Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Why Is This "News"?

This week the New York Times reported that two teams of scientists have published studies showing that blood from young mice reverses the aging in old mice, rejuvenating both muscles and brains.

The scientists involved trumpet this finding as nothing short of the Fountain of Youth! “We can turn back the clock instead of slowing the clock down.”

Of course, as with all such research, there are naysayers. Other researchers warn that waking up dormant stem cells could lead to them multiplying out of control.

Doomsayers paint a gruesome portrait of poor people selling their children to rich people, who will siphon off their young blood in hopes of immortality.

The Captain is not impressed, neither with the researchers nor the whack-job doomsayers. Not to be a “know-it-all”, but we’ve known for centuries that young blood keeps us alive.

Don’t you guys ever read books?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More Whine...

Yesterday was a perfect day for a Mental Health Break.

It was beautiful, warm, and filled with sunshine. The Captain even managed to get a little color on his winter-white body.

And I needed a break. So I took it.

At least I tried.

Let’s back up a moment: Easter was a killer. Six services during Holy Week. I was worn out. I kept telling myself, “The week after Easter is always slow. You can catch up then.”

I tried taking the Monday after Easter off, but about mid-afternoon I received a call about an urgent church matter. I dealt with it. But my mind does not switch off easily, so the rest of the afternoon was lost. And the pace of the rest of the week did not, in fact, let up.

Then last week, because I was doing some long-range planning, I spent a full day working on a sermon for this week – instead of the sermon for last week.

Curse you, A.D.D.!

It was a day lost – although I am momentarily ahead for this week!

In addition, the First Mate was off on a rare Friday and wanted us to do something together. So I worked Friday morning and most of Saturday to make up the lost time.

Because no matter what, at the end of the week the sermon must be ready!

Again, feeling the strain, I took off yesterday.

Okay, just the afternoon.

There were things I felt I needed to do at the office first so I would feel free to enjoy the rest of the day. There was no small level of anxiety as I drove away from the church – the fear that someone was going to call me back, at least mentally if not physically.

And sure enough, I got the call.

Pretty sure it was intentional too.

At one church I served, I had the widow of a former pastor in the congregation. Between bitterness from a life of being "the preacher's wife" and the pain meds she was taking, she was a sad case. And she would intentionally called me on Fridays because she knew it was my day off. Her concerns were never urgent, and eventually I stopped taking her calls. But that was hard for me to do.

Now some will say, “Just turn off your phone!” I can’t do that. I have family responsibilities that I can’t ignore.

Others will say, “Check your call waiting; ignore the calls from the church.” I can’t do that either. What if someone is seriously in need of my help / presence / prayers? 
“Hi! You’ve reached your pastor’s cell phone. I’m sorry I am ignoring your call right now, and really sorry if you are having a spiritual crisis or someone you love is dying. But I’m enjoying a beautiful day at the lake, so leave your name, number, and a brief message and I’ll call you tomorrow when I get back.”
I can’t do that either. When I signed up for this job, I knew it was 24/7. I knew I could be called out any time, night or day. And I want to be there for my parishioners in need. I really do.

But right now I’m tired. My energy and enthusiasm are down. My creativity is down. I’m not enjoying my work. It’s just not fun. 

I know. Hemingway was suicidal. Don't worry. The Captain is not.

The good news is that the First Mate and I have a scheduled vacation coming up in less than three weeks. Beach Time guaranteed! 

It can’t get here fast enough!

But I already know how that’s going to go. Like all the other vacations I've taken, I’ll fret about the church the first day I am gone, relax in the middle ["Why is the rum always gone?"] and on the last day I will shift back into work mode, thinking about all the things I will need to do when I get back.

I just pray my cell phone doesn’t ring on one of those middle days. 

Anyway, please forgive this ol’ Captain for his whining. I’m just tired right now.

And now I'm off to another meeting...


Monday, May 5, 2014

Cruel & Unusual Punishment

No, this is not a commentary about the recent botched attempt to execute a death-row prisoner in Louisiana. Although, now that you bring it up, it was exceptionally barbarous and I think someone should at least lose his job because of it!

But then again, I feel that way about all executions. There is no “humane” way to execute a person.

By the way, did you know that pirates never really employed the punishment of “walk the plank”? That was merely the stuff of fiction. Shooting, stabbing, beheading, and disemboweling were the preferred methods.

Pirates have no reason to even pretend to be “humane”!

Anyway, my post today is going to be a little more light-hearted.

It’s time to get back to having fun and enjoying life!

In the Captain's Locker there is a piratey t-shirt which reads:

Recently I have begun to wonder if I should perhaps consider beatings! Maybe they’d be more satisfying…

It’s been a long, cold winter. Having never been one to tolerate cold weather – my comfort level ranges from 80-100 – this year has been especially difficult for me. Here we are – the first week of May – and the air temperature is just now breaking the 80 degree mark with any consistency.

Unfortunately, today we’ve also got gale-force winds that are not making for a pleasant experience out-of-doors.

So I’ve been torturing myself. On Facebook I have “friended” people I don’t know who live in tropical climes, and I have “liked” businesses and blogs with tropical themes.

And, as expected, they are filling my timeline with scenes of white sandy beaches and clear blue lagoons and palm trees…

Oh the torment! Why do I do this to me?

And with vacation still three weeks away!

There are no white sandy beaches or tropical lagoons nearby, but anything will beat staring out the window of my office wishing I was somewhere else today.

So this afternoon, the work will have to wait. The Banana Winds sails! The top is going down and I’m heading off to find my “happy place”.