Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thoughts on Lent

I was surprised yesterday by how few people I saw with the ashes on their forehead. I really can't recall a time in my life where I didn't note Ash Wednesday and the passing on Lent to Easter since I basically grew up in the church. Long after I stopped attending church services regularly (or hell, who am I kidding, at all) I still think of the Lent period as a time to... reset?

The most profound teaching I ever received at Lent was many, many years ago but it basically said that Lent isn't so much about giving up something as it is about refocusing your faith and removing, or adding, things to your life in that vein. This is what finally made Lent click for me because I could not for the life of me understand how or why God would care if I gave up deserts or carbs for Lent. I believe this is one of those cases where the true message has gotten lost. Now, if deserts or carbs truly come between you and your relationship with God then I apologize, by all means cut them out and become enlightened, however for the majority of us I don't think this is the case.

So for many years now I've done both - give something up and add something to my life. Something to bring me closer to God, something to make me healthier in heart or mind or both, something educational or, dare I say it, enlightening? Giving up something at Lent is a perfect trial run to actually giving that item up on a long term basis so I still do it, but the adding of something to my daily routine for 46 odd days is where I feel the most growth.

Last year I gave up the following for Lent: cigarettes (unsuccessfully I might add), red meat (somewhat more successfully) and Facebook (100% successful!). I gave up all of those things because in one way or another I felt they were holding me back physically or emotionally from some other idea I had for my life. In addition, I added a daily Bible study (somewhat successful) and some quiet "me time" every day (100% successful). The Bible thing I'm still working on (though that's another post for another day) but as I struggle to reconcile the faith of my childhood to the truth of my adult existence I thought adding back in some good old fashioned Bible reading wouldn't hurt. I gave up Facebook because it is a soul-sucking, time-waste and I really should spend much, much less time refreshing my status feed than I do. Interestingly enough, giving up Facebook was the hardest thing I've ever successfully done for 46 days. I am not proud that I missed it so flippin much - more proud that even when I realized how much I missed it that I still stayed away!

This year I'm giving up beer (again) and cigarettes (also, again). I'm giving up beer because I'm really struggling with losing weight right now and I KNOW that the drinking doesn't help but I can't (won't?) give it up all together because in my own little screwed up way I feel like surviving through massive amounts of stress every day entitles me to the evening glass of wine. I just want to limit it to the evening glass of wine, or the weekend glasses if I'm being fair, and stop with the crack a beer at noon cause I'm bored and drink all damn day bit. The cigs... well THAT I am not proud of. I quit y'all - like legit quit smoking - finally! And then the husband lost his job... What can I say? When the world feels overwhelming all I really want is to sit somewhere with some friends and drink wine (see above) and smoke cigarettes. I wish I didn't love it so, but I do. Anyway, I need to quit again (before TheBoy kills me) and I figure this is a good enough starting point as any.

As for the thing I'm adding? This year its daily yoga and meditation. Pretty much the same reasons as last year - just trying something new... I wonder sometimes if I'm destined to always be studying and chasing after knowledge or if I'll ever just be content to "be". Maybe I'll know more in 46 days?

What are you giving up or doing for Lent?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


So what if, while you're in the middle of trying to rob Peter to pay Paul, Paul calls and says that actually you owe him twice the amount you originally thought due to delayed payments AND THEN Peter calls and is all "where the f&#@ is my money?" Theoretically that could happen right?

Yesterday on the way home I realized that I did not have enough gas in my car to make it to work and back for the remainder of this week. Since we're flat broke this is more of an issue than you might initially think. There is NO. MONEY. None at all. Not to mention... when did gas get so expensive again? Blah. So I got home and brought up my conundrum the TheBoy to see if he had any thoughts on what to do because as much as I would love to, I can't just call out sick for the rest of the week.

In true, head-in-sand, fingers-in-ears, la-la-la-la-la I can't hear you, form since we couldn't immediately figure out a way to get me to work we decided to think about it over some wine and beer pong. (yes I understand that technically should be called "wine pong" but it doesn't sound as nice right?) Sometime during the second match TheBoy looked at me and with a huge smile on his face, said "rototiller!" Apparently my reaction was sufficiently confused because he quickly went on to explain that we could siphon gas from the rototiller in to my car and that it should be enough to get me to and from work for the next two days.

Y'all. My husband is a genius!

Turns out siphoning gas isn't as easy as it sounds but TheBoy did finally manage to get me about a quarter tank by the time I had to leave this morning so off I went. Until my car died. Again. Totally unrelated to the amount of gas I have or do not have in the tank my car has been having other "issues" in the last couple of months. First we thought it was the battery, but no. Then a series of a couple other things, but no. And I am SO bummed because I JUST got my car back late last week from TheBoy who thought it was fixed! I missed my little car!

So now I have a car that needs repairs which will probably cost money that I don't have. Is this what Charlie had in mind with his whole "winning" thing? All I can do is just shake my head and laugh, and then cross my fingers and pray like hell for a financial miracle. :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Green IS a good color for me...

This writer is blocked.

But! Don’t give up on me dear IIFs! I promise the 30 days of truth will continue, if for no other reason that we are finally (!) at day 13 which is exciting on so many levels because 1) I’ve pretty much been waiting for this day since day one, 2) day 13 may have been (read: totally was) the reason I signed up to do this damn thing in the first place and 3) you’ll finally be let in to my inner crazy and find out how I do in fact think I could be BFFs with a pop star. Oh yes, yes I do.

It’s just that… It’s been hard for me to write light-hearted and fun posts the last few days because I’ve been firmly wrapped up in my own little pity party. See, TheBoy lost his job a few weeks back so things have gotten necessarily tighter on the money front which is no fun for anyone. Gone are my sanity-saving 5 am work outs, gone are my peace-filled yoga classes, gone are happy hours with friends, a mini-vacay planned for May with my mama, plans to finish restoring the new boat and… oh pretty much everything else that isn’t directly related to food, gas, rent or MY job.

And to be totally honest, the worst part of this whole thing? I am so totally and utterly annoyed that it was TheBoy who lost his job and not me. I know right? Someone please slap me because that is just redockulous! But there you have it, the truth, in all its unflattering and ugly glory. I am mad at my husband for losing his job because damn it I’M the one who hates my freaking job and who has been trying desperately to figure out a way to move on! I was counting on the hubby’s job working out so that he could eventually make decent enough money so that I could quit MY job and go back to school! It shouldn’t be HIM who is home all day, planning a new career and taking all the time he needs to get things done around the house – it should be ME!

Le sigh.

Wow I am a bad wife eh? Instead of supporting my hubby through this transition time I’ve been secretly… Jealous? Yes I think jealous sums it up nicely. Lord, I apologize. And I know, when I’m not indulging in self-pity and woe-is-me type thoughts, that this is temporary, that TheBoy was NOT happy in that position and that he’s relieved to be on to something new. I know that he WILL eventually find something and that I should think of myself as LUCKY that I have a job that (for the most part) pays our bills to a sufficient degree that we can afford for one of us to be unemployed. I know that it isn’t the end of the world and we will get through this. I understand that if it HAD been me who had lost my job, we wouldn’t have been able to make ends meet and that I certainly wouldn’t have been able to scrape up the money to go back to school.

Now, how do I kick this funk?