Blogging about life at a Benedictine monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Dealing with the Unexpected
A lot of things have happened unexpectedly in my life recently. Take this blog, I wasn't expecting to write one for today, but here I am! And this is just one of the multitude of unscheduled things that have happened at work in less than two days this week. Sadly, it's carry-over from how things were at the end of last week. So far, I don't think I've completed one of the things that I had written on my "to do" list! I must say, I was starting to feel stressed and frustrated. I've kept thinking, "When can I get the work done?"
Well, the fact is that it's all been work, just not the work I thought it would be! And that's stressful.
So, the question arose for me about how could I get through everything and de-stress? I think two things have helped. The Benedictine motto "Ora et labora" ("Work and prayer") came to my aid. Instead of focusing on how stressed and, I will admit, at times irritated, I've been feeling, I decided to see the unexpected challenges as an opportunity put everything I was doing and feeling into God's hands. I've tried to see it all in a bigger perspective and not get caught up in my little "now." In other words, I've tried to make my stress and frustration part of my prayer life.
The second coping strategy came out of the first. When I realized with some horror that we have no blog for this week and our regular blog poster is away, I was not excited about the fact that I'd have to fill in (no offence intended to blog readers!) One more thing to do. When I looked at the task prayerfully, however, I could see that here was an opportunity, in fact, to de-stress. Here I am writing about my stress to you and, by sharing it reflectively, I can feel myself calming down. My heart rate is slowing and I'm becoming more prepared with very word to move on calmly to the next task; I'm even looking forward to it.
I'd like to end by saying, "Thank you for listening."
This blog is maintained by a group of Sisters at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. We try to post weekly and often succeed at that.
The opinions on this blog belong to individual writers and do not reflect any official position of the monastery. Please feel free to comment on any of the entries-- comments are moderated, but we'll publish any reasonable comment.