Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The January blahs

I've been suffering from a case of the January Blahs lately. Have you?

It's not really a case of post-Christmas stagnation, or of winter weather; I find a lot of the commercial Christmas hoopla over-the-top and exhausting anyway, and I can't really complain about the weather since we've been drifting between the 50s and the 70s around here (and, no, I'm not talking about the music in Church--at least, not today).

It's not a case of ordinary boredom, either. The truth is, I have tons of things to do, which is why I'm blogging later and later each day. It's just that the creative, fun things I really want to do get squeezed into the cracks and edges of my time, while the mounds of laundry seem to loom larger than ever (note to self: the laundry basket is not encouraging laundry reproduction; it's just that fleece takes up more room than, say, cotton tee-shirts and thus the basket appears to be full faster and faster at this time of year).

So what I really think is behind the January blahs is that all the pre-Christmas chore shirking has finally caught up with me right at the time when my mind has cleared enough from gingerbread and sugarplums to want to focus on my creative writing projects. And there simply aren't enough hours in the day.

Of course, one thing that has contributed to my present case of January Blahs is a dearth of bloggable news. Don't get me wrong: I realize that we've had a major cruise ship disaster and reams of political spats to read about--but when all is said and done, I don't feel extraordinarily inspired to write about these things just now. Maybe it's the lack of time, or maybe I should just put up a blog badge that reads "I'd rather be writing children's science fiction of no discernible value!" Or something.

Some other Catholic bloggers are doing their best in these dull days to keep the fires burning. One has a take on how a captain abandoning ship is just like abortion; another explores the question of whether night owls are morally inferior to morning birds; still another wades into dangerous territory as he discusses a campaign to end the practice of people of one faith spitting on people of another. I appreciate all these efforts, and am glad that not all Catholic bloggers are as stuck in blah-dom as I am this week.

But I think one reason I'm struggling to write about anything is that as I read the news this week so far, my reaction has been: "Hmmm. I'm not surprised." For instance:

One of these days I'm sure I'll read something in the news that actually does surprise me, and then the January blahs will slip away like a Texas snowfall. Either that, or we'll be gearing up for the annual "My way of doing Lent is perfect and spiritual and yours is seriously lacking in Christian charity and the sort of heroic self-sacrifice that gets Catholic bloggers admired and voted for in blog contests" fights, which, I admit, tend to perk me up for all the wrong reasons. :)


Anonymous said...

I realized I have the post-holiday blues too. Ah well. Just got to batten down the hatches and wait for spring!

On the Catholic news front, I've been following the story in the Archdiocese of Philly regarding closing 45+ of their Catholic schools. Also following the blogs of parents trying to keep their schools open, the reactions, etc. There is a lot going on in that story about the Church in general really, not just about Philly, or even Catholic schools. Basically, I've been reflecting on the fact that the Catholic Church in the U.S. is essentially collapsing before our eyes in the U.S. You know, cheery stuff like that.

~ Ann Marie

Anonymous said...

My issue with Mr. Romney's wealth is not so much that it prevents his entry into the hearts and minds of Americans voting for a steady hand at the rudder, but an ever-present question about wealth for personal gain.

There are other Harvard Law/Business School grads that choose to contribute to society as a whole rather than accumulating wealth seemingly beyond measure for personal aggrandizement.

Do I know that Mr. Romney knows what's best for the country and could help steer our country into a better world citizenry? No. He professes to outline a path for our estimable President's downfall. He has a public record in the state where's he's been governor. Has he ever had to wait for approval for a loan while basic family matters are put on hold? Does he consider his financial income from speeches small change? He has his money in tax shelter accounts in the Cayman Islands. He doesn't pay his fair share when he could more than the average person. That's all.

Do we want someone to lead us whose values represent those of the majority, or at the very least attempt to represent the values of the majority in making responsible decisions for society? Or, do want someone that promotes the idea that a personal success story based on behind-the-scenes secrecy and cunning self-interest machinations.

It's not a truism that everyone SHOULD be a millionaire if they only set their minds to it, nor is it true that millionaires are smarter or better and know what is good for the masses because THEY have and know the capacity to buy votes.

No, Mr. Romney's wealth should not stand in the way of his election, and there is a possibility he could make a good leader if he had built a reputation for maintaining and representing the personal values of the majority based on his own ethic.

One might be able to enshroud one's incapability (incapacity) for time if there was enough screen for purchase, I suppose.


Red Cardigan said...

I haven't been following that story as closely as I should, Ann Marie. Any specific reading recommendations?

I wonder if it's true that this is inevitable urban decline, or the result of 40+ years of horrible catechetics, or rising costs, or some combination. Or is there something else going on?

Anonymous said...

On Facebook, you can look at a group on there "Catholic Parents Respond," they have been posting most of the articles related to the Philly closings. On the local level, another Facebook page, "SOS Save St. George School" gives a taste of a local perspective. There are many reasons being thrown around, as you mention. It's the perfect storm really.

I am also interested in Archbishop Chaput's reaction. He wrote a column after the news was dropped basically blaming Catholics for not fighting harder for vouchers and to remember to be grateful to the commission who did all of this hard work of crunching the numbers to determine which schools to close. I mean really. Seemed rather tone-deaf to me and cold and harsh. Not pastoral to say the least.

I'm becoming more and more convinced we are the precipice of a truly phenomenal collapse in numbers here in the U.S. that is going to be breathtaking in magnitude. I don't think we will recognize the Church we once knew in twenty years, for better or for worse.

~ Ann Marie

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I don't mean to gloat, really I don't, I've only deferred my blahs to February, when I will have to catch up on house work, resume gainful employment of some kind, in bits and pieces, and try to get my creative writing flowing again, but I've spent most of January running to archives and libraries in DC and NY, visiting distant family, looking up old friends... then I have to settle down, and I didn't have as much seasonal work in December as I expected, not nearly as much.

Zircon, I think, has it about right on Romney. His style of business is more predatory than creative. His sole platform amounts to "I really admire the idea of me being president."

priest's wife said...

the butter might have be a cause of her weight gain which is a marker for Type 2 diabetes- but it is really the gallons of sweet sweet tea she drinks...just saying ;)

Rebecca in ID said...

I have to agree with Priest's Wife on the butter. Butter is a wonderful, perfect food and has taken the blame for too many decades.