This year I did pretty well until this past Tuesday, when I was at the funeral luncheon for my little brother's MIL. Once I screwed up there, I continued down the bad path and had "dirt" two days later at the after-school program where I volunteer. I followed that up two days later with a Twix candy bar, which I practically inhaled during the intermission for the Gemini Children's Theater's "Rapunzel." (Side note: If you live in the Pittsburgh area and have kids between the ages of 3 and a preteen, go to a Gemini show. You will not regret it. I only wish I had known about it before my kid was nearly 6; we missed a few years of fun.)
Although I feel slightly guilty about falling off the wagon, this Lent I am also trying to do something meaningful: to be more positive, helpful, and show appreciation.
This idea came on the heels of my "Good Things" box. I am still going (pretty) strong with this, though the kid petered out after a couple of weeks. Even though I sometimes forget about it for a few days, I am able to go back and think about good/positive things that happened over the course of the missed days. In fact, I am so focused on looking on the bright side and counting my blessings that I realized I sometimes block out crap that happens. But the thing is I don't think it is so much blocking it out as it is not sweating the small stuff (if something major/awful happens, I am pretty sure most of my positivity will go out the window). Following is a recent picture of the nicely filled box.
|If you look closely, you might be able to make out a slip for Rita's. It opened last week, and J and I went there yesterday, taking advantage of our 50 percent off coupon, in 35-degree weather nonetheless.|
In addition to the box, I am also trying to use Facebook for good. I waste so much time in that world (getting off there really should have been my Lenten sacrifice) that I thought if I can spread cheer and positivity, hopefully causing a few people to stop and think, then that is good (or at least a good excuse). So far, I have kept FB upbeat and thought-provoking (not counting a slight derailment when I complained about the kids in Catholic school having off tomorrow for Pope Francis' inaugural mass, which would be over long before any of them were awake, as well as for a special mass by Bishop Zubik, which starts at 7 p.m.).
I have also tried to do more for others, whether lending a hand for the church/school fish fry prep, helping some of the teachers when I have time to spare after lunch duty, holding more doors open for people, letting cars in front of me, saying hi to strangers, etc. And, I have made it a point to show my appreciation for others, via a note, email, or in-person thank you.
I don't pretend to be a perfect or even great person. But whether it is Lent or not, and whether you are a person of faith or a man of science, I think we can all stand to do better, to be kinder, to be more helpful, and to look on the bright side.
I will leave you with a few pictures I have posted recently on Facebook, from various pages. I hope you find them even a little inspirational and/or see the truth in them. In the meantime, I will continue to try to do the right thing and be the best I can. I know I am not there yet, but often the journey is what matters more.