40 days IN the world

Good Evening Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea. Well it’s been a long time and while I meant to leave you, I did put up my BRB sign. Our definitions of RB may have been varied just a bit. Anywhoo. Me and my wonderful pen are back and we want to tell you of our time IN the world. The Lenten Season came to an end on Holy Saturday – that’s March 30 for you non-Cadbury claiming folk and with it the start of the Easter Season. Technically it was 46 days but the Sabbath (Sunday) isn’t counted but my Sabbath is Saturday but I’m flexible. During my 40 days IN the world, fasting and abstinence were adjectives, verbs and acquaintances that weren’t really in my vocabulary or on my Christmas list. Being the writer I am, had to do a little research and so began my days IN the world. Fasting and abstaining, two completely different INGings and despite that old folklore, doing something for 21 days does not necessarily equal a habit. For me, it was like hurdling and I’ve never done that a day in my life. Stumble, fall and stagger did I, but I pressed forward. Some may get all my inferences, some won’t, but as always, my goal is for you to GETMENDED.

I learned/witnessed/interpreted/thought and read a lot during my time IN the world. I learned…

That those who profess not to believe but engage in the celebration of such days (Christmas, Easter) regardless of how commercial we’ve made it, aren’t non-believers at all, they are believers who may be ashamed to believe out loud

That technology (email, text, FB, Twitter, etc.) can turn you into a coward

That imposing your beliefs on others (Pro – whatever, Anti-whoever, definition, schmefinition) is waterboarding and you and you alone must answer to any charges against you, regardless to who you stand before in judgment, and no, you do NOT have the write to remain silent

That if you don’t want to play Russian Roulette, don’t ask loaded questions

That when people feel you have been less than kind to them (maybe you were, maybe you weren’t) they say “God bless you” or “You have a blessed day” as if that is supposed to wound you

That when you remove unnecessary distractions and detractors, even for a little while, life and everything in it goes that much smoother

That when you deny the flesh (and it ain’t all about sex) the mind gets clear and the flesh REfreshed

That the more you know, try to know, want to know; the more tolerant you become

That in the winter, nearly every woman (if she’s smart and doesn’t want to put a wool hat on) resembles a Muslim woman

That change is just something you weren’t expecting that you have to get used to but we expect it every 4 to 8 years

That mothers, in most cases, get more PROPS than fathers, but the most important mother is rarely given her just due

That people want to tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do it, where to get it and how much to pay for it, ask your opinion and repeat the cycle

That when you talk about death, particularly your own, people tend to think you have Suicidal Ideations but I don’t recall hearing that term in It’s a Wonderful Life
That I don’t know of 1 person who would take a beating (The Passion) for anyone else – save a small child, let alone for someone who doesn’t like you

I could go on and on about my 40 days IN the world, but I think you get the picture. Now, 50 days of Feasting (the Easter Season) is here. Don’t think I’ll be indulging in anything I gave up during the 40, but I did have a Sonic milkshake today and almost went into a sugar coma. Not sure, what if anything you did during the Lenten Season but I did a whole lot of something doing little to nothing. Shalom.

You have some dirt on your forehead

Ash Wednesday:
Today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season and for those of us who practice the time has come to make a sacrifice. Sacrifice something that is pleasing in nature and in an effort to get closer to and obtain favor with God. For you non-believers, most see it as a time to drop a few pounds, but hey, whatever gets you there. There’s a multitude of information about Lent, scripture and etc., but one piece in particular stood out to me. One reading references Isaiah 58:1-12 and notes that fasting that does not lead to works of charity does us no good. When I read the full text – my Bible may have different wording but we all get the gist – it talks about performing compassionate acts for others and dealing with others righteously and learning to love and serve them in healthy ways. That fasting should lead to works of charity and we should not hide from relatives who need us. Well imagine my face twisting @confusedfaced – works of charity, I thought fasting was just about me clearing my body from indulgences that tend to distract me focusing on God. Then as I read a little more and applied my over analytical brain, I began to understand that what good does it do to fast, if it is only for my benefit. Well who else is going to benefit from me giving up fast-food, social media, soda, and any of my make it through the day treats besides me? I guess when you stop focusing so much on yourself and what you don’t have or are missing or focusing on all that you do have, it allows you to see the bigger picture. I won’t lie and say Lent isn’t a difficult season for me because it is. I’m not a foodie, I don’t love to eat but I love the things I eat. My eating habits are poor as it is (according to my trainer, I don’t eat enough, don’t eat often enough and at times eat the wrong things at the wrong times) so this journey will be an adventure. Life got busy and hectic for me and I did not have adequate time to plan for today, thus I slipped up and ate meat today, a no no for Ash Wednesday, so I will do penance and have no meat tomorrow and as always Meatless Fridays, but I’ve taken it a step further with the loosening of my vices (ice cream, my nightly Twix bar – don’t know how I’m going to survive without that) but I’m confident I will be successful. As for charitable acts, I think I do more good than the Salvation Army. The giving of my time, money, talents and anything else I have is always demanded and while at times I can become a bit irritated with the requests (I’m only human) the request is still met, so aside from giving the shirt off my back, not sure how much more charitable I can be, but I’m sure this season will be revealing to me.

Tonight when I arrived home and hurricaned through my mail, house cleaning, recycling, bathing, changing of purses, selecting a wardrobe and all that goes with that and the saying of my rosary, I admit, I felt the need for some charity of my own but I did not complain. And I’m not complaining now. I’ve always know I was a giver, I was born that way (Gaga). I hated it when I was younger. My grandparents would make me take extra lunches to school, or help to pay for a kid who couldn’t go on a field trip, stuff like that and they were always helping someone out in the community. They were givers. The givers like you read about in the news, who would help ANYBODY and it really irritated me because nobody was helping me. Sad to say, the same is true today but, I have a better appreciation for my background and how I grew up now. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth but I think it was silver plated of high quality. I had everything I wanted and I had an over abundance of love and now I guess the universe is looking for a return on its investment. To whom much is given, much is required. If the things I’m experiencing now is the requirement for what I was given back then, well some of these celebrities better watch out because when their comeuppance is due the requirement is going to be quite handsome and I hope they are in a position to make due.

I’m not ashamed to say that these next 46 days (Sundays are excluded from the Lenten fast) will find me at various points of my best but my most sincere effort will always be there. My best varies from day to day and all I can hope for is that if I make it to tomorrow, that my best will be better than it was the day before. As I write this to say goodnight, I’m habitually reaching in my drawer for my nightly Twix and alas it is not there so I settle for a piece of sugarless gum and cup of water along with a prayer that right after I post this I fall asleep so I won’t scrounge around the house for my hidden Twix bars. I don’t like much but what I like I like and want. Maybe after 46 days, Twix and I will no longer be close friends, but let’s not get carried away, even close friends get back together.

1 down, 45 to go.