I have been given much and much is expected. It’s just so fracking tiring.
I’m still really really tired, even at day 4 of “Stop the Insanity!” Will I ever not be tired?
Probably not as long as I’m worrying about how to have time for 2 trips to the store a week, and how the hell to pay for a gym and yoga and actually find time to go!
Last week Lauren Winner spoke in our chapel. I thought, here’s a woman who writes books which are basically about herself, her spiritual journey and all that. Then she goes around and talks about her own ideas. My God, this woman has my life. How did she get it before me? So now I have to find something else to do. Bummer. I want that life.
I’m leaning so hard on John, poor thing, who is beyond stressed on his own and unable to do anything – he can’t just drop a class like I did. I’m so worried about him, too. His BP is higher than mine, and he eats worse than I do, and he definitely would never exercise. At least I make a slight effort.
This is such an unhealthy life. But you know what? I know that. I don’t need to be told again. I’m doing what I can about it but I can’t snap my fingers and change it all at once. Wish I could, though.
Damn, I’ve got to get some homework done today, or I’ll fall behind again. I can’t believe I thought I could add a 2-week class on top of this!
Just keep praying. From where is my help to come? My help comes from you, O Lord, maker of heaven and earth.
I'm sure you don't need any more advice, especially not from a stranger on the internet, but giving advice is so much fun so I don't know if I can resist. Feel free to ignore me if I've read your situation incorrectly.
I'd say that you have two options that I can see.
Either you have to be able to see that the stress you're under is temporary and if you can just get through it you can have the life you want pretty soon. Hopefully your health and sanity will last until then.
Or, if you look ahead and see that this goes on forever, then you might have to stop and say "Wait a minute, this is killing me. I have to do something different"
All right, Younger Sister: I approve of you taking care of yourself, in moderation. I approve of you indulging yourself, in moderation (and perhaps a bit more).
I suggest, though, you don't worry about sanity. Seminarians are not supposed to be sane.
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