Category Archives: 7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes on Time Tracking, Spam, and Some Fun Stuff

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I had another event-filled weekend. I am grateful to have friends that invite me to do things with them, but it makes my inner introvert very tired. (I dance back and forth over the center line on the introvert–extrovert spectrum, and yes, that is a thing.) I did my laundry, went grocery shopping, played cards with friends, went to trivia, attended Mass at a different parish and time than usual, went to a baby shower, and Skyped with Mr. Man. That was a lot for one weekend. I was very tired this week.

— 2 —

It’s long, but this prayer disposition advice from Origen is pretty sweet:

It seems to me that the person who is about to pray should withdraw for a little and prepare himself, and so become more attentive and active for the whole of his prayer. He should cast away all temptation and troubling thoughts and remind himself, so far as he is able, of the Majesty whom he approaches, and that it is impious to approach Him carelessly, sluggishly, and disdainfully; and he should put away all extraneous things.

This is how he should come to prayer: stretching out his soul, as it were, instead of his hands; straining his mind toward God instead of his eyes; raising his governing reason from the ground and standing it before the Lord of all instead of standing. All malice toward any one of those who seem to have wronged him he should put away as far as anyone would wish God to put away His malice toward him, if he had wronged and sinned against many of his neighbours or had done anything whatever he was conscious of being against right reason.

— 3 —

Time tracking went very well. As I learned when I got on a budget, awareness is key. Laura Vanderkam compares it to dieting. Everyone knows that the first step to changing your diet (I don’t think of diets as short-term, temporary things) is to write down everything you eat. The first step to getting on a budget is to write down every penny you spend. Similarly, the first step to using your time better is to write down what you actually do every hour. Knowing that I would have to write down “spent 15 minutes scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter before I got around to making dinner” made me very conscious of limiting that time to 15 minutes. I’ve never thought of 15 minutes as a useful chunk of time to conceptualize, but it totally is!

I also had to face the black-and-white proof that my sleep schedule is ridiculous. I knew that before, but I didn’t have empirical evidence of it. I’m looking forward to doing a complete analysis.

— 4 —

Occasionally, I get overloaded by missed spam comments here on the blog. Thursday, I had about ten in one day! I’m grateful for the tools that allow me to mark them as spam immediately, but man, is that annoying.

A further note on spam: Don’t mark email as spam if you just don’t want it. Someone might actually want to receive that newsletter, and when you mark it as spam, the system learns from that, and it affects everyone. Every email newsletter is required by law to have a way you can unsubscribe from it. It’s usually a link towards the bottom. Use that. For a fast way to remove yourself from email newsletters en masse, search your email archive for the word “unsubscribe.”

— 5 —

I was exhausted after finishing my review of Dawn Eden’s new book for ATX Catholic, to point where I got that tired, caffeine-stretched feeling behind my eyes. It was a serious struggle, but I managed to get in a tiny bit of extra sleep in the days since. It helped. It helped a lot, and I hate that it helped so much. I wanted to get more stuff done in that time, not just sleep through it!

It was probably the influence of tiny amounts of extra sleep combined with the awareness of time tracking that gave me a burst of mid-week productivity. I got a long-deferred item checked off my list (finishing my notes from last fall’s hip-hop WCS workshop and my workshops at Free Day of Dance), and I looked into the new YNAB. I also got some reading done from Pocket. I was really glad I have the systems in place that let me use that time on things I’d already decided I wanted to do.

— 6 —

Oh, and which account favorited that is NBD:

The official Jeopardy! account favorited my tweet!

Just kidding; it’s a BD.

— 7 —

I don’t have a lot to say this week, so go look at this corgi. Bonus points if you find my comment.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Clothing Storage, Cord-Cutting, and Talking to Men

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

I had a modest conversion in college—that is to say, I started dressing modestly, not that I had a small conversion instead of a big one. (I had a big one, too.) My style habits weren’t particularly awful, but I didn’t do much to express my faith through my wardrobe. I remember, though, the way boys used to look at me when I wore clothes that were cut too low or too high. I didn’t want that kind of attention anymore. So I stopped dressing like that.

