5 Quick Things #318 🍋
community fasts, neighborhood laughs, a life in order, & Jason Bourne
I’m writing you from my dark living room, listening to my dog snore while I sip tea from my favorite green velvet chair. Tea, because we’ve run out of coffee—a travesty!—so I’m counting down the minutes until the coffee shop behind our street opens and I can rectify this situation. Until then, tea will suffice but it’s not a fuel quite up to the task. 🫖
[20 minutes later]
Huzzah! Situation rectified. I have my required fuel so I’m off to the races. I shall now resume writing at a normal pace. ☕️
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. New episode of A Drink With a Friend! We've talked about rootedness; now we're moving up the plant stalk to flourishing: thriving, growing well, and generally being who we're supposed to be needs good roots in good soil. But what's possibly the biggest threat to said flourishing? The ol' noonday devil acedia. What is it? How does it affect us so much? And how do we fight it so we can get back to flourishing?
2. Lent can feel long and overwhelming—sometimes participating in a communal fast can help.and are leading a community digital fast, if you’re still mulling over what you should do for Lent: “The Lenten period is a particularly suitable time for a digital fast as a large, world-wide community is committing to a period of constraint and reflection. Committing to a digital fast is a challenging step to take, especially if you do so alone. When we commit together with others, it helps to strengthen resolve and makes success more likely. All readers, regardless of religious or non-religious background are invited to join in!”
3. I love the Jason Bourne movies (well, the original trilogy) for several reasons, one of which is an intrigue about the character’s superhuman ability to be aware of his surroundings at all times. I’d both love and hate to have that skill. There’s a science to this, so here’s a deep-dive if you’ve ever wanted to become more Bourneish: “You visit your favorite coffee shop and a bad guy with a gun decides to drop in as well. But because you’ve followed the principles above, you’re the first to see him as a threat. Great. But what are you going to do about it? Seconds matter here. You don’t have time to formulate a well-thought-out plan. What’s more, the stress of the event will muddle your thinking and decision-making.”
4.is a great storyteller, and I love this interaction with one of her young neighbors whose literal laugh carries throughout the neighborhood: “It came through our winter-tight windows, and, geez Louise, did I ever need to hear it. Because sometimes I so badly need a reminder that attacking my to-do’s like a rabid animal isn’t always the best way forward. Sometimes I need to slow down, soak in my surroundings, and maybe birth a little ‘Mia Laugh’ of my own. Or maybe I need to cultivate a little sparkle in my own eye by looking for new discoveries in the old and familiar.”
5. And finally, how to bring order to your life. As per usual, Fr. Mike says the thing I need to hear at the exact right moment.
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📻
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“Ash Wednesday is full of joy. The source of all sorrow is the illusion that of ourselves we are anything but dust.”
You've got some downtime and you're on a screen. What are you doing? 💻
It’s a toss-up between YouTube and a TV series for me. There’s good stuff to be found on the Tube of Yous—great lectures, creative shorts, ongoing series, hilarious sketches—yet sometimes it all feels like needles in a shallow, silly haystack. Nonetheless, I’ve found some really good stuff on there.
I also like a good TV series, but I’m so out of touch with any modern shows, I’ve long given up trying to keep up with it all. Right now we’re rewatching season 3 of The Chosen to prep for season 4 …hopefully out soon?
Social Media: 28.8%
TV Series: 13.2%
Video Game: 10.5%
Find this week’s poll here.
Lent is Almost Here… ➕
Lent begins this Wednesday, February 14 (I know, the irony…). It’s a long season—a fruitful one if we let it, full of growth and intimacy with Christ—yet it can be challenging. It really is long.
If you’d like a companion for the six-and-a-half weeks of Lent, you might like my book, Bitter & Sweet: A Journey Into Easter. In it I unpack the seven vices—and more importantly, their corresponding virtues—and how they play out in our ordinary modern lives. I wrote the thing I need to remember during Lent. Maybe you too? Like my Advent book, it includes a playlist (see above) and art, and it’s good both as a solo contemplation and as a family devotional.
Quick Links 🔗
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What might you need to fast from this Lent? Or, what might you need to add to your life this season?
Have a good weekend,
p.s. So joyful! A true few minutes’ perk.