Monday, August 15, 2016

Happy and Not Happy -- Good Pain and Bad Pain

Some things that make me happy:

  • My morning routine
  • My yarn closet
  • playing the piano at mass
  • Latin and Greek
  • hiking with KM (husband)

Some things that make me unhappy:

  • The 2-stone pile of textbooks waiting to be looked at and done starting this week
  • Getting to the dentist
  • Making mistakes while playing hymns at mass
  • The fact that our kitchen sink is broken right now; in fact, the law of entropy in general.
I read the next chapter of the Ways of Mental Prayer, which was about causes for failing to pray well.   Basically, you can get voluntarily distracted; or you can be too lethargic about your intentions and desire to do well.   These are more or less problems with the will.   Then there are some logistical or procedural mistakes, which he calls illusions.   And finally, there is bodily indisposition.  In this final category, there are distinctions to be made, because it's not always a virtue to push yourself through indisposition.  It's probably something like "good pain" and "bad pain" when you are working out.   You should not push past bad pain, but you may want to do things differently in the rest of your  day in order to avoid having that pain in the first place.      For example, my knees used to hurt when I did the stationary bike, so it limited the time I spent on there and the intensity of the setting.   I scaled back, but also spent some time strengthening my knees in other ways.  Now I just realized that pain doesn't happen any more.   

I learned the most from the "illusions" section of the chapter -- basically, it was more or less about striking a balance.   You don't want to spend either too much or too little time on considerations (the intellectual part of the prayer) OR on affections (the emotional or affective part of the prayer).   You want to prepare ahead of time, so you know what you are going to reflect on, but you want to be able to leave the planned topic if the Holy Spirit invites you to think of some side aspect or particular light on the subject.   And so on.

I finished reading the last book in the Edward trilogy I mentioned yesterday (not the sparkly 2-century-old Edward; the middle aged Asperger's/ OCD one).    I said yesterday that the middle one was my favorite, but now I think the last one may be a contender, as Edward learns how to be a husband and father.   There is a lot of swearing (for the most part, the vulgar Anglo-Saxon kind, not the blasphemous kind).  It's an ongoing joke and sub-motif, but it may be kind of offensive to those who aren't used to a lot of four letter words in their books.

Since I still can't find my vanished butterfly shawl in progress, I started the Silvretta using a kind of yarn called Bamboo Pop which is super soft and drapey.    This project is going fast.  Quick picture:

  •  The shawl makes me happy.     The yarn makes me happy.
  • The textbooks:  not.
  • The morning sun makes me happy, but it wreaks havoc on the lighting for my poor old-model iPhone.  
Today involves a hike with KM and BC (husband and second son) and then possibly a trip to town with CFA, PAA, and ARA (daughter and her family) for Tridentine mass and a bit of thrift store shopping.    So time to start the day.   

I think I have to figure out a way to make the bad pain of thinking about textbooks and dentists into something doable.   I can put up with productive pain easily in the pursuit of something I really want to do.    Thought for today!!! 



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