1) I am starting to feel super Christmas-y. Even though it's over 50 degrees out, and there are moths banging themselves against our storm door, we have the tree up and decorated and lit up, and somehow suddenly I can stand the sound of Christmas music. We have some shopping done, and rumor has it we will be allowed to sleep in on Christmas day, and all is pretty much right with the world so far. (I am just enough of a cynic to have to add "so far.") Tomorrow is my first day off with nowhere to be in SO long. I can hardly stand the excitement. I'm going to make cookie dough for my coworkers, do the grocery shopping, and make cinnamon ornaments. With glitter!! I'm giddy.
2) This week I attended my last class of my grad school career. I can hardly believe it. I ended the whole thing with Fundamental Moral Theology, the course I was the very least interested in. It was hard, and not my bag, but I stuck with it and even did all the required reading, mostly. Today I handed in a 20 page paper that I am so glad to be done with that I only proof-read it once- so reckless. I hope he likes it. Please God let me not have to take this class over again!
All that's left to do now is my Synthesis Project, which consists of two ten-page papers and a 5 page pastoral plan. I feel like I have warmed up with a heavy bat by doing this 20 pager, and the synthesis should be light-weight in comparison. I will submit my first draft in January and then do any revisions needed, and defend it by April 2 to graduate in May.
3) Once I'm done with the project, I'm going to do so many things that I couldn't do while in grad school. Not because the classes took up all that much time, but for three years now I have been in "I should be reading" mode. This last class has required an ave. of 250 pages of horrible reading a week. But right now, I pretty much have nothing I should be reading. It feels kind of wicked. So once I'm done, I'm going to read things that aren't about God, and I'm going to watch documentaries, and I'm going to do crafts, and I'm going to visit my parents more. I'm going to... well I don't even know. But I will have unburdened time to figure it out. (Oh I'm going to blog more!!)
4) I'm back to seeing my spiritual director after a long break, and I know I've said this before here but she is amazing. She basically hugs my spirit for an hour and reassures me that I'm not horrible, not Wrong, and that God is still walking with me. I wish everyone could have a person like Mary to go to, and I hope I can be a person like Mary for people who come to me.
5) I'm way off my diet. I'm enjoying the binge eating and all, but I'm looking forward to getting back on the wagon at some point after the holidays. I love ice cream and croissants and cookies and cider and... all that stuff... but I love feeling better, and I feel infinitely better when I've cut sugar and flour out. But for now, on goes the bender.
6) We are about to go through some significant changes in the diocese, which may put my job at jeopardy or at the very least will put me in competition to keep my job. You can imagine a diocesan-wide Survivor reality show, where everyone tries to be Christian while not getting their tiki torch snuffed out. I am trying not to be nervous about it, but also feel a little like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am in a wonderful, beautiful, holy parish with fantastic people and am loathe to leave there. I can't really envision my future right now and that is an uncomfortable position for someone like me, who hates suspense.
7) My brother asked me recently how school had changed my personal theology (well that's probably not exactly how he phrased it but that's what he was asking) and it is an interesting thing to think about. I think I sounded a little groovy to him when I said "it all comes down to LOVE" but there you go. It turns out that those 1970's catechists were right on, and super-radical, and in touch with Jesus' super-radical message, when they focused on the message of Love. I am sure now that we can tell what's of God and what's not, by asking simply "is it of love?" I mean... that's big. If something's not of love, it's not of God. If I'm not being loving, I'm not being what God calls me to be. It sounds simple but it's just the opposite. Following commandments? Now that's simple. Love? Hard.
I'm heading to bed early so I can have a full day of not having reading to do tomorrow. Merry, merry merry!