Just for the record – I woke up at 4am to a tornado siren. There are not many ways to start a day that could raise an anxiety level higher than that. The threats have long passed, but my nerves are still fried. Now – onto the real blog topic.
Today is Ash Wednesday. This is definitely the Catholic event I miss the most from my practicing days. There is just something I always found renewing about the Ash Wednesday mass. I also enjoyed walking around the rest of the day and seeing who else was Catholic as we all spent the day dealing with remarks like, “You have something on your head.” At least that was the case for those of use who attended non-Catholic after-school care programs. Like coming in uniform didn’t make us weird enough – one day a year we had black crosses smeared below our hairlines. Those kids at that daycare were very suspicious of us.
I also miss the idea of Lent and trying to make a change in your life for the better, or make a sacrifice to prepare for a religious event. I like the concept of 40 days of sacrifice or betterment. Every year I wonder if the fact that I no longer fully believe in the religious aspect of Lent, should keep me from the spiritual side of it. I’ve decided this year – I’m not going to let it stop me. Why should I turn my back on a day that inspires change in my heart? So — I don’t follow the Jesus Rises From The Dead rhythm of the Easter season, I can still say, “Hey. I want to be a better person.” There just seems like there’s a positive energy of change in the air during Lent as people are trying to give up their favorite vices to prepare for a spiritual renewal. I might as well join the energy, even if I’m not part of the religion.
So – I guess I want to observe Lent this year. Not necessarily with Jesus’ 40 days of fasting and preparation in mind. Or with any Christian concepts in mind at all. (Which means I obviously won’t be referring to it as “Lent” in my case.) But just simply for the sake of improvement and preparation. I may not be celebrating the rising of my religious savior from death, but I am adding a baby to my family in three months, and that takes spiritual preparation as well. I’ve been really depressed and anxious since my layoff – I think I need some sort of renewal and a way to get myself in the right mindset to welcome a new child into our family.
Are you observing Lent? Do you make sacrifices or fast in anyway? If you do – are you religious? Do you find someone like me – who observes it without the church in mind – offensive? Or are you like me and using the excuse to join the spirit of renewal your friends and family may be partaking in. I’d love to hear your views and what changes you’re making in the next 40 days.