I didn’t get rid of all my clothes, though, and even now, I don’t necessarily refuse to buy immodest clothes. I just figure out a way to make them work. If you flip through my What I Wore Sunday posts, you will notice the abundance of undershirts, tank tops, and sweaters. I don’t just wear them for dimension and color.

Because of this, I especially appreciated a recent post from The Chastity Project about how to hack your wardrobe for modesty. I have a solid foot of closet rod space dedicated to cardigans and bolero jackets, plus a row of undershirts and camisoles in my t-shirt drawer, as evidence of my commitment. It’s not an easy way to live, but I believe it helps me grow in holiness.

— 2 —

Yes, that was a row of shirts. I fold my t-shirts like this guy does:

And then I file them vertically in a drawer. I can see everything I have at once, and I can fit much more into a single drawer. I might not have kids, but I do have organizing tips galore. #notamomblog #stillawesome #thanksPinterest

— 3 —

I have been a cord-cutter for several years now. I watch everything on Hulu, but the episodes aren’t available forever. (That would be a terrible business model.) Hulu helpfully emails me when episodes are set to expire in a week so I can watch while they’re still free.

I took a break from Hulu while most of my shows were on winter hiatus. When they came back, though, the fall episodes started to expire. That was when I realized a side effect of cord-cutting: I have no idea when episodes actually air.

I had to unfollow everything on Facebook so I would stop seeing spoilers, although I am not sure they still count as spoilers after the original air date. I only know when a hiatus starts because episodes stop popping up in my Hulu queue. And I only see a preview of the next episode when I intentionally seek it out. It’s a far cry from the days of split-screen credits showing clips from an “all-new” episode “in two weeks!” I can’t decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It sure makes cliffhangers more dramatic.

Also, is there such a thing as a partially-new TV episode? Would that be a clip show?

— 4 —

I’m still working on this whole Year of Mercy thing. If nothing else, the word “mercy” jumps out at me way more than it used to. I was listening to an episode of the Caritas podcast when I heard a particularly apt differentiation between mercy and justice. “I had to throw myself on the mercy of God,” said Heather Renshaw, “because if I threw myself on the justice of God, I’d be gone.”

— 5 —

It was a pretty quiet week life-wise. I attended the baptism of the first child of some good friends, so my Sunday church outfit did double-duty. It rained a lot. I didn’t hear about any flood deaths this time, but there was flooding, as usual. It’s strange to live in a town that was in a drought for years yet floods severely when it rains. Another pair of friends got engaged.

Mr. Man has asked why I don’t write day-in-the-life posts. I assume he means the kind you’d find on mom blogs. The thing is, when you don’t have kids, there is a lot less going on in your day-to-day. I do plenty; I have a life. I just don’t have Constant Kid Hijinks to report on.

— 6 —

Having a boyfriend, especially a long-distance one, has introduced a challenge I forgot about. An article in Verily this week about how not to lead men on reminded me of that challenge.

I like meeting new people in general. Having friends makes singleness sting less, and you never know who’ll introduce you to the love of your life. (As my friend Malarie says, one man leads to more.) Part of the reason I got a life in the first place was that I wanted to get married. I distinctly remember reading The Thrill of the Chaste (the original edition; my review is here) sitting alone in my apartment. Dawn Eden literally called out her readers for doing that exact thing and said, “Go to a coffee shop and read there. There are no single men in your apartment.” I don’t think that’s a direct quotation, but that’s the gist of it. So I started going out to where single men are, and where single women are, and married people, and really any other humans.

Since I’ve been taken, but at a distance, I still meet new people quite often, and some of them are single men who do not know I have a boyfriend. But I’m no less friendly than I was before. So now, I have to figure out how to balance my natural friendliness, my desire to build community, and my faithfulness to my boyfriend. When you’ve been flirting for a long time, it can be hard to find the line between flirting and friendliness again. A girl can only name-drop her boyfriend so much.

— 7 —

I’m trying time tracking this week. I first heard Laura Vanderkam describe her work on a podcast; I think it was an episode of The Productivity Show. She studied time journals and found that people generally have more time than they think and spend it in different ways than they think they do. She’s written two books about it, and she has a regular column for Verily.

