Lent and Letting Go

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I happen to work at a religiously affiliated university. In my case, it is affiliated with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. As such, Lent is a very important time in the life of the university community. Since I am not Catholic, I am always a bit caught off-guard by the “giving up” of things (usually forbidden food) during Lent. As a Moravian, that is not really part of my religious tradition.

It has made me think, though, about sacrifice, which is the whole point of the exercise in the first place. Personally, I don’t think God cares whether or not we give anything up during Lent. I think God cares more about our relationships than about individual sacrifice for the exercise of sacrifice. That said, I did decide to give something up for Lent and it wasn’t food. It was negativity.

This year, perhaps more than any other year in recent history, has caused me to reflect on those relationships I mentioned earlier. We are deeply divided in this country. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, letting go of the negativity is soul-freeing. It allows you to listen to another’s perspective without rancor. After all, someone else’s opinion is just that; it’s their opinion and they are entitled to that as I am entitled to mine and you are entitled to yours. So, the next time you are outraged by what has been posted, stop and ask yourself if the negativity you are feeling is worth it. Maybe letting go and instead walk outside, find another path, and free yourself.

Recharge

Time to recharge. Change habits, change jobs, change. Why? Because it is the only way to grow intellectually and the only way to recharge those brain neurons of yours. I happen to love change. It gives me an opportunity to see things in a new way, experience new ideas, new people, new places, new options. We humans are pretty adaptable, but only if we embrace change and see it as an opportunity.

On a daily basis we all encounter people (and sometimes institutions) we know who are part of the “M” tribe. What is the “M” tribe? That’s the tribe of Miserable people. These unfortunates are change adverse. They are the ones who, no matter how much a change will make their lives better, will complain endlessly (and often loudly) to all within hearing range.

Embracing change keeps you from being part of the “M” tribe. Allowing time to recharge and learn new things also keeps you from the “M” tribe. Take the time today to go someplace new, try a new food, explore a new hobby, or read a new book in a genre you don’t normally explore. You might find yourself recharged in a new and better way.

 

In Gratitude 

What are you grateful for? 

Every day I make it a practice to write at least one thing I’m grateful for no matter what happens to me that day. Sometimes it’s just something simple, like my husband making coffee for me on dreary rainy morning. Sometimes it’s something deeper where someone has commented on how much I mean to them personally or professionally. Sometimes it’s just the way the light shines on the trees bathing them in golden sunshine. Sometimes it’s something funny or profound or something that evokes a memory of a wonderful afternoon long past.

Whatever I enter doesn’t matter as much as the daily discipline of the act itself. By committing the words to my journal, I become mindful of the moment at hand. There is so much more in this world than ourselves. So much to ponder, to celebrate, to be thankful for, to be grateful for. There is only one thing that is truly democratic no matter where we come from, no matter our social standing, economic background, education, physical ability, or caste. That thing we all have equally is time. We all have 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in each hour, 60 seconds in each minute. While one can argue that we never know how long we have (and that’s true), we all have the same time while we are here. Being mindful of the moment, treasuring it and those that share it with us, changes one’s perspective on what is important in life. 

Concatenate

Since embarking on a new endeavor, a change of title is in order. Why concatenate (the title is spelled phonetically and a play on yours truly’s name)? Well, this blog seeks to link things together. In my personal case, linking art and a life spent in technology. We use concatenation in computing all the time; it’s what connects strings of text, code, or files, together. The official definition is to join or link together as in a chain and was originally found in Late Middle English and Late Latin between 1425 and 1475.

What links do you find interesting? How are you linked together socially? How are you linked to the world around you? How do you fuse your work and your life passions?

Hello, Again!

Wow, is it already November? Where in the world has the time gone? It seems like yesterday since I last posted but it’s been months. Hopefully, Blogging 101 will inspire all of us to be more intentional in our posting.  Awhile ago I posted this on my About page and so for this first day of Blogging 101, let’s take a look and see if it still holds true.

“All art is but imitation of nature.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca  [Still love this quote!]

Why are you here? What drew you to explore this blog? What inspires you? [Really, I want to know!]

As you probably know, this is primarily a creative blog but I thought I’d let you in on why I started it in the first place. For those that know me, they know I work in IT. What you might not know is that I never intended to end up in technology, it just happened, probably because I love playing with tech toys. [There’s always something new and exciting to play with and explore]

My background is actually in art and after spending 20 plus years doing tech work from database programming to telecommunication installs to system administration and now web and social media, [and Q & A testing as well as inventory management] I was beginning to realize I had lost a little of my creativity. That said, all the new tech toys are key to my own creative outlets and I wouldn’t trade my career path for the world (nor would I trade the cool tech tools I have access to either [especially in one of my current jobs, it’s awesome!]).

We all are creators at some level. In fact, I believe we walk hand in hand with our own creator (in my case, God) and that we have a responsibility to make this world of ours a better place; a more beautiful place. Creative activities aren’t always pretty, they aren’t always safe, and they sometimes turn out rather badly and pretty ugly too. That is part of the process. Although charged with making our world more beautiful, we have to learn along the way what that means and that it means we are forgiven for our failures. We learn what we can and can’t do; we learn to reshape the ugly, the first drafts, the unsatisfactory efforts [and sometimes, we have to start over or go in an altogether different direction].

In the long run, the process is as important as the finished work and we won’t reach that final work until the end when we meet our own creator who has shaped us all along.

Thanks for joining me on the journey and if you found something here that inspired you or just made you think, leave me a comment and let me know. I’m learning daily and hope to learn from you along the way too.

Peace,
Kat

Well, it’s still sound and still holds true. However, you will likely notice a shift in the content or an enhancement, whichever strikes your fancy. Yes, there will be photography and probably some more artwork as well, but also more editorial commentary on interesting articles and ideas (well, interesting to me, and hopefully to you, too). Thanks for being on this journey and hope to hear from you soon.