Friday, June 08, 2007

Red Alert

Ever since last August -- I think we all know what happened then -- I have had a really difficult time keeping to my prayer rule. At that time, I'm sure it was just sheer physical exhaustion, as my body recovered from a major assault on it, and then from a life-threatening illness (turns out that MRSA kills a lot of people). Also, dh was home a great deal, and over the years, he's made it plain that he thinks prayer is for "holy rollers."

Well -- his tune has gradually changed, and since he's been home this past month, recuperating from his own stay in the hospital -- I think I blogged about that -- he doesn't seem to mind my praying so much. This week, when I reminded him that I was fasting (he wanted to fix me eggs for breakfast), he just said, "Oh! Okay!" This is a major change for him.

So there isn't too much excuse for the fact that I managed a bare minimum, sometimes, of prayer rule throughout Lent and the Paschal season. I'm just starting to get into it a bit more regularly now. It's embarrassing; I'll have to bring it up in confession; but until today, I haven't been able to figure out what the problem is.

Today I got it. Now I just have to remember it, which is why I'm blogging about it.

When Jim's home, I'm on nonstop Red Alert, a military term for, "Be ready to leap into action at a moment's notice." Yep, that's me.

What happened this morning was that as I was debating whether or not to get into my prayer rule, at 8:30 a.m. (it takes about an hour to do the whole thing), Jim suddenly shouted, "Do you consider this redundant?" and proceeded to quote a sentence that, well, actually was redundant. He does this all the time, bouncing grammar rules off me; he's actually very savvy with the English language himself, but if he isn't sure about a point, it's me he comes to. And while it's flattering, it's also very interfering.

"Would you put a semicolon here?"

"Is a colon followed by one space or two?" (It's two. Semicolons are one space.)

"How does this sound to your ear?" (Reads the rough draft of a report he's doing for work.)

"How many days did I work from home last month?"


When he goes into Boston to work, this is not a problem, only when he works from home. Sometimes I feel like saying, "There is life in Rochester when you aren't here, I don't live in a state of suspended animation until you get home, so please stop acting as if I had nothing better to do all day than dance attendance on you." In the heat of the summer, it gets real interesting; he leaves off working around 3:00 (having worked since 6:00 a.m., so all you taxpayers are still getting your money's worth!), and then I'm supposed to Drop Everything at a moment's notice so we can drive up to his favorite swimming hole, where he swims for a couple of hours while I work on embroidery and stew about dinner, which I will still have to prepare when we get back home. Why do I have to go along? It's More Fun with me along.

Do any of you married women have a similar situation, or is this yet another manifestation of the Generation Gap?!?!

And you single gals: Think about this, when you get to hankering after being married. You don't have a life. You're on nonstop Red Alert.


Mimi said...

Bwahahahahahahaahha, on constant Red Alert! So true!

I get called upon to find things often - "where's the ketchup" "In the fridge" "I looked there already" after which I walk to the fridge, yank the door open, and grab the ketchup.

I'm so glad Jim is relaxing into your prayer rule.

Elizabeth said...

Definitely on constant Red Alert !

The number of times DH simply *has* to tell me something /ask me something when I am at the icon corner - well, put it this way ....

if every time he or the kids interrupt me I was given a pound, I would be somewhere hot and relaxing by now :-)

Susan said...

I like to call it "quick response!"
I think it spans the generations!

-DP said...

>>my prayer rule, at 8:30 a.m. (it takes about an hour to do the whole thing)<<

Have you ever considered an abbreviated "rule" ... expanding to an hour when your schedule/circumstances permit? Obviously you would make this change with the guidance of your priest/confessor, but "morning prayers" in a many monasteries is a 10 minute endeavor.

Also, having a small, alternate icon corner in a "low traffic" area of your home might enable to you to remove yourself from distractions when you start your prayers (when the house is empty, pray where you will).

Just thoughts - these are struggles we all face, but setting unrealistic goals and living in circumstances that don't foster quiet contemplation can often trigger failure.

Meg said...

Response to dp:

Actually, this *is* the prayer rule blessed by my priest - an abbreviated form of Matins. I guess it comes from being a Church Music Geek. It's also not all that unreasonable, since at this point in our lives, it's just the two of us.

And the point of this post is that in a 950-square-foot house, all the rooms contained on one floor, there's no such thing as "low-traffic" -- HEY, HON! is pretty much everywhere you are.

Still, this is becoming a regular item in confession. I have an appointment for confession on Friday -- I'll see if I can get an abbreviated prayer rule to use when the Ol' Buzzard's home. ;-)

Nancy said...

Oh man I feel your pain! We also live in a small house (1100 sq.ft.) and I too am having prayer rule "issues". Some days all I manage to get out is the Jesus prayer. However, "red alert" I don't do anymore. Been there, done that with abusive ex-husband.