Tuesday 20 August 2019

Summer time - and a farewell from me

Fr Brian Whelan
Fr Brian Whelan

By Fr Brian Whelan - the way I see it

It's summer time, and most people are enjoying the fine weather and finding time to relax.

The children and teenagers are delighted to be off school, and the adults are delighted that when they get home from work it's still bright enough and there's time to enjoy these long summer evenings. 'Summertime and the living is easy' as the song goes.

But for some people it's a different song that springs to mind - 'There ain't no cure for the summertime blues'! Like it or not, summer doesn't have the same meaning as an adult - our days aren't as carefree, we don't get to sleep in as long as we want, we don't get to while away the time walking about or playing with friends, eating strawberries or ice-cream and going to the beach.

As a child, summers were heavenly, as a teenager summers usually meant a summer job and perhaps sports, but when we hit the twenties, summer barely exists!

As adults we have constraints and responsibilities, and the fact that the kids are off for the summer holidays from school, means that they have to be entertained. Sometimes adults forget that they need to take a break and appreciate life as well. Instead, your days become filled with activities and day-trips to keep the kids occupied and happy, all the time conscious of the fact that you are creating good times and plenty of memories. But you are the leader, the organiser, the driver, and even the entertainment! And even though you seem to be on top of things, and everything's going smoothly, in the back of your mind you're still asking yourself 'what didn't I get done, what did I forget, what about the amount of work that's waiting for me when I get back?'. And yes, sometimes those 'Summertime Blues' can set in.

Recently I came across a book called 'The Greatest Salesman in the World', written by Og Mandino. It contains the 'time-tested wisdom of the ancients distilled into ten simple scrolls' which each have a principle designed to replace bad habits with good habits. I offer them here as a means of beating those 'Summertime Blues':

Scroll I - I will form good habits and become their slave

Scroll II - I will greet this day with love in my heart

Scroll III - I will persist until I succeed

Scroll IV - I am nature's greatest miracle

Scroll V - I will live this day as if it is my last

Scroll VI - Today I will be master of my emotions

Scroll VII - I will laugh at the world (keep perspective)

Scroll VIII - Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold

Scroll IX - I will act now

Scroll X - I will pray for guidance

And finally... At the end of this month I will be finishing up in my current parish appointment and moving on to the next stage of my priestly journey. Because of that, it's time for me to sign off from 'The Way I See It'. Five years ago I was asked to write a column for this newspaper - it was to be an opinion piece, not a homily or a spiritual reflection, but something which might manage to provoke a thought, or make people stop and think for just a moment. In agreeing to take on the task on a two-weeks-on / two-weeks-off basis, I hoped to write something that might strike a chord with some readers at least, perhaps brightening someone's day, or helping someone in some way.

What I've endeavoured to do over the past five years is to throw a different perspective on some topical item, or to try to show that it's important sometimes to take a step back and look at things from a different viewpoint. I hope I've achieved this, at least in some small way, and that my writings may have touched some of you.

Have a good summer.

Wexford People