40 days and 40 nights
It’s that time of year again..the time where spring is near, the days get longer, and people get all excited about having to give something up for 40 days. The past few years of my (adult) life I have felt a renewed energy when this time of year comes around. I get excited bout the seasons changing and the weather getting warmer, and about the Lenten season and all of the good vibes it seems to bring with it. This year something is different. Ash Wednesday snuck up on me and I was not prepared mentally. The weather has been cold which makes spring feel like an eternity away. With my recent rollercoaster battle with anxiety the energy isn’t there either.
Being the Catholic girl that I am, I grew up always giving something up for lent. I would fight my parents about “being too young” to follow those rules, about not wanting to do it because it was stupid, saying nobody followed it anyways, and eventually giving up something like candy, pop, chocolate, or my favorite….fighting with my brother and sister. Let’s be real. I never followed through with ANY of those things! From what I remember my parents always set good examples for us, so where I got the idea that it was all stupid is beyond me!
When I got a little older I started t understand Lent and the purpose of it. I started giving up meaningful things and felt empowered by that strength. It made me excited to make a change for a good reason and to better myself as a person and as a Christian. I successfully gave up fast food for two years, and gave up pizza with minimal cheats one year. Last year I decided I would start doing something. Well, I failed miserably at that because my “do something” was go to mass more often. It turns out when you are packing to move and moving one week after Easter..you find a lot of excuses to not go. While I believe you don’t need to go to mass every Sunday to be a Christian, I grew up going every single week. Part of me thought it was a bad thing to start doing because it’s something I SHOULD be doing already. Nobody’s perfect, right?
Well with Lent sneaking up on me this year I didn’t have time to really think about what I was going to give up. Beings I’ve already done the fast food (which I never eat anymore anyways) and the pizza thing (not sure I could live!) so I couldn’t do that again, I don’t drink much pop, I rarely drink alcohol during the week, giving up alcohol all together would be a big fat fail before it even started, I don’t bite my nails, I don’t waste money (usually…)…I just didn’t think there was anything worth my efforts of giving up. So I decided I am going to give this “do more” thing a try again this year.
This year for Lent I am going to send more mail! I used to be so good about sending Birthday and special occasion cards along with “just because cards”. I quit doing that with the invention of smart phones and Facebook and it makes me sad. I LOVE getting ANYTHING in the mail that is not junk or a bill! So why shouldn’t I send my friends some love through the good ol fashioned snail mail and make their day a little brighter?! I sent my first package off yesterday. I didn’t intend for it to be my first package but it was something I was planning on sending, and it just so happened that I took it to the post office on…Ash Wednesday! Which gave me the idea to “do a little more”!
Now, I need to collect some addresses…or scrounge up my wedding guest list for addresses. My goal is to send two cards/letters etc. a week. That’s only $1.00 on postage (a week) and if I stock up on 50 cent cards at the Dollar Tree only a few bucks for the entire 40 days! I will make a conscience effort to keep my eyes peeled for little things that remind me of my friends and make small purchases here and there as well.
If doing something for others makes me feel good, it has to make the other person feel good as well.
Lord knows I need all of the good feels I can get.