At Least I Haven’t Forgotten Lent

Journal of ForgetfulnessI returned home last night from Washington, DC, where I was blessed to spend spring break with a group of our students from here at The St. Thomas More Newman Center. The trip was blessed and wonderful, and I’d love to write more about it now, were I not still processing things with some prayer and a cool root beer. I also need a nap or seven.

Before we left for the trip I decided to reclaim the habit of taking notes when I did absent minded things like those mentioned in my first post of this Why Lent? series. This journaling was actually my doctor’s idea, but in a tragic twist of irony, I became too busy with other things to remember to use it.

I decided to keep the journal this week because I figured that I was going to be busy, which can easily lead to running on autopilot and making mistakes. Being away from home (currently Columbus, though I was staying at my home of 3 years, St. Paul’s College) is also sometimes a factor I’ve noticed when doing silly, absent-minded things.

I found that journaling this week was a smart move, and frankly I’m wishing I had committed to doing it from the outset of Lent. It really could have helped me as I’ve tried to spiritually engage in my battle with the autopilot life, looking deeper into those things my mind and heart were begging me to pay attention to.

The entries in this record are relatively few, but the pattern could be significant. (And yes, I can barely read my own handwriting.) Before bed on Saturday night, I spent way more time than I should have trying to get the dimmer switch to work on my fan lights. Only there was no dimmer switch, because I was not in my room in Columbus. On Sunday morning I realized that I didn’t pack my formal pair of shoes. I guess that could happen to anyone, except it’s happened to me on three successive trips. Throughout the week I also kept forgetting our trip schedule, even after checking it minutes earlier.

On top of these things, there were also a few, kind of related, but kind of different, absent minded-type things that occurred to me: I forgot to make lunch for myself before leaving for the day; I forgot to bring a water bottle to the service sites; I apparently forgot that going to bed way way way too late – even if I had stuff to do – was going to mean I would be tired the next day.

The underlying theme is that I seem to be most absent-minded when it comes to myself and my own self-care.

Here’s a glass of root beer to working on this one while – I’m told – I still have the time.