I’ve been contemplating what to do about Lent.
I was raised Catholic. So, Lent is kind of like part of the family.
Of course we’re suppose to give something up. And I’ve been contemplating what to give up. What to “sacrifice” and do without. But knowing all along that there are things I need to change about me, to be a better person. Always on the look out for a better way to be.
Here it is Ash Wednesday and I still haven’t committed to sacrificing or being better.
I put it to the back of my thoughts and go get my teeth cleaned. Go visit Daughter and Three Greats.
But the drive home gets me thinking.
What can I sacrifice and how can I be better? And after 40 days shouldn’t it be such a good thing to have done, that I continue to do it?
Sure I’ve given up chocolate before with every intent of indulging on Easter. And I never let myself down, I indulge. Easter Sunday is all about getting back what we have lost, right? Though I’m pretty sure it is not about chocolate. Though sometimes it feels like it. One year I gave up sex. Kinda sorta a joke. It wasn’t really a sacrifice at the time.
On the drive home I started to contemplate what I am really bad at doing. Among the very lengthy list I know there are two things that I do that I should not, and they kind of go hand in hand.
1. Blow a gasket rather quickly (always about my own stuff, not others. I am very impatient with myself.)
2. Drop the proverbial “F” bomb.
All right, full disclosure: they don’t “kind of” go hand in hand. They are solidly fused together.
So I get home. Go inside. Think some more as I straighten up, make my lunch. Turn up the thermostat. Damp mop the floor quickly. I will do this, I think, as I mop the floor. No “F” bombs, and no temper flares.
I feel good about it. Is this a sacrifice? Kind of. I will have to focus on my behavior, my thoughts, and I will have to control the quick and short fuse attached to the “F” bomb.
Okay. I am willing to do this. I need to do this. It will be much more difficult than giving up a food or sacrificing self indulgences. I can go without something much easier than I can
behave work on self improvement. I feel a little excited about the thought of taking on such a daunting task.
I feel very good about this as I finish the quick job of damp mopping. I lean the mop up against the door frame, next to the little electric sweeper. They both fall, clattering, to the floor. I am still in my good mood and bend down to pick them up. Standing up I drilled my skull in to the sharp wood corner of the open thermostat cover-quickly and loudly in the empty house exclaiming:
I’m sorry God.
I will work on this for forty days. Or forty years.
However long it takes.