In Time

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It’s noon on Friday.

I woke my family to the greeting of “It’s Hamiltime!

Get up, get dressed, there will be no talking, no singing, no pausing, no leaving in the middle. The intermission is one minute long. Please plan accordingly.

When Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that a film of Broadway’s Hamilton performance would be premiering in theatres in October of 2021, I put it on my calendar.

Immediately.

When he surprised us a few weeks ago with a new, moved-up date of July 3rd of this year, I think I may have shrieked and then I put it on my calendar in big, bold, capital letters. Back when Hamilton was on Broadway, and then later on, locally at Proctors [live theatre], I had thought about getting tickets, but it was well out of my price range, and I accepted that, but I also knew that there was a filmed version in a vault somewhere, waiting for the right moment, and I waited.

I believe I’ve been rewarded for my patience.

I mean, I could have watched it at 3am when it began streaming on Disney+, but I waited for my family even though they’re only watching it with me to indulge me. (I must confess that since I was actually up at 3am, I did watch the first song, and let the second one start, but that was it. I turned it right off. Honest.)

Patience is a virtue, they say.

And patience is something we’ve all been living with and being forced to accept during these last few months. Hurry up and wait. It’s been frustrating and sometimes a little scary being in this new place we’ve never been before. Even the meaning of time changed for many of us. While my kids had school remotely, they didn’t have very much online class time so they were very flexible in doing their schoolwork. It didn’t matter when they woke up or when they went to bed, their video game consumption or facetime as long as they got their work done. That same level of “flexibility” stretched into grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning. Things definitely got a little lax there; after all, who was coming to visit?

There was also something hanging in the air. It wasn’t tangible, but something changed. Time is often described as fleeting, but in March… it just stopped. Our whole lives jerked to a stop, and when it started again mere moments later, it began a slow crawl to nowhere and no-when. Days slipped into weeks. It took a year to travel through March, and the next three months weren’t any better. At times, it seemed that we were moving backwards. We weren’t of course. Time wasn’t fleeting, but we also weren’t standing still. Here was where we established the days by Sunday’s livestreamed Masses and Monday’s Rosary [with the Cursillo movement], and time by watching the Governor’s daily briefing. As each pause of society was extended in two week intervals we were given some semblance of a hope that we would return to normal. If only we had patience. Collectively, we learned to focus on our present and be patient for the tomorrow that is yet to come.

And now with the majority of the country failing the present crisis, we try to slip by the inevitable return of lockdown, balancing our lives with our life, and those around us. It’s tiring. It’s frustrating. It’s certainly not how I wanted to spend my summer. But I remain in faith. If we all do our part, together we will get through this crisis, and come out on the other side.

Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr sings in Hamilton, “I am the one thing in life I can control….I’m willing to wait for it.

And as St. Paul tells us in Romans 12:12: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

In the meantime, that’s really all we can do.

De Colores.

[De Colores is a greeting, farewell, and song used in the Cursillo movement by many of its groups.]

[This was previously published in our local Cursillo Weekly Digest the first week of July, 2020.]

Inspire. June.

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Lilacs. (c)2020

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

John Quincy Adams

This pandemic has taken, but for those of us continuing to live through it, it has also given. More time with our families. More time to think of our priorities, our spirituality, our blessings, and our failings.

As President Adams said above, this pandemic has brought patience and perseverance to all of us in varying degrees of success. We all have both despite having different levels of both, and through it all, in whatever way we are and we can, we are moving through it and adapting.

It is ever with us.

Wear your mask.

Keep your distance.

We’re all in this together.

Be well.

Patience. Perseverance.

It’s Not Easy Letting Things Go

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Yesterday’s reflection was about forgiveness.

Today’s homily was about what is most important and Jesus says: Above all else, love G-d with all your heart, mind & soul and second take that love and love one another.

My devotional asked: How do I make decisions about what is right and what is wrong?

I worry about this all the time.

How do I put things or actions in the right column or the wrong column, and not everything is so cut and dried, is it?

I’ve mentioned before in one of these that I do hold grudges. I still get a twinge when I think of certain people, and I’m not feeling particularly charitable, and that makes me feel bad. I try to let things go, but sometimes it’s not easy.

I’ve confided in people and then had them betray me with that information. I had a woman yell at my infant son when he was learning to walk and would fall down on the carpet in our second floor apartment above hers. This is no exaggeration. I have finally let it go, mainly because it’s not worth holding onto.

A few years ago, I met someone with this generous philosophy, and it was foreign to me. I mean, no, of course, don’t have a grudge, but if someone wrongs you why is it wrong to be angry and to hold onto it for a little while? In the last few years, I’ve seen my way and this more compassionate way side by side, and I will tell you that I’ve been the one to change. I have changed, and definitely for the better.

That doesn’t mean perfect; it does mean better.

I can see more clearly the rationale of not holding the grudge, of not having anger be the default, of letting things go when you can, and of compassion and forgiveness, which I’m finding seem to be running themes during this Lenten season.

I’ve always been able to see the other side, but putting myself on the other side to see what’s happening and why things are happening – well, it’s much harder, but it is better in the long run for my friendships, my personality and my blood pressure.

I will still get angry. I will still feel entitled, and want to argue or lash out or say it’s not fair when it’s not. But I have also learned to take a deep breath.

I have learned to look through other people’s eyes.

I have learned to listen.

I have not learned patience – that is one of the three things I pray for every day.

I have learned to be selective in what I do get upset about: choose your battles wisely we are told.

Yesterday, I talked about signs of hope. I’ve seen at least three this week. That doesn’t make what’s going on with me easier, but it pushes me out to the next day, and lets me calmly assess and calmly question, and every day is a new day.

A clean slate.

At least I try to wipe away yesterday’s hurt, or yesterday’s wrong, and move forward.

I will ask for answers. I will hope that I can continue to speak my mind. I’ve always been allowed to, and I will hope that hasn’t changed.

At the end of the week, I will ask for forgiveness on things that I have done and more than just apologize for them, a deeper apology will be offered and forgiveness will be sought.

This is more than just getting ready for my first confession. There are real people who I owe things to. I’ve reached out to some already. There are still one or two more.

First, I need to look at myself, and see what I’ve done that’s right and wrong and then I can seek out, and hope that it will all be okay.

Love G-d and love your neighbor. I’ve seen it done by people I’m close to. It’s not impossible. I can do it too.