And so it's another year. And another round of quick takes!
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Ok, so this is the wrong kind of optimism. I'm going for more of a hopeful realism. But anyway, over the last several months I've been declaring Optimism Monday, since Monday is easily my favorite day of the work week. On Monday the week holds so much promise. By Thursday and Friday sometimes I feel beaten down by the week and can't wait for it to be over. But now Iowa Steve has dubbed this year Optimism 2014 and that's just what I need. Lately I've allowed myself to complain which doesn't help anyone and makes me grumpy. And I have so very little to complain about. I guess Monday will now be Extra Optimism Monday--Optimism 2014 here we come!!
I had an awesome trip to AGU in San Francisco during which I made an emergency purchase of a fabric shaver from Walgreens. (Here's the written review, if you prefer.) We also firmly established some AGU traditions: kicking off the week with Trondsen, Fresh Roll with Katie, Chipotle with Phil, the mall food court with Hyomin, and a trip to Millennium--a vegan restaurant with meals that taste like neither vinegar nor coconut milk (I suspect they're practicing some kind of black magic). This year I was all about the early bedtime. I did manage to get to Mass a couple of mornings, including one day when the priest exclaimed "It's great to have so many people here considering the weather!" There was a cold snap and temperatures were in the thirties. Those Californians must have been experiencing some real hardship.
I had a great time visiting my family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I helped gram finish a puzzle and watched some Andy Griffith, which is much funnier than I expected. Unfortunately, mom had to work so she couldn't be there. But our Pre-Christmas Christmas was a great success!
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Tonight I'm warming my toes with the fancy rice bag my brother and his girlfriend gave me for Christmas. Good thing mom convinced me to keep the microwave! Someone who is crafty (definitely not me) can make their own using the directions provided here. The only weird thing is that mine came out of a microwave a little bit damp. Is that normal? I hope it's not some kind of residual microwave juice!
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I have two New Year's Resolutions for 2014. The first is to practice the Heroic Minute as described by St. Josemaria Escriva. Get up as soon as the alarm goes off, if not before. No snooze button. No lingering. Jump out of bed and start the day. And here's the scientific evidence that St. Josemaria was spot on (in addition to having an awesome name). Unfortunately I think some of my difficulty getting up is that I'm one of those adults who need 8-9 hours of sleep per night to be fully rested. Ain't nobody got time for that!
Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a set time, without granting a single minute to laziness. If, with the help of God, you conquer yourself in that moment, you'll have accomplished a great deal for the rest of the day. It's so discouraging to find yourself beaten in the first skirmish.
---St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way 191
My second resolution is to prepare several weeks worth of easy meal plans that I can rotate so that I no longer have to think about what I'm going to eat this week. However, I have not done the homework for this one yet. And I really hate grocery shopping. So this could be a big challenge.
I also decided to compose a list of BIG prayer intentions for 2014. Since I'm rooting for the beatification of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta maybe they will obtain some miracles!
- Healing of FrC's sister who has cancer
- Healing of my gramma's cancer
- Conversion of a certain family member
- Crushing defeat of the HHS contraceptives mandate
- A devout Christian husband for a special person
- A career job for a close friend
- A close encounter with God leading to repentance for a certain person
- A supernatural and unmistakable vocational call for a close friend
- Mental and psychological healing of a friend
- For Stephen Hawking to remember that he believes in God.
- Miraculous conversion of one of our "Catholic" politicians--by which I mean he/she would start believing what the Catholic Church teaches and make that clear in his/her actions