Yesterday was Septuagesima. Next Sunday will be Sexagesima and the Sunday after that is called Quinquagesima, which is the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent, which is the forty days (not counting Sundays) leading up to Easter.
I came into this antique vocabulary as an adult, and I still delight in it like a little kid. The words sound to me like ballet terms (arabesque, coupé dessous, pirouette) or the names of the diacritical marks on a sheet of music. The liturgical terms mean something to the practitioners of the discipline - in this case, it's 70, 60, and 50 days before Easter (which is odd, since a week only has seven days in it). On Septuagesima Sunday, we enter the countdown to Lent - and the kids in that picture are pretty good representations of the moods present at the beginning of Lent in various years.
The annual season of Lent, more than the beginning of the calendar year, is when I take stock. Somehow, since this time last year (whichever year I'm in), I have invariably acquired random piles of stuff. Duties. Relationships. Distractions. About a zillion zillion distractions. Ugh.
It's time once again to sort mental piles, toss distracting clutter, and only keep the eggs that fit in the one, intentionally filled, deliberately chosen basket. Time to stop living in Multitasking Fantasyland, where the illusion of doing several things at once is sprinkled like pixie dust on all the plants and animals, dazzling the eye and dizzying the head, and all we end up doing is spinning and spinning and spinning. Lent reaches out a hand, and I can grab it and stop.
One little blog has spread under the soil of my world, and shoots have come up in other places. Now there are three blogs, a facebook page, and a newly opened account on SmashWords, where I intend to put some of my writing into the open market. That's too many eggs. Too many sprouts. Too many metaphors for too much distraction.
One little degree has turned into a sprawling, spreading, lolling about, directionally diffuse, too faint and watery in intention, unchanneled. Instead of a river, carrying me on to a place I want to go, I'm sitting in a swampy sort of landlocked wetland. And wetlands are wonderful for wetland-dwelling species. If I wanted to live here, I'd be home. But I don't. So I'm not. I need to dredge a channel and get moving again because it's getting too attractive to disease-ridden pestilence and I need to breathe freely again. (Translation: I need to FINISH my Prior Learning portfolio, turn it in, and get the credit for it. And that's for starters.)
All in all, it's also time to chuck out some of the eggs that looked kind of interesting, or quirky, or familiar from another place and time. I've been going on too many daytrips back down paths I've already walked. It's like a little check for psychic buyer's remorse. Am I glad I went this way? What if I'd stayed there? When I left that place, I was unhappy (or scared, or angry, or hurt) ... was that a good enough reason to leave? Was I overreacting then? Did I miss out?
(Oh, the lure of "You're missing out ... you're missing out ..."!)
(click on that picture! It came from a very cool site called artsyTIME)
We can only remember things from where we were standing at the time. We can only have seen them through our own eyes, interpreted them from our own personalities, our own assumptions. Along the way, we rewrite the memories, re-form the images, re-remember, and incorporate into our lives what we thought we saw when we saw something. It is not a bad idea to go back and check and look with the eyes we now have. Usually, we find that our view was surprisingly incomplete at best.
And then we have to learn that our current view is still incomplete, at least.
So it's clearing-out-time. Remove the eggs and count them. Keep only the one basket. I've only the one life. Eggs that tend toward the rot and disintegration of fear-mongering, contraction, and staying put, contented with conclusions already drawn ... out, out, out. Eggs that still hold the health and life of joy, anticipation, openness and change ... put those in. Keep those.
And maybe in the end, I'll be so sorted out that I won't be conflating eggs in a basket with boating on outa here - with a ballerina added to the cargo. Sheesh! Metaphor muddle: dead giveaway, proof of the need for the annual assessment.