Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

I was reminded the other day that both Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday/Lent are strange celebrations (kind of) to some.  Yet they are such a part of my life and family tradition that it's hard to imagine how people don't celebrate Mardi Gras and practice sacrifice in the Lenton season.

Mardi Gras, distinctly a southern tradition, is that final hurrah before 40 days of getting down to business. It's like eating cake right before going on a diet (which I'm pretty sure many of us have done.) My sister and I were discussing last weekend how our mother has always been opposed to celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans (the original sin city if you ask her, esp during the Mardi Gras season.)  I've always wanted to go and just stand on a balcony all evening watching the chaos below.  Not IN the chaos...just watching. One of my student's actually brought King cake to school yesterday. I thought that was fun. I went out last night with a friend, had some steak and enjoyed the evening. Not the wildness of New Orleans, but still fun.

Today is Ash Wednesday. My plan is to go to church this evening, so I won't get home until after 7. The dogs will be distinctly unhappy by then, I have no doubt. I've spent a lot of years giving things up for Lent. I recently started trying to do things instead. It seemed more constructive than destructive and since my body pretty much won't let me eat a bunch of junk food, there's not a lot of suffering from giving that up.  And to be honest, it's just better for everyone if I stay happy and drinking through the Lenton season.

So, I already started a new routine of saying morning prayers each day. I like the idea of starting my day focused on who I want to be and how I want to live. I'm also going to exercise 30 minutes a day. I figure that is reasonable. I can run on the treadmill or walk the dogs, but every day I am going to do something. Maybe by the end, I'll be back to running 5 miles a day. I don't even remember what happened to make me stop running, but my body has definitely been feeling the difference. I HAVE to get back into it!!

And maybe along the way, as I spend the next 40 or so days reflecting on why I am doing these things and what it means to be a Christian, I will manage to pick up two habits again that help me to stay focused and clear on WWJD....

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! This time of year is a great opportunity to regroup.

    Also? I'm with you. I'd love to see Mardi Gras without being in Mardi Gras.