Florence 2022 Florence, Italy MSMU Travels

Reflections of Being Exhausted!

Hello everyone to my second-to-last blog post! (*) This week was not particularly
eventful. I ended up leaving Florence earlier than expected (April 22nd instead of what I
originally planned, which was the 29th), so I had to move fast to get everything packed up, etc.
Upon getting back, I have been a bit jet-lagged, but overall I am happy to be back.

At the beginning of last week, I had planned to visit the remaining twenty things (that’s
hardly an exaggeration.. haha) I still wanted to see it in Florence. However, with the trip coming to an end, I had a lot to get ready for in a short period of time and didn’t get to much of these.
Ultimately, this experience has made me reflect on the nature of “bucket lists” and how they can
actually take a lot of the fun away from traveling, and life in general.

A lot of the time, at least for me, it seems like “doing nothing” is just another term for laziness.
And, sometimes that’s an accurate assessment. However, I also think that sometimes doing
nothing is necessary for our bodies and minds to heal and rebuild after extensive periods of being
“on-the-go” 24/7. For me, I definitely was experiencing a bit of burn-out which made me feel
bad for how I was spending the last week in Florence.

Now, why I mentioned “bucket lists” is because it seems that the idea leads us to view life as
another thing that must be exploited for all its worth. Instead of just enjoying the days we
have, we focus more on what we still have to do. Instead of focusing on the present, the bucket list leads us to think of all we have still not done, and may not do. In other words, when I was in
my last week, I realize now enjoying time with friends/resting/preparing for leaving for home
was actually completely valid ways to live the last week. There is a quote from St. Therese of
Lisieux, found in her autobiography Story of a Soul which I think is really applicable to the
idea of burn-out. St. Therese explains how she had come to understand everyone has a special
place in God’s “garden”:

“I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor
of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not take away from the perfume of the little
violet or the simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses,
nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out
with little wildflowers. And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus’ garden. He willed to
create great souls comparable to lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and
these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God’s glances when
He looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills
us to be” (p. 42).

In the end, although I did not complete my bucket list for Florence, I am learning to be content
with knowing not everyone is able to do absolutely everything. Instead, God deems it enough for
us, like how flowers open up to the rays of the sun, to just open up to His light and bask in it.
Be sure to come back next week for another installment of #TheologyTuesdays! I thank you all
for reading with me thus far.

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