I have opted not to do a Lenten blog this year. Somehow, it felt like it had become self-serving and thus not an appropriate Lenten discipline. So I have opted for a more private discipline, and it is proving challenging. It is surprising how motivational I found it to know that there might be readers out there noticing whether I posted daily or not. I ask myself, "What, it isn't as important if only God knows when you failed?"
Today my husband is at the Catholic Men's Conference at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. This is his second year of attendance and by all accounts, it is a moving, highly inspirational event. There was a women's conference last week that I did not attend. What I am about to say feels unfair, but it is how I feel. (And the title of the blog IS Candidly Susan, after all.) To me, the descriptions of what's going to happen at the men's conference always sound inspiring and uplifting and like I'd come away feeling renewed and stronger. The descriptions of the speakers and topics at the women's conference always leave me feeling like I'd come away drained and saddened or guilt-induced. Maybe next year I will force myself to go to the women's conference and experience it for myself, to at least give it a fair chance.
I should probably acknowledge that it has been a long time since I posted. I'm simply going to claim seasonal affective disorder and leave it at that. I found the month of February extremely trying and I'm glad it is over!
I continue to be woefully underemployed and seeking more fulfilling and rewarding work. I have actually thought recently that I ought to start playing the lottery again -- financially a stupid plan, I know, but as my oldest brother once said, that dollar buys you the privilege of a dream. My dream recently has been that if money didn't matter, if we didn't need my income, I could be happy being a full-time volunteer for organizations I care about. I actually know that I have a lot of skills and abilities that could benefit my church and scouts and the food bank and other organizations. If I applied the same level of professional focus to projects for them that I am used to applying to an employer, I could do some awesome things. But I am currently afraid to bite off anything very big because we so need for me to improve my income, and I need to use my time pursuing that.
I also continue to escape from my worries in reading, and I appreciate the suggestions I received in response to my posting about new authors. I just completed Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear and it was as good as promised! The next one in the series is currently on reserve for me, waiting to be picked up at the library. I also just finished a novel by an author I had never read before, Jane Stanton Hitchcock. The title was Mortal Friends and one of the things I most enjoyed about it was that it seemed like a cross between a murder mystery and a traditional novel -- the mystery initially hooked me, but the character development carried the plot way beyond just "who done it" to the point that near the end, I was completely captivated by the characters and what whas going to happen in their lives. I am eager to read another of hers to see if all her books are as strong.
Keep those book recommendations coming -- my reading really is a lifeline through this difficult time!