Thanks to GTD, I’ve got a handle on what I’m getting done and what I need to do. It still feels like I don’t have enough time to do it all, though. The solution is to figure out where my time is actually going. I downloaded her template for a time tracking log, put it into Google Drive, and started filling it in. It is sobering to account for every fifteen minutes. (It’s also a little tedious, but I am persnickety anyway.) I will let you know how it goes.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Some Brushes with Fame

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

As I wrote in my Currently post last week, I think my Jeopardy! audition went really well. I will either hear from the Contestant Department sometime in the next 18 months or try for another audition after that. It’s a waiting game, and I’m willing to wait to get to play the game I’ve loved since I was a child.

— 2 —

I listened to a particularly great homily from Fr. Mike Schmitz last week the first homily in his “Heroic Confidence” series. It had a Confession plug at the end! I love plugs for Confession. I’m always in favor of encouraging people to go to Confession more (at all instead of never, or once a quarter instead of twice a year, or once a month like I do, etc.). Everyone knows that Confession plugs mean more coming from the pulpit. Easter is just as good a time to talk about Confession as Lent and Advent.

— 3 —

Check me out in blogger land! Mr. Man is a fan of Aleteia, so he spotted that Simcha Fisher quoted me (sadly, not by name) in her review of Marcel’s book on how to fight pornography. I published my review at ATX Catholic a few weeks ago, ending it with a description of the target audience, as I understood it. I guess she liked my list! Bullet points are the way to go.

Honestly, I sometimes forget that the whole world can see what I write online. I know they can, which is why I don’t actually share everything, yet it surprises me when my worlds collide like that.

As soon as I realized Simcha read my review, I thought, “I should review her book!” But then I remembered what it’s about. Maybe someday.

— 4 —

In other Internet news, I took the online survey of Verily readers this week. It was a Typeform, which is a super elegant way to conduct a survey (just like Verily is a super classy magazine). Typeform is giving SurveyMonkey a run for its money.

After I completed it, I was redirected to Verily’s home page… and I spotted a little Easter egg. (Click for full size.)

Verily compliment

This is why I love being just enough of a techie to look at the URLs of pages I visit. You’re seriously lovely, too, Verily!

— 5 —

I say I love grammar, but what I really love is language. “Grammar” makes a better sound bite. Nevertheless, I loved Verily’s article about replacing “I can’t” with other phrases: I don’t, I choose not to, and how can I?

I’ve seen similar language about “I’m busy.” Everyone is busy. Lavishly wealthy people have so many charitable causes to support and such big homes to remodel. Celebrities have to eat so carefully and exercise all the time to maintain bodies that only get Photoshopped anyway. You are busy with what you choose to spend your time on. What you need is to choose carefully. (I’m still learning to take my own advice there; it is hard.)

As far as replacing “I can’t afford that,” what I learned to say as I got on a budget was “I have other priorities (for my money).” When my priorities change (such as paying for a stellar dance workshop this past weekend), I spend or save less elsewhere so that I can fund my new priorities without new debt. It’s a tough system of reprogramming, and it’s worth it.

— 6 —

Speaking of dance workshops, they were totally worth it. My legs are killing me, and I was exhausted, and it was totally worth it. I’ve seen Jordan & Tatiana in YouTube videos and been awed at their artistry. It’s more like flying than dancing. So, when I heard that they were coming to Austin, I knew I had to go.

I took two workshops on Saturday afternoon. The first was about embellishing basic patterns, and the second was about how small changes can make a big difference. It was interesting that I don’t struggle a ton to learn new patterns, but learning new techniques for existing patterns was so tricky. I zipped back across town for dinner and a tiny part of my house-cleaning, and then I went back for the social dance party. Jordan & Tatiana performed, and I danced with an Aggie whose left arm was in a sling. The basic WCS handhold requires the leader’s left hand, so I was impressed that he even showed up! He asked me to dance, and he managed a hip catch and a dip with just one arm, both of which were very impressive. I had a great time.

