Archive for July, 2012

What Do You Care About?

July 15, 2012 Leave a comment

It is rather easy these days for me to find myself concerned with a myriad of priorities at work, among friends and with hobbies that I pursue along the side. I keep my days pretty busy because there is just so much that I want to get done. Work exhausts me during the week and on the weekend I do everything that I can to recharge through all the activities that I enjoy the most. I keep a pretty packed schedule, but I think the part that bogs me down the most is all of the little frustrations, side-bars and trivial pursuits (not the game; I think the game is awesome) that I intermix with the bigger things.

It seems like I could relate my mind to a computer. I may have one or two applications open on the screen, but I keep about 20 hidden on the bottom task bar running in the background and slowing down the processing. 20 is actually a pretty accurate, if even small, number when regarding my mind (or my actual computer). The problem is that I never end up giving my full attention, my full “processing power,” to the task at hand. Even when I’m done with the computer, I don’t close the applications, I just “hibernate” so that when I turn it on again, the processes are all there running and ready for my attention. Similarly, at the end of the day, I usually go to bed and “hibernate” for the evening, only to wake up in the morning concerning myself with all the same nonessential background processes.

When I notice this reduction in processing power in my computer, I usually save and close out my applications and reboot the computer.  With my mind, I can’t just choose to stop thinking about things and temporarily shut off my brain. The attempt would probably not have the intended affect… What does help me though, is a little perspective. One of the things that I love about being a Catholic is that I have 2,000 years of heroes to learn from. Not only do I have the example of their lives to guide me in my struggle to live a holy life, many of them have left a legacy of their written and spoken wisdom to help me gain the perspective that I need to reinvigorate my attempts. Here is a pearl from one of those heroes (A heroine in fact and a Doctor of the Church)

“Remember you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be a great many things about which you care nothing.” ~ St. Teresa of Avila

These words are a piercing reminder that many of my regular pursuits are, in fact, trivial; that many of the items and activities which I spend my brainpower (and willpower) on are, in fact, much less important than I make them out to be.  That there are a great many processes which my brain can close and be none-the-worse. There are a great many things for which I SHOULD care nothing.

This doesn’t necessarily close those applications in my head and in my heart, but the more I think about and process the truth of those words and the effects of them, the smaller and smaller those other things become in my life and less of my attention is distracted from the truly important things which are usually not things at all…