My contract ended yesterday. The best guest for its renewal is 4-6 weeks. Thank God for unemployment!
I am deeply invested in the project and even more deeply invested in the success of the people on the team. As the wise, old man, I've been able to mentor many of my coworkers along the way. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Unbeknownst to them, I feel guilty when I'm not working as if I'm letting them down. I'm paid by the hour, so I've also felt like I'm letting wife kitteh down if I'm not making money. That's all my own neuroses, not pressure from them.
Anyways, big things have been accomplished and it's been a great ride so far. Going back after a bit will be fine. In the meantime, I'm going to make a point to slow down.
A while back, I blogged about trying to choose prayer over beer and avoid an all too common fate among the men in my family: alcoholism. This morning, I finally relaxed and sat in the Lord's presence. Yesterday, I bought one of those religious candles you sometimes see at Mexican markets, the ones with the exaggerated photo of the Sacred Heart or Mother Mary*. As Mary and I have a thing going on, I chose her.
The candle makes me smile because it's so over the top. Humans are creatures of pageantry and ritual no matter what we say and lighting it this morning made the silence, prayer and listening more fun. Yes, prayer can be fun.
I don't usually recite prayers, but after a while of listening to the Big Guy, I found myself saying Hail Marys. It just felt right. It was, well, fun.
So less coffee, little or no beer**, more prayer and a slower life will be the order of the coming days. If I hadn't been forced into it by the ending of the contract, I'd never have tried it.
Understanding the Liturgy of the Hours
The Liturgy of the Hours is a Catholic thingy where you pray and read scripture at regular intervals throughout the day. I tried it, but it's got a ton of Psalms in it and I was not a big fan of them at the time, so I quit. I'm not sure how I feel about them these days.
At any rate, the reason you pray throughout the day is that the world can quickly drag you back into your habits. You pray and feel great and then 30 minutes later it's like you didn't pray at all. By doing it every three hours or so, you continually reset your head.
I've got a new Theory of Everything that I'll share with you another time. It's simple and easy to validate with personal experience. As we can no longer trust anything given to us by journalists, academics or political leaders, we must rely on our own data points. I think I've got the thing worked out. You can be the judge.
* - A Mexican pipefitter friend of mine always referred to her as "Mama Mary" like she was family. Because she is.
** - I drank more than enough last night to celebrate the end of my contract. Beer is the all-purpose tool for life events. Happy? Beer! Sad? Beer! Bored? Beer! Hmm. I think I see how this whole alcoholism thing works.