— 7 —

Here’s a sweet reflection on the word I read in Evangelio del dia this week:

“We have, therefore, the word in the Father, the word in the mouth, and the word in the heart. The word in the mouth is the expression of the word that is in the Father, and also the expression of the word that is in the heart of man. The word in the heart of man is either the understanding of the word, or faith in the word, or the love of the word when the word is either understood or believed or loved. When these three are united in one heart, so that the word of God is at one and the same time understood, believed, and loved, then Christ, who is the word of the Father… dwells in the heart by faith. And with wonderful condescension, he who is God in the heart of the Father descends even to the heart of men.”

Baldwin of Ford, Cistercian abbot, then bishop, on Hebrews 4:12


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7 Quick Takes on April Fool’s Day, Easter, and Saying No

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— 1 —

I don’t do April Fool’s Day pranks. I don’t like them. April 1 was my grandfather’s birthday, so the day mostly reminds me of how much I miss him and that, if I ever have a wedding day, he won’t be there. My grandmother on the other side died before I even graduated from high school. So that’s how I feel about it.

I noticed a thought-provoking meme sprinkled among my Facebook friends, though:

"A pregnancy announcement is not a joke."

Thanks be to God, I have no experience with infertility or pregnancy loss. I can scarcely imagine the pain those jokes must bring. I do, however, feel that sting when another one of my friends gets engaged. I probably shouldn’t, but I do. What I don’t do is make a meme demanding that people not post fake wedding-related announcements for April Fool’s Day.

Some friends of mine in undergrad pulled off an elaborate fake elopement one April Fool’s Day. They were actually engaged at the time. Their wedding date was a long way off, so it was believable that they might have eloped. (They’re not Catholic. Catholics can have tiny weddings, but we don’t elope.) They dressed up in elopement-type wedding clothes. They went to the campus chapel. They wore rings. They even got their pastor to pose for photos! It looked legit. But it wasn’t real. It didn’t hurt me at the time, but it probably would now. I did, in fact, see a fake engagement announcement in my Facebook feed this year. It did not make me feel good, yet I resisted the urge to complain about it via meme (or anywhere besides this blog).

I can’t help but think that a meme declaring “the prank you didn’t even pull yet might hurt my feelings, so don’t do it!” is a symptom of the entitlement culture. “You shouldn’t do anything that might make me feel bad.” A fake pregnancy announcement is kind of mean, especially considering all the emotions—positive and negative—that come with the real kind. Yet I think that meme goes too far. Should people not have babies because you’re struggling? Thoughts?

— 2 —

In lighter news, it turns out that there is a reason the metal part on the end of a tape measure always seem loose. That’s a feature! Check out this video, and get ready to clean up your mind off the floor after it’s been blown:

— 3 —

My Holy Week and Triduum were pretty good. I had the best experience yet at my current parish lectoring for Palm Sunday, and we sort of managed the annual Spirit & Truth Holy Thursday Adoration Pilgrimage. I loved my Easter Vigil outfit.

Regarding my Lenten resolutions, I really only managed the ones that involved daily readings. I did get better at pausing to actually pray grace, but I did not do that one review session from the Revelation Bible study last fall, and I did not accomplish my secret resolution. I also failed to finish the first draft of my life plan, like I was aiming to, but I did get started. Even that has been very helpful. Those guys are on to something.

— 4 —

Let’s talk Easter. Over and over, people insist that Easter is a season, not a day, so we celebrate for fifty days. They’re right, but what do they do about it? Take action, friends! Why don’t we make Easter resolutions? The closest I’ve ever come is the one year I read The Little White Book. It was not my cup of tea, but I like the idea that reading a daily reflection is something you can do for Easter, too (not just Advent and Lent).

So I made a plan for this year. I pray the Angelus at noon(-ish) year-round, but that gets replaced with the Regina Caeli during the Easter season. I memorized it last year in English, so this year, I’m re-memorizing it. (I’ve been able to chant the Latin since college.) In addition to that, I purchased the Easter study guide On the Way from Blessed Is She. In typical “dream big, despite evidence of failure” Lindsay fashion, I have read exactly zero of the reflections, and thus have a ridiculous amount of catching up to do. I’m no quitter, though. I’ll get there eventually.

What are you doing for Easter?

— 5 —

I accidentally started eating a non-moldy slice from a moldy loaf of bread last Monday. After that, even the low points of my week were relatively high. I do not recommend this method of ensuring you will have a good week.

