Dogs at the Table

...or to put it another way, "Perish, priest!"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Storm Day

After an unusually warm winter, thus far -- a brown Christmas, shirt-sleeves and sweaters in January, trees starting to bud and green patches on the lawn -- we are having our first winter storm day. Snow and falling ice overnight have cancelled the day. I suppose I'm in one of the few jobs where I could, if inclined, do little or nothing during the week except read, pray and respond to emergencies as needed. It's not in my nature, though. I recognize that I'm driven and over-functioning, and, once September comes, seldom have sequential days off.

That's why I treat days like this as a gift. Today would have been two meetings, and liturgical planning for the weekend. Last week was the complilation and completion of the Annual Reports. I really need a day to do nothing much more than read and pray. Maybe play computer games. Maybe nap. And because the school board cancelled school, I have this sense of being able to slack off with a clear conscience.

The problem comes, of course, when this kind of rationalization begins to infect the moral and ethical decisions we make. If I can excuse my actions in one part of my life so easily, what happens when I'm confronted with the hard decisions which constantly confront and confound us. If we can find ways to abrogate our responsibilities by taking advantage of some set of fortunate circumstances, what does that say about us?

I haven't reached the point of feeling guilty about a much-needed day off, but as I hear the reports of traffic accidents, and flight delays, and people losing wages because they can't work today, the least I can do is remember that not everyone is in my fortunate circumstance.

Today's weigh-in: 231 lbs. Signs of improvement.


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