To Thee Do We Send Up Our Sighs

As most people know, today is Fat Tuesday, which means tomorrow is the start of Lent.   The start of forty days of prayer, penitence, and fasting, mimicking the forty days Jesus spent in the desert fasting, so that we may come to personally understand his suffering and grow closer to him.

Some people give up things that might seem petty to you and others give up things that seem too hard.  I don’t pretend to know what each person should or shouldn’t give up, but I do know that any self-denial and sacrifice is a good thing.

I’m in need of some particular help this year.  I know I’m in a place that I need to draw closer to God, yet I know there are things in my life that are literally stopping me.

Things that I’m using to fill the time, to daydream about things that are not meant to be right now, to avoid facing my responsibilities and my painful reality (that is all too recently involving feelings of hopelessness, confusion about what I will do with my life, idleness, etc.).

Not to mention this is a particular stressful time of the year right now with research proposals and impending graduations, among well, the other issues.

Maybe I’m being over-dramatic (forgive me, its been one of those days), but these thoughts have been lingering in my mind for a while now and it would just be best if I could clear my heads by clearing away these obstacles.  And so far I’ve been unable to do this alone so I’m enlisting some help.

I’ll be doing an “internet fast” for part of Lent and reading books at night instead of blogs during the day-time.  Since I don’t seem to necessarily have a problem avoiding reality/work by writing (in fact writing actually seems to help with my aforementioned issues) I may or may not choose to write on here during this time.

I guess there is no good reason why you should need to know this but since I write this blog to organize my thoughts I felt like I needed to lay it out here.  Plus, I do appreciate your prayers and I have been able to feel them lately, and they are helping me through so I guess I at least felt that I owe it to you.  And also to let you know that this time, my absence is intentional :)

This is all part of the plan combined with mucho fasting and daily prayers.  I need all the graces I can get right now since on days like this I know there is no way I’m making it out of this alone.

Remember how you gave your word to your servant,
for thus you gave me hope.
It was this that consoled me in my distress,
for your promise gave me life.
Psalms 119(49-50)

Spain Is My New Favorite Country

I know my sidebar says that this is where I talk about this non-research related, but I couldn’t help  but share today’s “research revelation”:  I’m now a cited author!

Yup!  Today I got an email alert that someone in SPAIN actually read my paper (published a year ago) and decided that it was SO GOOD that they would CITE IT in their OWN paper!  Yahoo!

So I know this probably happens to other researchers all the time, but this was my first cite (apart from the time I cited myself.  but that doesn’t count!)

Actually, the post-doc in our lab told me that over 90% of papers never get cited (by anyone other than the authors).  Pretty cool!

So today I’ll celebrate that someone in Spain thinks my work is not completely useless :)