— 6 —

I spent the first few months of 2016 in a season of no. As Living Forward puts it, I said no to some good things so I could say yes to some great things. The complicated part is that I’m having a tough time getting back to yes. I’m trying to strike a balance between fulfilling the commitments I’ve already made (with others and with myself) and learning to better evaluate opportunities for new commitments. It turns out I’m not as upset about saying no as I thought I would be. Saying no to everything was easier!

— 7 —

My Jeopardy! audition is Wednesday! Please offer your prayers and good wishes for me. (I think prayer can be applied retroactively, if you’re reading this after Wednesday morning.)


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on My Car Accident and Jeopardy!

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— 1 —

As I mentioned (and illustrated) in my last What I Wore Sunday, Mr. Man came to visit last weekend. It was fantastic. I missed the link-up, but that post blew up on Facebook, so hi, new readers!

— 2 —

Then Monday morning happened. In addition to it already being Monday and a day without Mr. Man by my side, I swerved to near-miss a car that shoved its way into my lane, hit the curb, and got a flat tire.

So that was less than ideal. The other car disappeared immediately, of course. I pulled myself together enough to assess that I didn’t have any body damage—to me or to my car. A very nice Hispanic man pulled over and helped me shove my car back off the curb. I called roadside assistance to send someone to put my spare on. I am familiar with the process of changing a tire, but I don’t actually know how to do it (or if I can do it). That man was also very nice, and I made it to work by 9:30.

— 3 —

Overall, the accident could have been much worse. While I was waiting for Spare Tire Changing Man (the most useful of superheroes), two other cars pulled over in the same parking lot. I was sitting in my silent car reading, so I overheard their conversation just enough to realize that it was a completely separate accident. It didn’t sound good. There was something about a suspended license and calling the police. I did my best to mind my own accident. I was sure glad I wasn’t in that one.

— 4 —

It took until Thursday morning to get a new tire. I had all four replaced last spring at a local shop, so it was under warranty. They had to bring my tire up from the Valley (Rio Grande, not San Fernando), which is what took forever. My spare just barely lasted that long, although my patience having to drive carefully and slowly almost didn’t. It was like being in a reverse version of Speed. In the end, I only had to pay $30 for the new tire, so that works. But there’s no warranty for the tiny panic attack I get when I pass that spot on my commute every morning.

— 5 —

Although it was a struggle to get up so early, I attended the baptism of my friends’ sweet baby boy, Theodore, this morning. Their parish church is gorgeous, and sacraments are always a good cause for celebration.

Update: Going to a baptism during Lent reminded me of Simcha Fisher’s great, pithy post about why we can’t have baptisms during Lent.

It was also lovely to see my friends there. It helped that I had good news to share.

— 6 —

I GOT AN AUDITION FOR JEOPARDY!!!!! Competing on Jeopardy! has been my dream since I was little. I have taken the online test almost every year since 2009, but I have never made it to the audition before. And now my dream might come true.

I was stunned to get the call (metaphorically speaking; it was an email). This means that I will be taking a very fast trip back home in just a few weeks. The audition is a 50-question test (like the online test), a short practice game, and a personality interview. Somehow I have to distill my awesomeness into five one-liners, so that will take some time. I will also be playing QuizUp and J!6 basically every day until the audition. Prayers and good wishes are much appreciated!

— 7 —

I am really hoping that next week is super boring and normal. The week after that is Holy Week, so I need a breather!


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on My Week

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Spirit & Truth did not meet last Monday, so I went to daily Mass instead. I always come home to eat before S&T, so I always miss the Mass that is right beforehand. (I get hangry, and hangry prayer is not as redeemable as even distracted prayer.) Since I was free, I decided to do a little Lent-ing and go to a bonus Mass.

That was an excellent idea. I took some solid time beforehand to pray, and I got a lovely surprise when Mass included the RCIA rite for the Presentation of the Creed. I also realized that I almost never attempt to recite the Apostles’ Creed in a group! Praying the rosary in a group only involves joining in at the end. At least it was short. I suppose it’s better that I am more familiar with reciting the Nicene Creed in a group, but I wondered why the parish chose to formally present the less-frequently used creed.

