Growing up Catholic, I know a little something about the season of Lent, the time leading up to Easter (and spring)!! What my friends and I all remember most is the ‘giving something up’ for Lent. We still participate health permitting. Yes, it usually is a food of some sort. Growing up I remember my Mom ‘making’ my sister & I ‘give’ up watching the cult classic Dark Shadows after school for the 6 week duration. (She said it would be tough & that would be good for us. I honestly think she just hated a show about vampires!) Well, the idea is it should be something tough. In recent years, I have given up chocolate ~ the hardest by far at the time. One year was alcohol, equally as tough I suppose. A handful of years ago I stopped eating after 7pm at night. Extremely difficult thing to do at first, but then a Lenten miracle happened; I actually felt better for the sacrifice in the morning ~ no growling-I-got-to-eat-NOW tummy. To this day I try to abide by the same rule. My brother-in-law gives up beer every year & a wonderful thing happens for him, his body takes on a new & improved shape. Now, I am not saying total deprivation is the way to go, quite the contrary. I believe in moderation all the way. What I am saying is there is something to be learned from sacrifice of any kind. You prove to yourself that you are tougher than you think. You learn to appreciate what you are sacrificing; a bit of forced gratitude along life’s path is not a bad thing. I think our parents forced gratitude on us a whole lot. “You better eat those peas; there are starving children out there that don’t get peas.” Yes, we go along in our adult life not always grateful, not always present in the moment. So the idea of Lenten sacrifice can be good for all. We can learn to be grateful and when spring comes along with the end of Lent, a grateful Halleluiah chorus isn’t such a bad thing either.
Posted by marypause at 3:54 PM
Here is a few experts’ advice to not let one bad thing ruin your day. We all know how that day goes; you awake with the hope & promise of a new day and then all hell breaks loose. (Or a few small ones) You know, the locks are frozen in the car, the internet is down (again) at work. Your cell phone won’t keep a charge again or much worse. So here are a few suggestions:
Detach yourself and observe the bad situation instead of reacting. Take a few deep breaths and calmly access. The older you get the better we are at this technique; it takes lots of practice.
Facing it is a sign of learned resilience. Accept what you cannot change like being stuck in traffic and be ready with great music or a book on CD. By facing what could happen you can practice being better prepared for the situation. Practice leads to a better calm.
Admit how you feel, then go from there. Once you acknowledge your feelings, you can move on. When an emotion is indefinable, it has more power than when you see it for what it is.
Fake some joy by jumping up & down for instance. Getting both feet off the ground makes you feel energetic and childlike. Or choose to go for a walk; some fresh air can sooth an irritated soul for sure.
We all have learned techniques over the years because of our need to survive & stay sane at the same time. So the next time you get a flat tire, take a deep breath, be grateful for AAA (be prepared with a membership!), blast some joyful music until they arrive and even though your tire won’t roll, be glad that you’ve learned to roll with it!
Posted by marypause at 3:42 PM