inveterate \in-VET-uhr-it\, adjective;
1. Firmly established by long persistence; deep-rooted; of long standing.
2. Fixed in habit by long persistence; confirmed; habitual.
It's these days of Lent that prompted me to attempt a daily blog entry based on dictionary(dot)com's Word of the Day. Lent is a time of examination, repentance, and renewal. I'd found myself devoting a significant amount of time to fruitless endeavors, such as breeding fish in the fb app My Aquarium, and serving dishes on My Cafe. Somehow I always managed to find time to waste, but never time to use wisely. So for Lent I gave up my fb apps and decided to dedicate time to something I always mean to do but never get around to: writing. Writing is an exercise in self-examination, sometimes of repentance, oftentimes of renewal.
At the same time, I find myself serving on the discernment committee at my church. Our rector of 17 years retired last September. The search for a new rector involves two committees: discernment and search. The discernment committee is charged with discovering who we are as a congregation, and where we wish to go. The discernment committee doesn't even get to consider what the new rector might be like: that's the charge of the search committee. The discernment committee gathers data about the church, its congregation and aspirations, and presents this data to the search committee, the members of which will craft a Parish Profile to call a new rector. Serving on the discernment committee is also an exercise in self-examination.
I am an inveterate nonparticipant. I hate meetings. During my employment at Omegatype I never had to attend meetings; the preschool staff meetings are brief affairs held but once a month. I often see myself as the person always present, ears open and mouth shut. I don't like hearing myself contribute, but that doesn't mean I'm not intensely interested. I am dedicated to the work the discernment committee is doing; I am dreading the two-hour weekly meetings. Thankfully, the time frame for our work is finite: the search committee expects our data to be in by mid-April. At that time, our work is done.
The coincidence of these two undertakings---daily writing and discernment duty---no doubt will exhaust me, but when Lent is over I expect to emerge renewed, with a finer sense of who I am and where I'm going.