Days 365+117 earThis past week I was away at a meeting so I didn’t have time to go through my remaining desk drawers. I figured I’d focus on my companion Lenten resolution – to listen more mindfully.

On the last leg of my flight to Louisiana my ears popped. You know, that uncomfortable feeling that you sometimes get when a plane is landing and your ears don’t quite adjust to the changing pressure. No big deal, I figured I’d get my normal hearing back soon, certainly within a day. I was wrong. Although I could hear, it always felt like one of my ears was hearing through a fog. This was annoying but not a deal breaker. I kept waiting for the fog to lift and occasionally it would, but then it would come back.

Now, 1 week and doctor visit later, I still have my plugged ear. The doctor called it a sinus infection and ordered some medication. Nothing has changed yet – EXCEPT my attitude. For awhile I would whine to myself wondering when my hearing would get back to normal – certainly any day now. In the meantime I gave myself permission to rest and delay work projects. Then I realized that:

  1. I was lucky to still be able to hear. Some people are deaf.
  2. Even though I still have a cough, I don’t feel miserable.
  3. Eventually my ear will clear up. Stop complaining that it’s not on my time schedule. I don’t have anything crucial scheduled for another week.
  4. Oh yes, and about that listening thing – maybe I can turn this hearing loss to my advantage. I can consider it a physical prompt for me to listen more closely to others. Probably it’s just coincidental that it is happening at the same time I’m trying to make a conscious effort to listen better, but sometimes grace is in the mind of the beholder. The insight to look upon this annoyance as a temporary (I presume) gift can be work of the Spirit. I don’t think God wants us humans to suffer, but since some suffering in life is inevitable, reflecting on the meaning of it has helped me to let go of fretting about my hearing and to use it in a positive way.
Days 365+119 Lent old computer stuff

mostly paper to recycle

So, one week later, I’m home and looking at my lower left desk cabinet. It’s not too stuffed. Surely I can at least tackle that. I did – and found:

  • 2 more obsolete directories
  • 2 files of computer and internet directions from about 2005
  • Several more instruction manuals to computers and other electronic devices I no longer own
  • A Netgear wireless adapter. I’m not sure what it does but my son tells me I don’t need it.

Lessons learned:
1. Listen up
2. The computer industry seems determined to aid my decluttering by making most things obsolete by the time I find where I stored them.