Forty Days

Posted on | February 12, 2013 | 11 Comments

Not so technically, “Fat Tuesday” is all about stuffing your face.  It’s the most American of all the not really American holidays… a symphony of gluttony before the fasting of Lent.

I grew up Southern Baptist, so Lent was something that other people did… you know, the ::whispers:: Catholics. But as I got older, I started to embrace the idea of giving up something unhealthy for forty days… giving up something you shouldn’t have started in the  first place… just to make yourself healthier, your body a little healthier for the miracle of Easter.  So sometime in my mid to late twenties, I wrapped my arms around Lent and claimed it for my own, taking “Fat Tuesday” as a day to say goodbye to bad habits and bad juju and say hello to living, speaking and gosh darn being a little bit cleaner.

Every year, I give up soda for Lent. Every year. It’s just what I do… sort of like my co-worker who always gives up cussing or my friend who always gives up chocolate.  We all pick it right back up after Easter, but for forty blissfilled (or not so much) days, we are just a tad bit cleaner of tongue or, well… bowel.

This year, I’m doing something different.  This year, yes, I’m still giving up soda, but I’m also going to use the next forty days to cleanse a little bit more than just carbonation from my body.  I’m going to use Lent this year to purify my heart, to cleanse some of the complaints and feelings of disgruntlement and hatred right out of me.  I’m going to spend the next forty days being proud of who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m going.  I’m going to spend forty days not focusing on what’s wrong or bad or stupid, but only on what is good and right and kind.

No news channels.

No negativity.

No yelling at the ex about this or that.

No anger towards the puppy who just this morning ate my favorite pair of shoes.

No sighs, no grumbles, no gossip, no venom.

Just forty days of being content in who and where I am.  Just forty days of turning the other cheek, rising above the fray, and feeling good about my life just because it’s mine.

It is the hardest task I’ve ever undertaken… it may be the toughest journey I’ve ever started.  To disregard my own human nature, to set aside my constant undercurrent of “this just sucks”… to be wholly and universally content with each  moment as it comes.

It’s going to be an adventure.

It’s going to be a struggle.

But it’s forty days…. how hard can it be? 🙂


11 Responses to “Forty Days”

  1. Cristina
    February 12th, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    I love how you will spend your 40 days 🙂 I’m giving up sweets but you have encouraged me to also give up those negative thoughts I tend to have. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Law Momma
    February 12th, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    It’s going to be so hard… but I think it will really help my outlook on life and also help me remember what Easter is really about.

  3. Caitlin MidAtlantic
    February 12th, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    The last few years I have given up various bad attitude traits to varying success. It’s really hard, changing how you react to things – but the results are pretty amazing! The first year, I gave up saying “You’re driving me crazy!” which made me focus on remaining patient for longer. I should probably repeat that one again this year…!

  4. Law Momma
    February 12th, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    Oh that’s a GREAT one for parents!!!

  5. Lola M.
    February 12th, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

    Be sure to give yourself a gold star on the calendar for every day you manage it. And show the little guy! 🙂

  6. Law Momma
    February 12th, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    I love that idea!!! I think I’ll buy a big Lent calendar! 🙂

  7. Joe Cardillo
    February 12th, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

    I bet it’s going to be really hard.

    But I also bet you’re going to be really glad you did it =)

    I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore, but I do something like what you’re talking about a few times a year….evaluating the negativity in my life and then refocusing on the good.

    People do get confused when you ignore the negative and meet them (and yourself) at their best. So it’s also a polite way to clear out the mean ones e.g. “hey, I see what you’re doing there, and I am going to treat you like the best possible person you could be so you’ll have no choice but to respond in kind or we won’t be interacting.”

  8. Joe Cardillo
    February 12th, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    (I should probably admit….I’m not the vindictive type, but it is fun to subtlety point out that you know people are being negative/jerky and that you aren’t going to participate)

  9. Law Momma
    February 12th, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    LOL Yes… I could totally see the fun in that. 🙂

  10. Laurie Bizzell Bandy
    February 13th, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    I love it! Can I join you?

  11. Law Momma
    February 13th, 2013 @ 8:22 am

    YES! I’d love the company/support! 🙂

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