Seven Quick Takes Volume 41

This week’s Quick Takes have a theme: Seven Habits I’d Like to Cultivate.

— 1 —

Prayer. I have a habit of praying, to be sure. I pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily (morning, evening and night prayer), and I pray the Rosary at least four days a week. I’d like to pray the Rosary every day. Some weeks I do, but others I slack off. I’d also like to improve my “informal communication” with God in spontaneous prayer.


Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer


— 2 —

Generosity. I’m still a tightwad. I know that I don’t have much, but what I have can benefit others.

— 3 —

Reading. I do read a lot, so maybe I should call this habit “finishing books and returning them to the library on time.” Brett bought me Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II for Christmas several years ago and I have yet to finish it. I have probably read more than 50 other books since I have begun to read it. It is a very good book, and besides learning about the late Holy Father, there is much to learn about Poland, the Polish language, the Church, the World, history, politics, etc. However, the book is very thick, so it’s not very portable. Additionally, the type is tiny, so it’s hard to read by dim light. I feel like a loser for not having finished this book!

Then there’s A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken . I borrowed it from the library, but I had lots of other books at the time, and I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t renew it, either, because it was on reserve by someone else. I had to take it back without finishing it. I reserved it again, but it showed up the week before Holy Week, when I was not only busy, but also sick. I didn’t pick it up. I’m hoping to try again later on this one.

— 4 —

Friendliness. I don’t think I’m an unfriendly person, but my shy nature can sometimes make me seem uninterested in people, especially people I don’t already know well. I just don’t know what to say, and sometimes I am afraid I’ll say the wrong thing. I try to at least smile, so people won’t think I don’t like them, but I hope it isn’t seen as sarcastic or haughty. Nine times out of ten, when I leave a social event, I feel down on myself because there were people whom I could have spoken with but didn’t. I think that my desire for someone else to start a conversation is patently selfish.

Casper the FRIENDLY Ghost

 — 5 —

Healthy eating. I do like healthy food, but so often there is candy and baked goods on the break room table at work. I know that this stuff makes me (or keeps me) fat, but I never remember the immediate discomfort will give me until it is too late. Junk food usually gives me a stomach ache, and too much sugar will make me feel somewhat euphoric for a little while, and then miserable for several hours, if not the rest of the day.

This is what I need to avoid.

— 6 —

Blogging. Sometimes I wish I were an expert on something, so I could have a blog with focus. Because I know a little about a lot, but not a lot about anything, my blog is kind of random. The best thing about it for me is that it gives me a creative outlet. I guess it’s good in a way that it is random, because then I can share whatever I choose. If I were writing about food, I wouldn’t be able to post about cars, but with my current format, I can write whatever I want. Now, I just have to do that.

— 7 —

Keeping in touch. This is something that has always made me kick myself. Sure, I have Facebook friends from elementary school, middle school, both high schools I attended, college, grad school, the Peace Corps and Honda, but having Facebook friends really doesn’t mean keeping in touch. In fact, I’m much more in touch online with people I’ve never met. I hate to say this, but sometimes I’m out of touch with my family members and friends because I know that we disagree about something (politics, religion, etc.) and I don’t want to argue with them. As an introvert, I feel nice and insulated when I don’t have to engage anyone, especially on anything unpleasant. However, even my family relationships suffer because of this and I’m terribly self-centered. Really, considering how much I want to know what people are doing and how they are, I should try harder.

What habits would you like to cultivate in yourself?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

10 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes Volume 41

  1. Darling dear, you’re an amazing person, but I understand the difficulty in putting yourself out there in a room full of people. I am the same way. Challenge yourself to going to a social setting, and then talk to 2 different people… Then 4 different people, then more and more. It gets easier with baby steps. I love you!

      • I struggled with it for a long time, and even still have to push myself to be social most of the time. My job, however, requires me to be outgoing and I’d really just rather hole up in my office and write policies. Baby steps. I think you’re wonderful, and worth knowing, and I’m glad that I have the good fortune to be your friend.

  2. Shyness is something I have to consciously fight, too. Even in groups of people at work, I often stay silent and think my contribution to the conversation isn’t important or worthwhile. I try to remember that my comments are valuable, too!

    I’m also struggling with finding a focus for my blog. I started it just as a fun thing, but I think the time has come to narrow it down… to what? I don’t know yet. I like your book reviews and spiritual insights!

  3. #1: Working on a blog post on it. 🙂

    #2: I tend to give to causes that get people out of poverty like Kiva.Org (micro-lending) and the Heifer Project. I like Kiva a lot because you help to get people out of poverty with just $25. Your $25 loan coupled with the loans of others help people to improve businesses, start businesses, improve housing, and such. When your loan is paid back, you can either get your $25 back or re-loan it to someone else. Of the 14 loans I’ve made, I’ve only had one default and I think I’ve maybe loaned out $125 of my own money. That’s 5 loans which have been re-lent several times. With the Heifer Project, the animal you donate provides a source of income as well as education in how to take care of it. When they breed the animal, they give the progeny to another person or “pass the blessing”.

    #4: Total and complete introvert myself. I am the complete opposite of my online personna in that respect.

    #6: I’m not really an expert on anything and I’ve been blogging for almost 12 years. 🙂 Blogging for me is a way to process what I have going on in my life internally and externally.

    • Thanks for the advice about Kiva. I’m going to look into that. I have seen microlending in action in Guatemala and it looks like a wonderful idea.

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