Banishing Zuulia

I had a really grumpy week last week. My neck is still super sore and between that and the pity party I threw for myself, I didn’t get much done aside from irritable sighing. Eventually it felt like the storm cloud moved in. Remember the scene in Ghostbusters when Dr. Venkman tries to get through to Sigourney Weaver but there is no Dana, only Zuul?

There was no Julia, only Zuul, but with much less eyeliner. Zuulia, if you will.

Chris pointed out to me that the words “passions” and “passive” have the same root. Often it feels like anxiety or irritability or general Zuulia angst just happen to me. I didn’t bring this upon myself, I think, so I don’t need to be held responsible for my actions under the influence of the storm cloud.

Of course, that is the opposite of what is true. When I let Zuulia take over, I have let my passions master me. I have become passive, no longer my own master but slave to my base desires to whine and do everything with grumbling and complaining. There’s such folly in saying “do what feels right.” Throwing a pity party complete with sad party favors of bitterness and depression feels right in a perverse way. Zuulia wants to revel in the grumpies and blame everyone else for its continuation when the real issue lies with my passive acquiescence to my passions.

Thankfully I had some help banishing Zuulia this weekend with some come to Jesus moments, both literal and figurative, and fun social things that bring me out of myself and blow my storm cloud out to sea.

On Saturday night, we went to vigil Mass for the first time because our parish Mardi Gras potluck was right afterward. Christopher is reveling in his new object permanence skills and has discovered peekaboo to be his new favorite game. Add some Mardi Gras masks and baby, you’ve got a game going.

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We ate lots of good food, including some of the 18 pounds of Salmon a la Father our pastor made, and I had a lot of fun chatting with another mom from the parish whose little boy is about seven months older than Christopher and really, really wanted to share his plastic coins with him.
Sunday was also quite lovely. We had brunch with Chris’ dad and sister at a new-to-us place in New Haven. After a brief jumpstart of their car and a pit stop at home, we were off to Mount Sacred Heart for the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus open house to see Allison! We had so, so, so much fun and it was so encouraging to see the sisters and especially our dear friend and baby’s godmother.
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Hanging in his PJs. Like a boss.

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Jesus photobomb.

I randomly cried at one point from happiness. We prayed solemn Vespers with the sisters, which was beautiful. Christopher tried to chant along as well.
After we got home, we ate some dinner, put Christopher to bed and Chris and I read side by side on the couch. Chris was reading Origen for one of his classes and told me little tidbits about his writing on prayer and intercession while I started Station Eleven, which has me totally hooked. It’s a precious, peaceful little thing to read together.
Goodbye, Zuulia. May you never return.

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