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Day 205: A Change of Plans

So, I was really tired last night. I made a nice meal of beef short ribs marinated in maple syrup, cider vinegar and olive oil. Baked on low for two hours. Served it with coleslaw and beets.

I was planning on laying down in bed and reading at 8:00, but ended up falling asleep. I was really excited about getting up early and hitting the gym before Mass. But, alas, my sleep disorder kicked in.

I woke up with a start at 11:30 p.m., thinking it was already morning. Wide awake! Brain racing. So I read and did some web surfing.  Tried everything. Prayed, counted sheep, tried different sleeping positions. Got up and had a glass of water.

Wide. Awake. Staring at ceiling.

I think I finally nodded off around 3:00 a.m.!

One really good thing about my insomniac night is that I found a run I'd like to aim for! I remember back in the day, when I first starting writing this blog, I had set a goal for a 5K. But I didn't follow through. I ended up switching from jogging on the trail to walking and then workouts in the gym.

It was a really hot summer.  But now that I am getting stronger again, I'd like to challenge myself with a goal. And this one sounds fun! It's called "First Run & Walk 2016". A 5k and a 10K on the waterfront downtown Portland. It starts at the stroke of midnight 01/01/2016! :) What fun! I really hope I can make it.

Then I awoke with a start at 6:36 a.m. Too late to hit the gym before Mass.  I lay there for awhile, contemplating my options. It was very cold. I checked the weather forecast.  High of 43, low of 34. Possible icy rain!  I thought about staying in bed.

But my conscious kicked in. I had made a promise to go to Mass every day if possible during Advent.  So I just stood up.  Got myself out the door. Grabbed a cup of coffee from 7-11 and made it Mass early!

The humorous thing here is that the priest did not show up!  Weekly 8 a.m. Mass is usually a small, but mighty crew. Usually a dozen or so of us.  Nothing like the crowds on Sunday, to say nothing of the throngs on Christmas and Easter Sunday!

A few minutes before 8 a.m., we stand and one of the wonderful sisters leads us in the Angelus.

It is quite lovely. Here is a nice youtube representation, if you are unfamiliar with it:

So at about 7:55 a.m., we stood. We recited the Angeles.  We remained standing in anticipation of the priest's appearance.  Nothing happened.  We kept standing. We kind of looked sideways at each other.

Then one of the sisters appeared at the pulpit. She said we were waiting for Father's arrival, but we may just have a lay mass with communion if he didn't show.

He didn't.

But it was quite lovely and humble.  And on Monday's following 8 a.m. Mass is the "Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament".  For some reason, today I found even more meaning in the ritual then usual.

I have just begun migrating back to the Catholic church after many years' absence. I had never taken part in the "Adoration".

I am feeling very present in my life.  I used to tell my kids that everyday they should do something to improve their physical, mental and spiritual life.  Today, I feel I am on the right track. And as I waited for the priest this morning, I took out The Little Blue Book: Advent and Christmas Seasons 2015-2016 that the church passed out to us last week.  For the First Sunday in Advent they suggest: "Spend today's six minutes with the Lord sketching below some ideas on how you can spend these 26 days of Advent well..."

I had just about six minutes until Mass finally started. I wrote down the following list:

(I do love lists!)
  1. Daily Mass
  2. Daily Exercise
  3. Daily Music Practice
  4. Daily Blog
  5. Daily Prayer
  6. Daily Cleaning
  7. Daily healthy eating with fasting between 8 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.

After Mass, I headed straight to the gym.  Then home to make breakfast for my adult children. It's become a tradition, most weekdays I make a nice breakfast for whoever is present.  Good bonding time. :)

I am now going to get in a bit of piano practice before I head out to teach.

I still do hope to make it to the gym at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. I hear it is going to be warmer! :)

Happy Monday!


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