On the train to Napa
I sent an email yesterday to the budget committee and the Leadership Team about the mistake I’d made, suggesting that I give over the duties of bookkeeper. I got the following response from Fred that he copied to all the others:
[I] reckon the dilemma you describe as a piece of God's humor (I mean this seriously) and move along trusting that things will work out in a way we can handle either by 8th Day receiving more than we have anticipated or by our needing to make cuts in the fourth quarter which we have to do any year income is short of projections. I think we have done our job—both as finance committee and [church] members—on this budget and we should let things proceed and not worry about it … definitely not worry about it! In doing so I think we will honor our dual grounding as faith-based and responsible. Most of all it is critical that you or you and Marja not take this on as your responsibility. Stuff happens! And sometimes it gives and sometimes it takes. That's my piece of wisdom.
I’ll probably go with my original plan since it’s only modestly inconvenient, but Fred’s response certainly helps me recognize how much support he is offering me.
As I write this, Marja and I are on the train to Napa, CA, to visit our family. Coincidentally, Fred is on the same train with us as far as Chicago. As Fred and I talked, our conversation turned to my decision to give up the Eighth Day bookkeeping job. He pointed to the difference between accepting the limitations that come with the disease and “dropping out” of community by giving up too soon on a task that keeps me connected to the community. It’s a fine line and I’ve faced it before, for instance in trying to decide whether to continue my professional writing about political/economic matters.
I told him that it would make me feel that I was contributing less to the community. The bookkeeping itself is not that difficult, and I think I can do it well for a while, but I’m afraid that it wouldn’t be acceptable to the community. On the other hand I could ask the community and not assume I know what they want. The best might be to talk it over with leadership team. I will decide then about informing the covenant members and getting their feedback.
In trying to write this blog entry this morning, I’ve had to go back and forth between my journal entries and my letter to my spiritual director to get clear what I’ve already written about in previous posts. This should be a relatively simple task but I found myself getting confused. After more than an hour, I had to stop and come back to it later. When I came back to it, I was able to complete the task but it was still not easy.
As I look over these blog posts, so much of it is a simple recounting of all the symptoms of the Alzheimer’s I’ve experienced and not so much reflections on what’s happening. On the one hand, I want to talk about them, to process them. On the other hand I’m not sure that this kind of cataloging is helpful to my readers.