A year ago a good priest recommended reading Kiersey on understanding my temperament $1.99 here. If you've ever taken a personality test before, you may know the akward feeling you experience after discovering your psychological profile with unexpected results. Turns out my profile is "INFJ" which is code for "Idealist-Counselor." In a nutshell, I am so driven by idealism to better society and others around me, that I am almost exclusively oriented from the past towards the future. My psychological DNA programs me to think of everything along a timeline of to-do lists and goals.
The INFJ wakes up driven by what will happen later that day. What transpires over breakfast means very little compared to the grand goals of the day.
Going off to work or school is all about progress in the future. Projects are about reaching future mile stones more than simply achieving a good in the present tense. That's how I'm wired anyway.
The wife on the other hand is the complete opposite. Her habit is not To-do-lists or exacting punctuality, but living in the needs of the present. This is why she'll never forget to turn off the oven, and I will as my aloof mind ponders the future in reference to the past.
And it is this quality that is presently extremely challenging for me right now as work and educational pursuits were completely haulted recently by my medical deprivation from the normal world of work and leisure.
The future hangs in a silent state of limbo. My life continuum has been temporarily dislodged from my psyche. The past seems like a distant past life, with just recent memories of emergency rooms, specialists, and evolving symptoms. The future looks like a foggy haze of uncertainties mixed with visualizations of renewed goals and hopes.
For an INFJ, living like this feels like being stuck in a limbo-like present surrounded by the once familiar mystical clouds of past and future. The last time I was in this "place" was probably early childhood before that Ericksonian stage of development kicks in called "industry."
But so be it. God has His reasons and I'm sure one intention He has is for me to spend more time in the Present, contemplating the Eternal Now, as St. Augustine calls it.
I'm learning lessons that have eluded me. To not base my happiness on success in this life, or the esteem of others (except in spiritual and moral stsndards). To no longer expect my life will or must follow my own plans in order for my life to be fulfilled. To detach from hard to break bad habits that have kept me too many times from living a blameless life.
Today was not a great day, health wise. I do not know what tomorrow will hold. Perhaps I will experience more shifts back to restored health. Perhaps not. I don't know when I'll be back to my old self and reattached to the linear traintrack of my life moving familiarly forward towards future goals.
I am forced to go above my temperament for a while, to follow the good example of my wife, and many of the contemplative saints, and to just take one day at a time. But still be goal driven to accomplish the life priorities just for that 24 hour day.
Time for my bath and moonlight rosary.