Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Podcast 006-Help for the Weary

I am happy to be sending you another podcast!  This time I am talking to caregivers.  When you are trying to do your best to walk with a loved one or friend who has increasing mental, emotional or physical needs, it can raise a lot of feelings, from guilt to anger or even judgment.

Sometimes we can have a running debate in our head about whether we are doing enough.

I hope this episode will enable you to let go--even just a little--and find some peace of mind in your role.

May God bless you in your efforts and sustain you in his peace.

Here is the latest edition of Cassidy Comments.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Growing in Humility

I hate kids.  Okay, let me be more specific—our oldest daughter.  Now maybe that is a little harsh, but I think when you hear what she did, you will have sympathy for me.

So the last time she was home I taught her how to play backgammon.  This is a game that my husband and I have played ever since we met 38 years ago.  We’ve been married almost 37 years.

She and I sat down to play on that fateful day about a month ago, and I thought she didn’t really like it.  Then, unbeknownst to me, she proceeded to spend the next month learning how to play it online, through an online app, and began to really like the game.

So when she came home for Easter, I asked her if she wanted to play again (not knowing she had mastered the game) and she readily agreed.  “That’s weird,” I thought, “she doesn’t even like it, but okay.”

And that’s when the trouble started.

We went to set up the board and two parts of it she set up differently.  Naturally I told her how wrong she was and I wasn’t going to play it if she was going to set it up wrong.

She proceeded to get out all of her online assists and pointed out to me that I was the one setting it up wrong.

Although it didn’t come to blows, I did eventually have to listen as she shoved all of her proofs—her color images—in my face.  Now the reason I stress she used her color images is because the only weapon I had in my arsenal was the 38 year old black and white sketch drawing of the proper set up that came with the game.

She laughed at me.  She said, “How can you tell anything by that black and white drawing?”

Okay, she had a point, but still, I could not possibly be wrong about the set up, could I?

Anyway, begrudgingly, I agreed to play it her way, which I think is really dumb.  I like my wrong way better.  

Anyway, you can’t completely blame me because it was my husband who originally taught me to play so many years ago.  His friend had taught him, and by the time he taught me, he had reversed two of the stones' positions accidentally.  (Still, channeling Adam (as in Adam and Eve), I think I can accurately put the blame on him.)

When I finished losing to my daughter, he enthusiastically wanted to play her a game the right way and proclaimed that he liked it better than the wrong way we had been playing it for decades.  Traitor. 

But, what can I say, this is a guy who thinks we should now refer to our old way of playing backgammon as frontgammon because the set up is reversed.

It’s really hard when you are used to doing something one way, to be told that you have been doing it wrong all along.

(As an aside—when we recalled this to my mom later, she helpfully said, “It must have been hard admitting you were wrong after so many years!”)  

Thanks, Mom.

To my way of thinking, I consider it a heroic act of humility on my part to have eventually given in and tried it her way (or, as she would say, the right way.)

Which brings me to my point. I’ve been reading this article called Humility, Thirty Short Meditations by Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ off and on throughout Lent, and it has been really good (I found it on the Laudate app under Saint of the Day).  I suppose that’s why I was able to respond with such great humility when this incident over the backgammon came up. 

Fr. Clarke’s 30 reflections cover many aspects of humility from how to attain it, to its beauty, and the model of humility we can see in Jesus. My favorite one so far as been Humility and Criticism where Father Clarke outlines in a brief commentary how criticism is dangerous to humility.  Really good stuff; you should check it out online.

Also, you might want to know this humility stuff in case you ever find yourself in a situation where your know-it-all kid reverses the way you have been doing something for decades.

Oh, I’m just kidding.  She was actually pretty nice about the whole thing—except for the part where she mocked our black and white directions, laughed hysterically at me, and, oh, did I mention—she beat both my husband and I when we played her new-fangled way?

Maybe I’m not over it yet; maybe it was too soon to write about it, but in the spirit of humility, I will allow her to shine for now and will humbly admit that it really stinks when your adult kids know more than you do, about anything.

Janet Cassidy

(Don't forget to check out my latest podcasts in the upper right-hand corner of this blog!)

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Missing Encounter

I am excited to bring you another episode of my podcast, Cassidy Comments

As we go through these high holy days that are packed with profound, meaningful religious services, it is a good time to consider our own desires for a spiritual encounter.

What are you hoping for? 

Click on the highlighted link above to hear my thoughts on a healthy approach to such an encounter as I recall an experience I had on a mini retreat many years ago.

Don't forget to look for other episodes in the upper right-hand corner of this blog.

Janet Cassidy