I realized that I have not been keeping up with the blog very well the past few weeks.  That's usually a sign that I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with what's what in my own daily life that I don't really have much time to stop and reflect on it myself, let alone share the fruits of that reflection with my virtual community here on the blog!

So what's been keeping me busy these days?  Let's fall back to the old standby, the unordered list (I do not like calling the little dotted list by the name that also corresponds to violent instruments used in weapons):

  • School started.  I'm taking a full courseload of very challenging and interesting classes on topics ranging from Holocaust & Genocide to Medical Ethics to Spiritual Classics of the Early Church to Religious Life for the 21st Century.  There's a lot of reading and it's all interesting, so that keeps my brain very busy.  Once again I'm also blessed with great faculty and a diverse learning community which adds to the richness of this experience.
  • Last week I helped my Dad move to Chicago.  I've been engaged in long distance parental care for the past 13 years or so in collaboration with my four siblings.  The family finally agreed after my Dad's recent health challenges that it makes more sense for him to be close to family.  My sister Monica is here in Chicago and I'm here for school for a couple more years, so Dad moved here which is the best possible scenario.
  • While it's a very good thing to have him close by, the move itself was full of lots of planning details, physical labor, and more than a little bit of anxiety.  Moving is always a big source of stress, and this is no less true when you are almost 80.  I'm realizing that I've been carrying a lot of the stress as well.
  • It's also a challenge to shift from long distance care to an-hour-away-by-bus care.  A good challenge, but in the midst of this grad student's schedule it is a bit of an adjustment and calls on my time management and organizational skills.  
There's more, but that's the gist of what's been keeping me preoccupied.  I managed to get all of my reading done just before class this week, but now it's time to start again!  There's also such amazing food for thought in the issues I am grappling with this semester, I'm hoping that I have time to let some of the ideas mingle and ruminate and maybe, just maybe, merge together for the beginning of a thesis topic. We shall see how that one goes.

In any case, this is certainly a time of transition just as we transition in North America from summer into fall.  My guess is many of you are in a time of transition as well.  Remember to be gentle with you.


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