Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Today is Ash Wednesday. I am a Christian. I am a Catholic. I practice my faith. Sometimes I realize I need to practice a little bit more and a little harder because, like anything else, practice makes you better. For years my father would drill into me that I needed to practice dribbling and shooting with my left hand. Occasionally, I'd get on a kick and I'd be outside in the neighbors' driveway shooting and dribbling. I'd jog with the ball. I did everything I could to make myself better. As a Catholic, I don't think this is any different. I think I need to practice more. I don't think I'm a bad person, actually I think I'm a pretty kind and good person. I do think that occasionally I lapse. I feel as if I am not as good of a person as I could be. I feel as if I'm not as good of mom as I could be. I feel as if I'm not as good of a wife or daughter or sister or friend as I could be. ("Luckily" for me many of these feelings coincide with one another so it's like a major downer when this all comes to rest on me.) I don't think these things make me a bad Catholic but I do believe that my faith influences my life in such a way that it helps me to be better in all that I do.
Today is the beginning of Lent. Today marks the beginning of a season of sacrifice. Today begins 40 days of waiting and anticipation that culminates in the celebration of life on Easter Sunday. During this time many people give up or sacrifice something. I've heard from a number of my students that they are giving up junk food, candy, soda, using the word 'like', cursing, girls, and of course the perennial school favorite- homework. (FYI I don't think it's a sacrifice to give it up if you never did it to begin with!) I, of course, was asked the question of what I was giving up or sacrificing or trying to change about my life over these next 40 days. I gave them the same answer that I gave yesterday when asked who I was voting for in the primaries, "I don't know". It's true. I have no idea. I thought about rededicating myself to exercise because I haven't been doing it, although I have been following WW pretty 'religiously'. I thought about giving up soda because now that I don't drink my light and sweet coffee I rely on my diet coke or coke zero to give me my caffeine boost in the morning. I thought about making more of an effort to be a kinder and more open and giving person because at points lately I've felt very wrapped up in myself and my problems. I thought about giving up cursing because, when my kids aren't around, I can sometimes have a potty mouth and I think that does make me sound slightly less intelligent and takes away from who I am. I thought about many things but nothing seemed right. Nothing seemed to jump out at me as it did when I was younger and I would proclaim, "I am giving up wearing my uniform to school each day for Lent" and think that it was the very best sacrifice ever. I'm not sure what to do. So, I've been thinking of it. And I've been asking God for some help on it, among many other things. And maybe I've come up with a good idea...I'm not really sure.
I have this friend. She and I have become much closer over the past few months. We met a short time ago and we immediately clicked. Although, when I first saw her I totally discounted her because she's older than me and I just figured she'd be this soccer mom type who wouldn't understand where I was coming from as a young mom who chooses/has to work. (She was returning to work after a number of years home with her kids. She's really not that much older than me, now that I know her!) She really has been a great friend and I'd like to say that I hope I've been one in return. She, like a few of my other friends, makes it very easy for me to talk to her. She shares with me, I share with her and it's not always about good, happy things. We find, often, that we have very similar fears about our lives. We find that we think a lot of the same things and act a lot of the same ways. We're very similar, yet very different. A few months back, before my non-New Year's Resolution, I tried starting WW again and I tried to pull her into it with me. We were going to lose weight together and feel better together. We were just going to get healthy because we were both tired of feeling the way we felt and of our clothing leaving marks on us! It was short lived. I had the car accident and I was done and because I was done, I think it made it harder for her to continue. When I started my non resolution I tried briefly to get her to join with me. She wasn't ready. Over the past few weeks, she's commented a few times about how I look slimmer- and I have lost a few pounds and my clothes do feel a bit better, still leaving marks, just not as deep! ;)- and I think she's looking for an in. I think she's looking for that motivation that she needs to get started again. She's said it a few times about how she needs to do something and get moving. Maybe that needs to be what I do this Lent. Maybe it's not about giving up but giving to. Maybe I can help her. Maybe I can give of my time and myself, quite willingly, and we can do this together. The weather isn't getting warmer but it has it's moments. Maybe it's time for me to convince her to spend 30 minutes with me after work and go for a walk. Maybe it's time for me to ask her, again, if she wants to come to my meeting with me. Maybe that's what my Lenten promise should be about. A promise to try and help someone else realize how much they mean in my life and others lives. A promise to try and help another be a better them.
I don't know...maybe I'm just babbling. Maybe I should give up booze for Lent. Maybe I should really sacrifice. I'm not sure. It's a very strange feeling. I feel like although these past few months/years have been quite difficult, I have been very blessed, we have been very blessed. There are days where I feel as if I don't have anymore strength but I am able to go on. There are days when I just cannot take another doctor or physical therapy or blood test or anything and I just want it to be done, but I am able to go on. I don't know what to promise or sacrifice or give up or give to or give in. I just am unsure and I think that, more than anything else, bothers me the most.


LunaNik said...

If you want to really sacrifice then I say give up wearing a bra. ;) Hah.

I kid of course.

Sacrificing your time to help others is a wonderful idea. Much better than giving up cuss words ;)

Stella said...

Giving up a bra sounds like an EXCELLENT idea....but I think I like giving up underwear more!

Don Mills Diva said...

I'm voting for giving up the bra...

Mr Lady said...

There are only FOURTY days until EASTER? Crap.

I say you give up smoking. it's all the rage right now. :)

OHmommy said...

Yup. Lent has begun. I am really doing a lot of soul searching these next 40 days. I really need to reconnect with myself both inside and out.

Cheers to 40 days.

HRD said...

I love the bra idea.. it gives marks. But I think i would go with giving up your time for others would be a great thing to do.. to me giving up something like soda, candy or something of the sorts is selfish in a way. God only son gave his life for us, shouldnt you give something more vauable of yours up? Then again, I am not catholic so I dont give up anything but maybe I should.

Thought, give your time up to read to children at a library or help at a shelter or soup kitchen.

Kelly said...

If I gave up wearing my bra, my boobs would be resting on my toes.

I'm going with giving up the cuss words because I sound like a drunken trucker most of the time.

Although, does cursing on a blog count? I'm guessing JC is down with my blog, so I shouldn't worry too much about it ;)

Kimmylyn said...

OhMommy said it best.. I chose to stop procrastinating and really look inside myself over the next 40days..

Good luck.. :)

The MomBabe said...

I think sacrificing your time is a beautiful thing.

The Egel Nest said...

You are the recipient of an Egel Nest Blog award for blog eggsellence.

Come by and pick it up!


The Egel Nest

Bradley's Mom said...

Congrats on your Egel Nest Award!

Your blog is really great.........I am enjoying it so much!!


Huckdoll said...

I really like the idea of giving your time, doing the health and WW thing with your friend. I also think giving up the booze would be good - imagine the buzz you'd get after 40 days?!

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