Week 2: Thoughts on Lent
Here I am STILL trying to be more mindful of things. In some ways I am succeeding; in others no so much. Which is a true reflection of my life (and perhaps yours as well).
In case you don't recall; for Lent I have given up 3 things: Chocolate, alcohol and cursing.
Chocolate I've been giving up for Lent for at least 2 decades, so although it is difficult for me (I really LOVE chocolate), it isn't that hard. What I need to STOP doing is trying to find replacements. Sure I've given up my beloved chocolate, but I've had my share of other sweet treats to replace that craving. I think I should be doing less of that. While it would be next to impossible for me to give up all sweets (I know my own limitations), I need to be more mindful of what I put into my mouth. (Why doesn't that sound good?) I have always been a thoughtless eater. I don't eat because I'm hungry (at least not most of the time), I eat because I'm bored, angry, tired, celebrating...well you get the idea. I need to work more on the mindfulness. My scale has told me so. (You'd think that with giving up alcohol and chocolate the weight would go down...not so...unless I am more mindful of what I eat.)
Alcohol, well, I had a wee spot of whiskey on St. Patrick's Day. No more for me until my "break" on the 29-31 of the month. Am I seriously giving up this? It doesn't seem so. I need to be more mindful of this and focus. But I will admit, after a long week (and the past few weeks have been really stressful), I really crave that glass of wine.
Cursing: the REAL challenge. I am definitely more mindful of this. When a word flies out of my mouth that shouldn't, I am immediately aware of it. I IMMEDIATELY try to cover with something else, but it is too late. I'm thinking I need to start keeping track of how many times per day these words pour out of me and "pay up" for each offense. The proceeds of the swear jar could go to charity. This seems like such a good idea as I write it down, then I'm going to start right here and now. The week of Easter, I will be sure to report back in how much I collected and where the money will be going.
When I said I was going to give up cursing, I really didn't think it would be all that hard, but it has turned out to be the most challenges of all my Lenten promises. I think a lot of it has to do with all the frustrations that life doles out. Mostly those little things that go wrong that just cause me to let the words fly and stamp my feet.
Like what you ask? Let me tell you what makes me crazy, even though they are MINOR issues:
- For 2 weeks we have no received grocery circulars in the mail. This is NOT a big deal, but there are coupons in those circulars that are NOT in the circulars that you see in the grocery store. Which is why I ended up paying a dollar more per pound for my corned beef this St. Patrick's Day. It's not that they no longer exist. (Shoprite even does tv ads on the NY stations telling me to look out for special coupons in my weekly circular.) My mailperson just doesn't carry them anymore. Sure I could complain to the postal service, but you know how far that is going to get me: https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2018/12/where-do-i-live-us-postal-service-story.html.
- Canker sores! I get them almost every time I go to the dentist. This time I got one and it finally went away after a week (without any treatment; although IS there really any treatment?). But then a 2nd one popped up. If you've ever had one, you know that this is NOT life threatening, but so annoying and uncomfortable. (For those of you who have not; it's on the scale of a paper cut. Painful and annoying!)
- People who don't respect your time or the time of others. I have a report that is due at the end of the day on Friday. Because I have to compile a large amount of data from a variety of sources, I ask for some information to be to me by one in the afternoon. There is consistently someone who is ALWAYS late. Someone who I ALWAYS have to send a reminder to in order to get the necessary information. This is NOT a new person; this is someone who has been doing this for a while, but has an excuse every week for not being on time. Urgh! Or then there's the person who is consistently late to weekly music rehearsals. Since this is a voluntary thing, I wouldn't be so peeved if this person makes us go back and rehearse material that we have already gone over. If you can't be there on time, fine, but don't make everyone in the group pay for it.
- People who are NOT focused. We are all guilty of that some of the time, but those who are consistently NOT paying attention. (I'm NOT just talking about my teenage son; although I could write a whole long post just about that.) I'm talking about the mail person (again) who talks on the phone during her whole route. I'm talking about the gas station attendant who is on the phone every time I pull into to get gas. (Here in NJ gas is still pumped by attendants). If he was paying attention, he'd know when the tank was full and I wouldn't be sitting there glaring. Or how about the person in the choir who leaves just minutes before the choir is supposed to start singing? The list goes on and on...URGH!!
All of this things just rub me the wrong way and I find myself letting those words fly without ANY thought. Or without MUCH thought...I AM trying to focus. While I am still NOT a success, I'm going to keep trying. I've got just under 5 more weeks to go...that's plenty of time for improvement. And that's what matters, right?