We had a fantastic cantor. When he started the “Ave Regina Caelorum” as the recessional hymn, my heart almost burst with joy. I dedicated last calendar year to learning all the seasonal Marian chants, so I was able to join in right away. It was wonderful. The whole experience was wonderful. Mass is awesome.

— 2 —

As a lovely Leap Day Twitter present, I was retweeted by Fr. Mike Schmitz (yep, same one whose podcast I can’t get enough of), and followed by Erik J. Fisher, host of Beyond the To-Do List (the first productivity podcast I ever discovered), and followed by Andrew J. Mason, host of the official GTD podcast. Apparently everyone was taking a leap of faith that I am popular on Twitter! (I am not.)

— 3 —

On Tuesday, I watched the live launch event for Michael Hyatt’s new book, Living Forward. Following up on his blog afterwards, I discovered that he re-enabled comments! I noticed that he had removed comments last year, and I thought that sounded like a terrible idea. I’m a blogger myself. Comments are my lifeblood! Robots and accidental clicks can create pageviews, but comments represent real people. (I get thousands of spam comments, but I get real ones, too.)

Now he’s brought them back. Hooray! Turns out Copyblogger, which inspired Hyatt in the first place, brought back comments, too. I disagree with Copyblogger’s one-week comment limit, however. I’ve found some critical information from old, old posts. The best blog posts are evergreen, right? Why not indicate that by allowing comments forever?

— 4 —

I use Firefox as my primary Internet browser, and I was having the worst time last week staying logged in to sites. Since I started using a password manager, enabled two-factor authentication everywhere, and created a computer cleaning checklist, I have a great system down. Then I accidentally broke it by changing the way I handle cookies.

The short version: My stealth techie skills failed me, and I am humbled.

— 5 —

I added a bonus Lenten sacrifice: pausing for grace. I realized that I got into a bad habit of saying grace while doing something: finishing my pre-breakfast glass of water, unpacking my lunchbox, starting up my computer for dinnertime Hulu. I wasn’t focusing on the words I was praying. So I decided to use Lent as my motivator to stop that. It’s a lot harder than I thought! It only takes about ten seconds, but I struggle with pausing for that long. That has been humbling, too.

— 6 —

My lovely friend Britt invited me over for dinner tonight. Her mom was in town, so I got a chance to see her, too. Between that chat and the one with my trivia teammates last night, I realized that there are still people in my real life that don’t know about my blog. Oops? I spent so long hiding-but-not-really-hiding it that I forget who knows and who doesn’t. It’s not a secret, though. Even my mom knows, although I don’t know if she actually reads it. (Hi, mom?)

I told Britt and her mom that I would write about them, so now I have! Dinner was delicious, and here is a photo of Britt’s pretty (and also delicious) birthday cake for good measure:

Britt's 30th Birthday Cake

For the record, her full first name is Brittany.

— 7 —

I saved the best for last. Mr. Man and I have considered ourselves to be dating for several months now, but we had not actually met in person until this weekend. He came to visit, and we had a fantastic time. I learned that he likes maps, and he learned that I am not a morning person (although I have been in the past). I introduced him to West Coast Swing, and he informed me that apparently the ancient Greeks and Romans used to paint their statues. All those things we’re used to being plain white? False! Blew my mind!

It was a great visit. I’m looking forward to the future.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Homilies, GTD, and First-Year Books

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— 1 —

Please, dear readers, listen to Fr. Mike Schmitz’s homily podcast! You can even listen on the Bulldog Catholic website through SoundCloud if you’re not into podcasts. I got this gem from the Second Sunday of Lent homily:

— 2 —

In other podcast news, I am dabbling in Bishop Barron’s new Word on Fire Show. It’s interesting to hear Bishop Barron being interviewed as opposed to just preaching. He’s hitting some good topics, though. I liked Episode 3, “Qualities of Good Preaching.” According to the bishop, good preaching must be:

  1. Mystical
  2. Biblical
  3. Unnerving
  4. Converting
  5. Missional

I was glad to have the discussion framed in terms of preaching in general and not just preaching homilies. First, any Christian preacher should be able to speak that way, not just Catholic priests giving homilies. Second, I have grown comatose by hearing the same old attempts to “make Scripture relevant.” You’re never going to relate to the life of every person who might hear you preach. You don’t even know them! I feel like I would sit up and listen to preaching that gave me a mission, changed my heart, made me feel unsettled (and therefore desirous to re-settle), and brought heaven to Earth. That sounds like some good stuff.

