Since today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, a friend asked what I am giving up for lent. I shot back without thinking “my job.” We cracked up laughing so hard we had to do the dance of trying not wet our pants. Any woman over 50 knows all about that.
But then I got to thinking about it seriously. Giving up coffee, candy, or alcohol is sort of the stereotypical thing people think of as Lent Catholic style. But, that’s the easy stuff. Changing a habit or doing something you don’t ordinarily do is much harder. One year I gave up the “F” word. It was incredibly hard and I didn’t realize I used it that much, or how much everyone else did either.
A group of Nuns I know had a mischievous priest and advisor who gave them each other as their Lenten penance. He meant that they had to treat each other with patience and loving kindness. All the time, no excuses. And if you think Nuns don’t get on each other’s nerves, think again. They are human too.
What I may try to give up this year is my tendency towards negative self talk. “You’re an air head, you’ll never get that done, nobody takes you seriously, you’re wasting your time, that’s not possible, you always start things you don’t finish, blah, blah, blah.” This little devil lives on my shoulder all the time. Sometimes I’m amazed that she isn’t visible to others. Maybe in a way she is. I think this negative talker let’s me off the hook too easy. “Well I told you that wasn’t possible, that you couldn’t do that.”
Mr. Husband and I have mini date to talk about this Lent challenge thing over tonight. He’s not Catholic so this is not the usual request for him. He’s already vowed to give up Mexican Food for 30 days. His nutritionist told him that, not his concience. Unfortunately, this probably means that I am giving up Mexican food too. I’ve asked him several times now to tell me what is the most annoying thing I say or do. I ask him so I can try to not say or do it. My sneaking suspicion is that he’s afraid to tell me. I just do not understand why. I am cool as a cucumber. Totally unflappable. I neeeevvveerr get upset by criticism.