Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Spring Cleaning...

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m living in the excess. I have so much, yet everyone and everything around me pulls me to more. Why? Why do I need more?

I’ve been trying to pull away from it but it’s not easy when things like, anniversaries, weddings, business trips and store credit come to play.

I have this thing where I don’t buy what I don’t need. I have gift certificates up the wazoo but I haven’t used them because I don’t need anything right now. My husband is the complete opposite. “If you don’t use the credit now, you’ll forget and not use it. So find something to buy.”

Now I’m not saying I’m not into extravagant and luxurious items. I do like them but I don’t need them. Happiness isn’t found in a $200 pair of pumps although my confidence meter does rocket when I’m wearing them.

On the eve of Lent, I’m feeling as if I’m not doing what I should be doing. I complain of the lack of time I have for my family. I complain of the lack of manpower I have at work. I complain I don’t get enough downtime. I complain of my bills piling high. Yes, I do lack time but I’m much more fortunate than others in other aspects and I sometimes forget what I’ve been blessed with.

Sure, I tell myself I know I’m blessed but when all I do is complain that I work like a madwoman, am I really in the know?

It’s not just the monetary items. I say that I try to look out for others before myself yet I didn’t offer to walk an older neighbor back to her apartment building in the snow. When someone I knew was coughing and could use a glass of water, I didn’t leave my seat to get it. I know some may say I’m being hard on myself but these things bugged me. Why didn’t I just act on the need? Why did I just go about my day without considering others?

I’m thinking too much of myself and not others. I need to remember it’s not about me.

This year for our wedding anniversary, I’m going to ask my husband to not exchange gifts. I don’t need anything. Our house doesn’t need anything. Maybe a coat of paint but that can wait until it’s warmer. I don’t think he needs anything. Instead, I’d like us to volunteer some time in an upcoming event. I’m no sure what. I have to check my volunteer mailing list but I’m sure there is something going on the week of/after our anniversary.

I haven’t asked him yet if he’d mind. I doubt he would but I’ve been reluctant ever since he’s been making me look at a Sharper Image catalogs to find something we ‘need’ as we recently received a store credit. Personally, I’m not a Sharper Image fan but they do have a good 1-3 year return policy for faulty items.

I also think that God’s trying to tell me something. For the last 6 months, yes, anyone else would probably take less time to come to the realization the religious education coordinator, Lourdes, has bumped into me on the train, on the bus, on the street by my job. Well, she keeps asking me if I’d consider teaching CCD to students.

Personally, I don’t feel I have enough religious conviction to be telling impressionable minds who God is and what Jesus did for us. Still, she keeps popping up in the most unlikely places.

Then, out of the blue, Father Patrick Sullivan, who left our parish two years ago sent me an email. He asked me to speak to other parishioners to see if they would be interested in a bible study taught by his fellow Brother. He was the one who originally sent me a letter asking me to pray and think about teaching children.

Ok, it took me two years from the first mention of it to realize God’s sending messengers to me.

So I’ve called the catechist formation office and will be considering attending classes. I’m waiting for the spring semester syllabus. I’ll be traveling to different churches to attend classes. It may take me a year to finish the core requirements and electives.

I still don’t think I’m the right person but I nearly everyone in the bible didn’t feel they were fit to do what they were asked.

Before you go into a rant or a tizzy and think I’m going to join a convent with my latest reflection, know that I’m not considering that and feel God has some other purpose for me. I’m merely saying I’m feeling empty and no high ticket item is going to fill that. What I need now is to follow the signs and see where they take me.