From the Pastor: Losing Time and Gaining Weight!
For whatever reason, this Christmas season was the busiest yet. And no, I am not speaking only of myself but also on behalf of all of the people who have been busy at the parish as well. It seems that from the beginning of October (when the preparations for Cardinal Burke’s Mass began in earnest) until today the calendar has not ceased to be filled, whether with pre-scheduled events and meetings or with phone calls and knocks on the door when there seemed to be a free moment. As such, I am still trying to catch up with texts and emails (two inventions of the devil, as if there ever was a need for proof that he exists, as people expect immediate responses even to messages in which they don’t ask for or need one), snail mail (a Godsend, for people sending letters and cards don’t wait by the mailbox breathlessly waiting for a return response!), and even Christmas gifts. I have two gifts wrapped and ready to go to family members but due to emergencies when we were getting together, I wasn’t able to see everyone. I also have cards, bags, and wrapped gifts from you that are still unopened. I occasionally try to make time for them but something always comes up that takes me away, and it isn’t Calgon. So I open a few cards here, unwrap a package there, and set the rest aside for the next time I have a few extra minutes. I know I will never have time to write “Thank You’ notes this year but please know that I am truly grateful for all of the wonderful notes and family photos and other things you have sent. This year I think that I have managed to open all of the gifts that people told me contained food, so, unlike what happened last year, I don’t think that I will have any odoriferous surprises waiting for me hidden under brightly colored tissue paper!
Last week the bulletin contained an article about my New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. That article was actually a recycled one from several years ago, as I simply ran out of time and didn’t have a new article written by the time the bulletin needed to be published. But it is still quite timely, since I am still in need of losing weight. I have been trying, sometimes with more willpower than other times, to lose weight for quite a while. I had an old bathroom scale that I weighed myself on daily a couple of years back. But then, after losing some weight and coming to the dreaded barrier beyond which my fat would not venture, I decided to put it away for a few days. The days become weeks, then months, and soon I “forgot” about it altogether. Then a few months ago I took it back out and started the weighing process all over again. This time I was quite surprised. I wasn’t nearly as heavy as I expected. I started in earnest refusing snacks and cookies and cakes and all the other goodies which are constantly trying to force their way into my mouth. My weight would vary up and down a pound or two daily but overall kept going down. I wondered, though, if the scale might be off a bit when it started acting up. It wouldn’t start at zero when I first turned it on, but would show “- .2 lbs.” I changed the batteries. No help. I tried to find a way to calibrate it. No adjustments available. But I figured that as long as it was off by the same amount every day, it really shouldn’t matter, for that little bit was almost nothing anyway. But then it started showing different numbers: minus .6, minus .8, plus 1.2, etc. I finally tried weighing myself several times in a row and it would show different weights with each try. Then, it started showing that I had either gained or lost four or more pounds every day. The day that I was up 10 pounds after being down 7 pounds the previous day is the day I ordered a new scale.
It took a few weeks to arrive, being delivered just after Christmas. Although it looked like it was in remarkable shape, with no visible signs of scratches or dents, I believe it must have been malfunctioning, as you shall see. The instruction manual simply said, “Don’t step on the scale until it has calibrated itself or the measure will be off” and, sure enough, it calibrated itself and then showed “0.0” on the display. But wouldn’t you know it, I was up twenty pounds—20 pounds!—from the “plus 10 pounds” weight showing on the old scale. I think that either it was broken or else I must have eaten a few too many farm fresh eggs (yeah, it’s those darn eggs making my belly look like I swallowed a pterodactyl egg whole!) over Christmas. I know it couldn’t have been the chocolates or mint or cookies that I started eating once the old scale was put out to pasture (writes the priest who just had to wipe Chocolate Mint Bark off his keyboard), for those are all very small and light and flat, so surely they are low in calories, too, and would help me get a flat belly. Yep, the extra weight has to be from the eggs. Or a broken scale. That’s most likely it. The new scale is just mocking me!
Assuming though, that I am really just too fat, I need to discover how to swap time and weight. Then I would be a thin priest with all the time in the world!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka