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Aleteia

Farewell, Aleteia: As I hit the trail and ride off into the sunset…

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Yes, sad but true. After two-plus years here at Aleteia, first as editor and then bringing in the blog for good measure — and after a heap o’ prayerful discernment these long winter months — this cowgirl is kickin’ her spurs and tippin’ her hat to Aleteia’s remarkable staff and global crew and inviting “Yippee-ki-ays” all around. She’s moseyin’ off into the sunset.

I have been feeling for sometime, the sort of antsy nudging that usually means the Holy Spirit is trying to get my attention. It really kicked in when I was writing Aleteia’s daily Advent meditations back in December, and discovered that I wanted to do more of that — immerse myself into scripture and write about all of the exciting things that are there, showing up like brand-new ideas, even now. I realized that it’s finally time to heed what I am hearing, and head off toward where I am being called: toward working differently — and less.

Toward writing a book while not working a full-time job. That sounds like insane luxury.

Toward more prayer, and days starting back at the oratory like they used to be, with silence and candles and chanted psalms.

Toward more exercise, too. Over the past few months I’ve lost 30+ pounds and am feeling so much better that I want to carve out time in my day for moving more — ten years of sitting at a desk for 12 hours a day has taken its toll, and I feel the need to take the time to walk, and swim, and get up and dance a little.

Maybe I’ll prancercize soon in a park near you!

Before I go, I want to say what a true pleasure and privilege it has been to be a part of the evangelical mission of Aleteia. I’m proud of the work we have done here, and what we’ve accomplished both in terms of creating community and growing in stature and in visibility, even with all the ever-changing variables of social media. It has been, like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, a gas-gas-gas, and I leave with a sense of excitement about my future work, but also a tear. It’s a bittersweet thing — the “sweet sorrow” that most partings are.

Sadly, because I have had the flu this past week, I do not as-yet have the website I have been envisioning — my own little blog and podcast operation — up and running.

I know, I know, you’re saying, “But Anchoress, if you’ve been thinking about this for months why didn’t you prepare your website ages ago?” And it’s a good question, one I asked myself just last night. For the answer, I refer you to Chapter One of my latest book, which is entitled “PROCRASTINATION”.

Quintilian said, “We excuse our sloth under the pretext of difficulty.” Yes, it is easier to say “this is hard to do” than to bruise pride by admitting, “I am afraid.”

Because that is true, we stew in our little sin of procrastination. We wait for circumstances to force us out of this cousin to sloth, and then, finally, thrust into projects we have been reluctant to take on, we begin to make our efforts.

And what happens, once we begin? Nine times out of ten, we find ourselves enjoying the thing we’ve finally gotten around to doing, and that’s precisely because we are engaging with our own giftedness, and in a very real way, that is a co-operative engagement with God. We discover, not for the first time, that the thing we’d been putting off was not anywhere near as difficult as we thought it would be. In fact, the most difficult part was simply beginning. Once started, the undertaking we had been dreading became a source of fulfillment.

Not only did I write that, I believe it. But yes, I am still a habitual procrastinator, all the same. I need to reread that chapter about how to break that habit. The first step is always to begin as you mean to continue.

And so, I begin. Give me a few days, maybe a week, and then (if you’ve missed me) do a search on theanchoress(dot)com, or maybe elizabethscalia(dot)com. Yes, I’ve been putting off deciding even that, too. Because procrastination!

But The Anchoress still sounds better, doesn’t it?

Alrighty, then! Yippee-ki-yay, pardners!

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