"She started to study for the LSAT and she became a raging [witch], so we realized she was on the wrong path," says Heather in the same chipper voice she uses to dish out nutritional advice in the cooking video.That one hits home! Do you know I studied for the LSATs this past summer? I didn't become a raging witch but I did become uber competitive, bored, and frustrated with all the time I had to put into something that I didn't care about. After 10 weeks of intensive study plus full time work and all my other side projects, I experienced burnout. And somehow, it just didn't seem worth it.
How can I pay attention when I become a "raging witch" or unhappy and remember that there is more to life and choose the path that gives me joy and life? That, dear readers, is the challenge when you've been brought up to have intense willpower and just push through anything and everything to reach your goal.
I've started to read Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris. It was recommended to me by my friend Karen, an exceptional friend I met at the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings. Karen is smart, compassionate, gutsy, sexy, sensual and spiritual. What a combo right? Karen's vocational counselor recommended the book to her and as she read it over the course of 2 months, it changed her life. She started making the bed everyday (even with the "10 decorative pillows" that she bemoans yet loves) and being faithful to all the little daily tasks that adds up to living a life of self-respect and love.
Acedia in part means depression but it's also a lot more. Originally, a term used to describe the afflictions monks felt in the endless cycle of monastic life, acedia also includes apathy, despair, and ennui. You'll have to read the book to plumb its debts as Kathleen spends the entire book trying to describe this ancient word that has no English equivalent. Acedia also looks like feeling so overwhelmed by the day to day tasks required of us stretching into the future that we disconnect from the present and stop caring enough to do the repetitive tasks that we need to do like taking showers, cleaning our home, washing the dishes, etc. With acedia, nothing really seems worth the effort because the cerebral world is superior.
Since starting the book, I've noticed a greater awareness and shift in my psyche. I'm washing the dishes more and I even went to the gym yesterday and had a fantastic workout. It's often been a difficult journey for me to be happy here in Orange County surrounded by horribly drab architecture and sleepy suburban life but now I can see how there's a host of little things I can do to make the most of the situation instead of wishing for the big things like moving asap.
So these are my thursday thoughts. hope your day is going well. xoxo.