Hello, hello, hello!
So, it’s been a month and a week since I’ve posted here. Battling depression and suchlike. Writing this blog and journaling does help, but it requires a fairly significant amount of energy, which has been pretty much nonexistent this month. It’s a stupid catch-22 with depression: doing the things that make you feel better is great way to cope, but actually having the mental energy to do those things isn’t there, so you just sit at the bottom of the depression pit. Blegh.
But the mood is lifting, mental energy is finally growing to the point where I can do more than 1 thing a day, like clean AND write! Yoga And clean! And Write! Clean and crochet and yoga and help kid with homework!
Every little is a Big Accomplishment after you’ve had to live at the bottom of the depression pit.
One thing that I’ve really wanted to explore in my writing but didn’t have the energy for this month is my experience attending church these past several weeks.
Yep, I’ve become a regular church goer, and my son is now a choirboy!
Which is weird and strange and odd and oxymoronical due to the fact that I’m a Super Secular Science Person.
But… I’m also an anthropologist. And a pragmatist. And heavily influenced by my study of the history and philosophy of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and experiences in Friends affiliated schools (meeting for worship is pretty awesome, actually!)
Going to church is a great way to meet people, of course. And I chose to attend a small church of the same denomination that my mom and her family belonged to instead of one of the more “cool” churches in town (Unitarian Universalist, for example).
As an anthropologist, I analyze my behavior in this way: I have a human need to connect to my family and my ancestry through familiar things – and absent their physical presence, I can find connection through rituals and traditions. And because my mom’s denomination (Lutheran) is not very popular in the US, it tends to attract folks who have established connections the culture and traditions, so there are plenty of midwestern germanic old-school liberal types like my mom and her family in the congregation. Folks who are very kind if not greatly effusive, emphasizing practicality and scholarship over spirituality.
So, my “people”, in other words. My family’s culture.
And because I have social anxiety that’s fairly significant, just this once a week thing has been an enormous energy drain.
But it’s an expense that is starting to become an investment. The energy I spend to go to church and interact with people is great practice. It’s a gentle and nurturing environment where I don’t have to be “cool” or show off how witty and hip I am, or demonstrate how intelligent I am, or otherwise prove my worthiness to a group of strangers I want to associate with. I can just relax and practice socializing, work on my conversation skills, be a bit awkward but still accepted.
In other words, it’s just what the doctor ordered.
So I guess that makes me a secular Lutheran? Well, why not? So many of my college friends are secular Jews, so why not a secular Lutheran?