Serenity Prayer

As I get ready to head back to Camp Veritas tomorrow, I wanted to share with you all my favorite prayer.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

2010 Thus Far…

So this morning I read my friend Katelyn‘s latest blog entry — 2010- the year of the road trips? That’s travel — and I’m totally stealing this post idea from her, really cause as soon as I replied to her post, I realized that I was doing the exact same thing…

I keep poking fun that my two “big” trips this year were to the mid-west — Indiana and Ohio. Truth is, just as Katelyn’s year was full of weekend getaways, so was mine — I was fortunate to have a year full of exciting adventures. My year so far in review looked a bit like this:

January: a one-day road trip to drive Tim back to school in Virginia — I hit eight states that day; Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia — and went to a Rangers game

February: two weekends in Waltham/Boston, MA — one for Mike’s birthday and one to be Alexa’s family for Family weekend back at Bentley

March: saw a screening of The Human Experience in NYC (I recommend to anyone who has not seen it), partook in the first ever NYC Pilgrimage, in a span of 7 days, I went to Springfield, MA two nights in a row for the Elite Eight and Final Four Division II Basketball Championships (drove home to go to work in Manhattan in the morning), went to Foxwoods that Saturday morning with my college roommate, followed by the rest of the weekend in Providence said roommate, and then headed up to Waltham after work on Tuesday night to ring in Alexa’s 21st with her

April: retreat in upstate NY with the youth group I used to work with

May: a long weekend in Philly to see my little sis graduate from Villanova, followed by flying to Indiana the following weekend for Jenna & Kevin’s wedding, went to the Dave Matthews Band concert in Hartford, opening weekend, and then spent the weekend in Poughkeepsie, NY with the other camp counselors

June: Brooklyn & Queens for Ela & Karol’s wedding

JulyLady Antebellum & Tim McGraw concert followed by a Rascal Flatts concert two weeks later, plus the weekend in between I was at my mom’s family reunion

August: I worked a grand total of 10 days! I had a long weekend in Kent, CT with Mary, went to Camp Veritas as a counselor and hit up the Dutchess County Fair

September: spent the weekend before my birthday celebrating it in with my college friends in Waltham/Boston and on my first Booze Cruise on the Boston Harbor and then rang in my birthday weekend at the Trace Adkins & Toby Keith concert

October: road tripped to Ohio with Courtney & Sharmila — we also visited West Virginia & Pittsburgh while we were out there — and this weekend I am yet again off to Waltham/Boston for Bentley’s Homecoming

I should also point out that this does not include any of my nights out in Manhattan, my gallivanting around the state of Connecticut and random day trips to Hoboken and Long Island to hang out with some of my innumerable cousins. Plus, there’s still two more months worth of extravaganzas to plan before 2010 is done.

So really, my point is, even though my biggest trips this year were to the midwest, I am grateful that I have been able to spend so much quality time bonding with my friends. I may have only boarded a plane bound for Indiana for a weekend, not a private plane bound for a week in the Bahamas with 600 of my closest friends, but all is good. My friends are awesome, and I got to see so many of them this year. Not only am I grateful because I spent so much time with my friends, but as my parents have pointed out to me, I have done a lot more this year than other people have, including themselves. In this economy, plenty of people do not even have the chance to go on a simple car ride to spend the weekend 3 hours away, whether they don’t have the time off from work, or the money for gas and other expenses. In short, I will do my best to stop complaining about my lack of a real vacation as today I realized that I think a bunch of little ones are better anyways — instead of going on say one or two vacations spread out this year, I get to go on little ones every few weeks.

a month after going awol

It’s been far too long since my last post. Life has been just so crazy lately, but crazy in a good way.

Work has been crazy busy and stressful but I got a new position that I started last week. I really like my new job and enjoy what I am doing more than what i had been doing. A whole bunch of my friends finally are back home, or were home briefly, and I spent a lot of time with them catching up and just enjoying. Plus the weather had been great on the weekends, and therefore I spent as much time as possible outside getting my vitamin D intake.

This past weekend I went on a retreat with the youth group that I work with. It was in the middle of New York at Camp Deerpark. I really enjoyed this retreat as it was not one in which all the Core Team (the adults who work with our youth group) had to ‘work’ all weekend and put on a retreat for the students. This was for all of us. It was only for the graduating seniors, college kids and the Core and we were all there as retreatants. Not only was this weekend good for me because it has allowed me to kick start my spiritual life back into gear, but it reminded me who much happier I am and how less stressful life can be.

This weekend we split into three small groups and each group had different books we read and discussed. My group consisted of my friends Dylan and Andy, a new Core member Sherry and a senior, Jen. Since I did a bible study with Dylan and Andy last summer, I was a bit used to these type of small group discussions with the guys. Sherry is very new to the Core and I didn’t really have a chance to get to know her much until this weekend. Same with Jen; even though she has been in the youth group all year, and she had my name for secret Santa (she made me an awesome drawing that is hanging on my bedroom wall), I never really had a real conversation with Jen until this weekend. We read What Does GOD Want? by Michael Scanlan, T.O.R. This book was exactly what I needed right now; perhaps that is why I picked this track as one of my top choices for the weekend. While we did not have time to finish the last three chapters (which I am working on reading this week), we read each chapter as a group and discussed. The whole book is “a practical guide to making decisions”. While I have sometimes been able to figure out what God is asking me to do in my life, there are many times that I do not want to head in the direction He is taking me. By thinking about it and discussing this weekend, I was able to realize that there are many other things the God is asking me to do that I either ignore or do not attribute to Him. I have decided to make a conscious effort from now on to first decide what God is asking me to do and to put that ahead of my won agenda.

Aside from learning about making decisions, and making the right ones, I also made a decision about how to handle the stress at work in my life. Friday was a very stressful day at work, even though I took the morning off to see Dave Matthews Band perform live on the Today Show. It was such a long afternoon at work and when I left at 5PM I was in no mood to see anyone, but I knew that I needed to put it all behind me so I could experience the most from my retreat. By putting it behind me and leaving the stress that work causes at work, I was able to have one of the best weekends in a long time. I realized that not thinking about work when I’m not there makes everything less stressful. It’s not like I have work that I need to be doing away from the office, so why should I bother and let the stress my job can sometimes cause become a factor and take away from the rest of my life? So after not thinking about work for the entire weekend, I went to work this Monday morning with the plan that I was not going to let work stress me out and I was not going to stress over any of it when I was not in the office. By doing this for the week, I feel like an enormous weight has been removed from my shoulders. The combination of this and my new position have allowed me to enjoy everything else, including my reading. I was able to re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the past 8 days, though I read nothing Friday-Sunday. This was a great surprise that I still am able to get through the books quickly as I have every intention to re-read books 3-6 before Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince hits theatres, and then I will re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to finish out the series, yet again.

But it seems that I am getting off on a tangent as I am tired and still must finish packing as I am headed to Boston this weekend for the Great Boston Beer Marathon with some friends from college. It should be rather a fun experience.