Monday, February 4, 2008

Forecast: Expect Changes Ahead.

My new computer, a Mac mini, is up and running! I would have posted much earlier today, but there were some glitches to straighten out, most particularly involving the difficulty of transferring old Lotus WordPro files over to a Mac environment. Though I stubbornly kept clinging to WordPro for years, my strong dislike of Microsoft Word couldn't prolong the inevitable any longer: I had no choice but to convert all of my old documents and manuscripts to Word in order to transfer them to the new machine.

I know that going from a Windows environment to the Mac's way of doing things is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. I'm not really the technical sort, and once I've gotten used to a computer I just want to keep things the way they are. I may be playing around with fonts and settings and so on for days before I really feel "at home" on this new machine.

But it was time. Nothing made that clearer than a recent change from cable internet to DSL; my husband's Imac handled the whole thing in about ten minutes, while my seven year old Windows box kept wanting to revert to the cable settings. I could sympathize with the poor thing; but that, along with mysterious messages I kept getting when I'd shut down at night that told me that some particular part of the memory couldn't be found and needed to be terminated convinced me that it was time to let go of the giant beige box.

Lent is a perfect season for changes, too. If there's any time of the year that is highly suited to getting us out of our comfort zones and into new situations, it's Lent. Oh, don't worry: I'm not going to post in detail about any of my personal Lenten sacrifice plans; I was told long ago that the whole purpose of those sacrifices was to keep them as secret as possible. Nor am I going to give up blogging for Lent. In the first place, that would be a rather obvious sacrifice on my part, since I'm not in the habit of taking a six-week blogging hiatus for no apparent reason; in the second place, we give up those things that are getting in the way of our relationship with God, and while some bloggers may find blogging doing that, I can honestly say that more often than not blogging actually improves my relationship with God, in that I find myself pondering things in more depth, with more focus on how I should view them as a Catholic, and with an eye toward good communication.

It seems like every year about this time, though, some bloggers, particularly mommy bloggers, do quit blogging for a while. I respect that; our lives are all different, and like I said, some mommy bloggers may find blogging getting in the way of more important things, like home, family, spiritual life, and so forth. This is a tricky question, to me, though, rather like a popular sacrifice among the young women at the college I attended, which was to give up the wearing of makeup during Lent. For some of them, I'm sure, wearing makeup might have been a real temptation to vanity, or perhaps a barrier to hearing God's call to the religious life. But unless a young woman has beautiful skin and naturally dark lashes and lips, giving up makeup is going to be very, very visible as a sacrifice, leading to the possibility that other young women, particularly her close friends, may feel pressured to make the same choice of a Lenten observance, or risk seeming "less holy" than she does.

But as I said before, the point of our Lenten observances is that they should quietly operate for the good of our souls. If something we're giving up, like makeup or blogging, is going to be extremely visible then we have to be very sure of our motivations, and especially that we're not being motivated to make the sacrifice out of pride instead of for our own spiritual betterment.

Since giving up blogging for me would probably tempt me to pride and remove an activity that I think has had positive effects on my spiritual life, then, I won't be giving up blogging for Lent. However, since family Lenten observances are important and my time may be limited, I will be reinstating the on again, off again "Potluck Wednesday" posts, and will be creating a special category for the Friday posts during Lent, as well.

(There is one other change you may see--I may be changing the template on the blog. This one looks kind of blah on the Mac.)

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

Excellent point about pride! Our relationship with God does not include the opinions of others. Only God knows our hearts and minds.