Thursday, February 28, 2013

I’ve gotten some nice feedback from people from my last bit of reflection posted in here. it gives me some courage to share more personal items from my journal. So from today: Let’s spend some time talking about recovery from surgery and returning to work:

I am not sure if it’s the recovering from major surgery and the anesthetics; if it is the work – internally and externally – involved with physiotherapy, building new neurological and muscular pathways of motion and understanding; whether it’s old age and the onset of dementia – although friends tell me I can discount that as I haven’t changed that much: but some things have changed. And it might  simply be  related to the increased time that I’m giving for meditation and centering prayer as well as the enforced solitude that comes from being away from work recovering from the shoulder surgery.

But I have changed. I am more sensitive to pain and fatigue and feelings: not only, “what’s on your heart and mind right now?,”  But the inchoate sensations that are coming from my body, new dimensions of feedback I’m aware of after working out or stretching: I’m getting more feedback from areas that used to make less noise. And that is changing me.

I will go back to the office next week. Since I’m only working a four-day week, it is not likely  the initial stress or strain will be too overwhelming. I can do a lot of work from home – probably most of it. And since there is not much work outside the office until after Easter, I’m spared the fatigue that comes from too much driving and getting home late after teaching an evening class an hour away.

But it still seems a bit uphill. I’ve become aware in the last few years that I multitask less well, I need  thoughtful routines and better methodology in addition to ongoing discipline and devotion to keep myself right side up  on a busy or demanding day. I get flummoxed more easily and more often unless I’m careful about how I approach my  work and move through it.

Coming back to work after a three-month sick-leave, though, is the perfect opportunity to do some things differently, to start something new; so I need to think about how to incorporate what I may have learned from where I’ve been to where I’m going. 

Several years ago when teaching a class at Trinity Theological School in Melbourne I talked a bit about, and offered some models from, a variety of sources on building a rule of life. I think it’s time for me to look at these again. I will be teaching a class later in the year on that subject, but I need it for myself first - perhaps to start that task is a good beginning in the middle of Lent.

 So today: having done my lectio and meditation/prayer; I’m doing some further reflection and writing, getting ready for lunch with a friend, and following that with errands and shopping. I have a study group tonight that I need to prepare for and I might grab a nap in the middle there somehow.

It is feeling like an autumn day here. Cool weather, intermittent rain, pale skies, and I am glad the season seems to be changing and I’m ready to move into  the new season. 37 years ago at Mount Calvary retreat house in Santa Barbara California (when I was returning after several weeks of staying with the monks back to the business of wrestling a bachelors degree from the University of California, Davis), I told one of the older monks (Bishop Robert – I think who had been with the order in Liberia many years before) that I was off to return to my hometown. He scarcely paused on his way through the hall, “Ah, yes, another beginning.” I do – sometimes with difficulty – try to thank God for beginnings and their concomitant endings:  in in any case, it looks like another time comes round.

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