A Balm for Fried Brains

Longtime readers know that when I get over-busy and overworked there is a crash and burn, (strangely enough, it’s often an Crash-and-Burn-in-ADVENT) followed by a period of fried-brains-recovery that involves staring at beautiful fabric and period clothing, because despite my Tomboyish ways, somewhere within me there is a pathetically girly girl who is living in the wrong era and occasionally must be served.

The past few days, which featured all my regular work, plus a few promised projects and a large freelance gig with a looming deadline, I entered a burn-out mode. At one point, between here, Patheos and two other projects I wrote 6,000 words in about 15 hours, and most of them, upon review, made a measure of sense.

Oh, pipe-down, scallywags, I know that means I was batting above my average!

Anyway, at one point I had been awake for 36 something hours, and things got a little woozy. My elder son had popped by, and I pulled him into the office and demanded, “read this, and tell me if it makes sense.”

“Why,” he asked.

“Because I’m blind. I can’t see it.”

Ah. It seemed I had reached a sleep-deprivation sweet spot which my Elder son–who routinely resisted slumber as a teen–described thusly:”…it’s where everything is humorous to you, and you feel like you’re underwater and everyone is a robot. I love that.”

Perhaps you have to be a certified genius to like that robot thing. Not being a genius, myself, its charms escaped me.

All of this is by way of confession something that, again, longtime readers probably already know: another balm for fried brains is reading monastic Horariae, abbey-gazing, and nun-reading.

So imagine my happy-happy-joy-joy
to see that our dear Summit Dominican friends have posted another of their wonderful slice-of-life posts, wherein we get to glimpse what the reality of monastic living entails. It’s not mystical trances and hothouse flowers. In fact, reading about their days convinces me that perseverance in the religious life relies wholly upon the grace and mercy of God.

But it’s still, paradoxically, wonderfully restful and reassuring to read something like this:

In our Constitutions work is associated with the work of Redemption: “Rejoicing that they can fulfill the design of the Creator and be associated with the work of the Redeemer, the nuns should readily give themselves to work with all their powers of mind and heart as well as their gifts of nature and grace.”

The formal periods of work—and work can be both physical and intellectual—are from 9-11:30 AM and 4-5:30 PM. However, work as is observed in the monastery is not a 9-5 job but more that of living in a family. There is always something that needs to be done in service to one another! Our added challenge is to do what most people do in 8 hours in 4 hours! One of the things learned in the novitiate is to be creative with a spare 5 minutes here and there and you find that you can get a lot done!

Needless to say, I am also listening to this, because it is gorgeous!

More nunstuff:

Listen in: Dominican Nuns make their solemn profession in 1955!

Browse Our Archives