Today is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of the Lenten season for Christians, it is a time to reflect, pray, fast and the start of a month-long stellar seafood season for local fishermen. And while I am not, admittedly, the best practicing Catholic in the world...a Catholic I still am. It's been years since I went to church--I can't even recall the last time I stepped in a confessional booth. Sadly, my participation in either act will pretty much guarantee that said church would catch fire almost instantaneously. But although a lousy Catholic by definition, I do try to observe Lent as best as possible...including the requested sacrifice the season brings.
For those who make sacrifices at Lent, there are different opinions to what that should be. Others look at it as a chance to do something more positive like deciding to spend more time with family instead of in front of the TV, or to maybe to do one good deed each day. For others, it is a chance to rally around their religion and choose to be more observant of their specific faith and beliefs. For most, however, it is giving up that which is nearest and dearest to the individual, perhaps a bad habit, a favorite food, something.
I have a friend who decided to give up swearing. Yup...that lasted all of about one @#$&*(%'in hour.
I have another friend who decided to give up Facebook for Lent. Keep in mind that she let us know about it by posting it on Facebook.
I have another friend who gave up salt for Lent. I'm wondering if she tossed it over her shoulder for luck with that venture.
My sacrifice????? Well, let me give you this little hint.........my liver refers to this time of year as "Summer Vacation".
Now don't get me wrong....I'm not making fun of what anyone gave up this year. I merely am finding a way to smile early on--since it's given that, by early April if we've honored our choices, we'll be on the fast track to either a meltdown or some type of similar psychotic break.
I actually think it's a good thing--to make a brief sacrifice once a year--even if it's not part of your given religion or belief. I think it's good that you take a step back from something you take for granted--you have the chance for a fresh perspective. Maybe it's something you don't need in your life. Maybe it's something you'll be able to cherish more once the "fast" has ended. Or maybe it's a little of both--you'll be happy to have it back in moderation, and still be able to appreciate it when those splurge moments come along.
I don't know if you'll choose to give anything up for Lent...but if you do, I wish you the best of luck. It seems like a long way off, but Easter will be here soon enough and then we can indulge in our salt, suds and swearing once again.
Meanwhile, my apologies to Anheuser-Busch in advance for not doing my part to help kick off sales in the second quarter. I promise I'll make it up to you soon.