Today is Shrove Tuesday. Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. International Pancake Day. (Pancakes are delicious. Fun fact: They can also be works of art.) You may or may not know that Shrove Tuesday proceeds Lent, which folks usually eat rich foods (such as pancakes) before the fasting season of Lent. So, as I sit here at my desk wondering why not one single person in my office has brought in a King Cake so I could eat the entire thing in the hopes of finding the baby – thanks for nothing, guys – (it’s good luck. Don’t judge a girl for hoping.) I started thinking about what I was going to give up for Lent this year.
Every year at this time, I try to figure out what I could give up tomorrow as we begin the Lenten season. While I am not a regular church goer, I would consider myself a pretty devout person. Shrove Tuesday is where we, as Christians, “obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of Confession and doing penance.” (Wikipedia). Some of you may scoff but this is actually very true! I am a God fearing Christian and take my roles as a wife, mother, daughter and friend very seriously. I truly believe that I have a deep relationship with God and I am very thankful for that. But here is the truth – I am terrible at Lent. It’s not that I can’t “do it,” it is more that I am not very good at choosing the correct fasting item/behavior/etc.
In fact, I am a total failure at that. I bet no one here knows that I swear. A lot. I know – I’m such a lady and you cannot believe that I would ever let such filth spew from my mouth. But let’s be honest. I cannot stop swearing. I like to believe it is because I am passionate. Bold. Honest. I say it like it is. I certainly temper my vocabulary in the presence of my child (or other children) but in the presence of my day to day chats with friends, no holds barred. It’s about to get real in here. The year I decided to stop swearing for Lent lasted about seven minutes. But it was a great seven minutes. I like to say people who swear are more honest, forthcoming and loyal.
There was the year I gave up chocolate chip cookies. That one went ok. Except I felt deprived. And sad. And dreamed often of that warm, gooey cookie. I’m not exactly sure that you are supposed to have impure thoughts about the thing you gave up for Lent.
This year, I have been trying to think about what I am going to sacrifice when I came across this article. I took a minute to read it and everything just clicked. As I perused each item listed I felt that, for real, I had something to give up for Lent that I could give up forever. And…it could be real and the benefits would be totally tangible. I think this year, I am going to start with the need to please everyone. I am notorious for this. It, in fact, has crippled me more than once (especially in my adult life). My astrological sign is Cancer, and Cancers are known for being maternal and caretakers. This is very true for me and more often than not, I have taken on the burden of other people’s issues, behaviors and choices. I am going to be true to myself and my family. I can’t and I won’t make everyone happy. I can be a good friend. I can be a good listener. I can make you laugh. Odds are that I will, too.
So, I leave you with some fun tidbits for you and hopefully some thoughts about what you can do for Lent. And if you are a non-practicing heathen, perhaps there is something you can do to help yourself grow as a person.
OTHER FUN THINGS:
- UBERFACTS: Most cigarettes contain “ambergris” (whale vomit) for added flavor. YUM.
- Just in case you missed this today – everything that is scary about the animal kingdom, specifically Australia, in 45 seconds. Snake eats croc.
- Gross talent: My elbows are double jointed. It’s truly horrifying too see (unless you are me. I find it fantastic).