— 3 —

I gave Mike Vardy some grief about his first post about stopping GTD (here at Lindsay Loves and in his own comments section), so it’s only charitable that I respond to the rest of his series.

In Part 2, Mike’s reason for leaving GTD behind is that it’s too rigid. GTD is definitely a structured system. There’s no beating around the bush about that. I am inclined toward habits and routines and organization, so GTD is right up my alley. Learning to capture consistently has eliminated my forgetfulness! Once upon a time, I thought that was an immutable intellectual quality. No more.

Mike also highlights the importance of the Weekly Review. That’s key. Once I started doing it consistently (and, as I wrote about last week, doing it my way), I realized its power.

I still disagree with Mike, though. If you live with GTD’s definition of a project, your life is full of them, so of course GTD is project-based. I will grant that the GTD book is weak on higher-level horizons, but I hear the follow-up book Making It All Work resolves that disconnect. Now that I’ve gotten control of the lower levels, I have been feeling the itch to work on the higher levels. That’s part of what drew me to Productivityist!

Concerning Horizons of Focus, those are not the reason we GTD-ers keep lists. Humans keep lists because we have more things to remember than our brains can manage. You have a calendar, right? A calendar is a list!

“Brains are for having ideas, not holding them.” —David Allen

As far as GTD’s being “fragile” (the reason why-not from Part 3), I’m not sure what that means. It’s a pretty robust system, and it is possible to reset. In fact, the best strategy for starting (or restarting) GTD is to go back to Step 1 and do a “brain dump” of everything that’s on your mind. A system that can take in an onslaught of information like that doesn’t sound fragile to me.

GTD is not for everyone, but there’s a difference between “GTD has fundamental flaws” and “GTD did not work for me.”

— 4 —

For a variety of reasons, I am taking the month of March off from my regular weekly West Coast Swing classes. On one hand, I’m glad to have a little breathing room, plus space for some other events on that night of the week. On the other hand, I’m going to miss it! I have a few other dance events in mind, but it is crazy how much I’ve grown to love this dance.

I went social dancing last weekend, and even when I wasn’t dancing, I actually enjoyed watching other really advanced dancers. My favorites are the dancers who look like they’re having fun. I’ve started smiling when I’m having fun because it makes my leaders smile. Then everyone wins!

— 5 —

I like books. I am a educator by training. I am also black and female, which most “classic book” authors are not. So I was intrigued by the NYT’s Room for Debate on choosing first-year books. I had a first-year book: The Stakes, of which I read only the required chapters and not a word more. I don’t like politics, and I’m very picky about nonfiction anyway. I had to read The Ravaging Tide to teach it to my Honors 100 class, but I didn’t like it. I could not summarize either one for you today.

I recommend reading all the essays in that installment of Room for Debate, but I found “The Classics Transcend Time and Space” to be the best. I am sick and tired of hearing people tell me that I have to see someone who looks like I do, on screen or on the page, to be able to relate. Why should I be so shallow? If nothing else, reading about people who don’t look like me leads me to see how much we have in common (or don’t). MLK spoke of his desire for a world where his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Literary characters and I have plenty in common no matter who created them or who they are.

— 6 —

There is nothing quite like going to Confession followed by going to the car wash to start off a Saturday morning. It was worth getting up early.

— 7 —

Sherry Weddell emailed me last week. That’s the woman who wrote Forming Intentional Disciples, the book I reviewed for ATX Catholic and can’t stop thinking about. This brings my list of published authors who have contacted me up to 3, the others being Dawn Eden (best known for The Thrill of the Chaste) and Wendy Shalit (best known for A Return to Modesty). I feel like a tiny celebrity, particularly to religious women who write about religious and philosophical matters. That counts, right?


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