I am thrilled to have as my guest, fiction writer, Sonia G. Medeiros. Please join me in welcoming Sonia.
For many folk, the next several weeks will be spent in preparation for Easter with a season called Lent. Lent is a time of penance, sacrifice, preparation and spiritual renewal. The Lenten fasting prepares the body and spirit for the tribulations ahead and for the joys, the celebration and feasting.
(If you're struggling with that whole sacrifice bit, check out Jenny Hansen's solution to sinning.)
While our family observes Lent for religious reasons, I also admire the practical reasons for such a season of preparation. As our world grows ever more complex and fast-paced, we can easily lose sight of what's important and skid wildly out of balance.
This is especially true when we decided to follow a big dream or goal. The moment we open ourselves to it, the distractions, obligations and activities seek us out ruthlessly. Before we know it, our fledgling hopes can be buried. Our friends and family call us out for not paying attention to them and our work volume (in the home and/or out of it) seems to quadruple.
It's enough to make anyone want to curl up in a fetal position nursing a bottle of whiskey and snorting pure sugar.
On the other hand, we can get so caught up in our dreams and goals we let everything else begin to slip.
Either way, it's the whiskey and sugar again.
But every once in a while, we need to step back and look at our lives, our dreams and our goals. Along with all the good stuff, the dreck builds up. We need to clear it out.
The dreck is all the things we do without a lot of thought. The things that we can't say "no" too, like those obligations that aren't essential but are so sweetly asked of us (and sometimes not so sweetly). The myriad ways we waste our time on activities that don't really do anything for us (*cough* playing Plants v Zombies or watching a Netflix marathon *cough*). While a little of all of this is good, too much is...too much.
Fasting from the dreck resets our inner compass, our sense of priorities and balance. Without that reset, the abundant times feel less like celebration and feasting and more like drowing...in whiskey and sugar.
This year, along with my usual Lenten rituals, I vow to take a good look at my life, schedule, dreams, work and goals. And I vow to remove as much of the dreck as possible. To streamline my priorities and to engage in those "extra" activities here and there but not to let them swamp me.
Perduta or Lost
Yeah, I've done this all before, the clearing of the dreck and the resetting of priorities. No matter how good our intentions or how hard we work, the dreck creeps up. But that's why Lent comes around every year. We human-type folks (no offense intended to those of us who may not be human...or entirely human ;)) need regular tune-ups.
How do you balance your dreams, goals and priorities? Do you set regular times to clear the dreck?
Sonia G. Medeiros is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. She's the author of more than a dozen short stories and flash fiction pieces, blogs at WordPress, and is working on her first novel, a dark fantasy. When she's not wandering along the tangled paths of her wild imagination, she wrangles home life with one fabulous husband, two amazing, homeschooled children, three dogs, one frog and two cats who battle each other for world domination.