Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Giving up something I love.

Happy Lent! Is that what you're supposed to say? I don't think it is. I know that Lent is supposed to be an introspective time between Fat Tuesday and Easter when people give up something they love to test their willpower. Okay, maybe I should go Google the actual meaning...

Lent: NOUN

  1. the period preceding Easter that in the Christian Church is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in commemoration of Christ's fasting in the wilderness. In the Western Church it runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday and so includes forty weekdays
Close enough. Last night my kids and I walked down the street (their dad was still at work) to the Anglican church for their pancake supper night. I noticed a sign in front of the church advertising it a few days ago and was happy to continue our family tradition in Canada. The past few years we've gone to pancake suppers at the Episcopal churches in our town. We aren't consistent church-goers but we do try to make it for the big days - Christmas Eve, pancakes, Easter, and the occasional summer service where we go out for brunch and Bloody Mary's afterward (they call them Cesars in Canada and they are made with clam juice).

I like the idea of giving up something you love or something that has become an unhealthy crutch for 40 days just to see if you can. The past few years I've given up beer. One year I gave up sugar. This year I'm giving up facebook. I love that facebook has given me a way to stay in touch with friends and family even as we've moved from city to city. It's the one thing that kept me from feeling completely disconnected. Lately though, I'm too connected, so connected to other people's lives that I'm not living my own. I want to see what my mind thinks about when it's not under the influence of facebook.

To be totally honest all those smiling families and remodeled kitchens and vacations and babies and #Ilovemyjob and friend-filled parties were making me jealous. There, I said it. Ugh, that makes me look horrible. A person should be happy for their friends' joy and success, right?  Really, it's not them, it's me right now. I've been them at other times in my life - I've had babies and vacations and friends and a job I loved. Now I'm suddenly in a strange new place - stuck in a city and house I hate with no job or babies that need me. (For the record, I don't want another baby, I'm just remembering when my now-sullen 13 year old was sweet and cuddly.) And my kitchen? The cabinet doors are falling off their hinges.

Here I am, emotionally crippled by a string of losses and I just got rid of access to my crutches - friends and family who are my greatest cheerleaders. Let's see if I can pull myself up on my own.


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