Not there yet (but it is the journey)

As I do most Lents, I gave up sweets this year. As also happens most Lents, I have failed a few times. One of the few exceptions was Lent of 2002, when I was super workout girl, spending six and sometimes seven evenings a week at the gym doing various forms of cardio and lifting weights. I was in fantastic shape. I had low body fat. I could do 25 pushups (I just checked and I can do almost seven now). And I was eating pretty well. As hard as it was to put nothing sweet in my mouth for about 46 days (or however long Lent lasts when you count Sundays), the thought of keeping my newly lost weight off was a great motivator.

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.


Jessica R. said…
Our bishop has commented a lot this Lent about messing up and resolving to start over instead of thinking you failed and I think that goes so well with this post.

I love your movement of being positive. It's something I definitely need to work on.

And p.s. Our Catholic schools are definitely open tomorrow!
bluzdude said…
I agree with you completely. Everyone can stand to be nicer to those around them, myself most definitely included.
Facie said…
Jessica: Our priest said a similar thing, which is why even though I have eaten sweets a few times, I continue not to at other times.

Still frustrated about the school closing thing (if I was working, I am sure I would be mad). IMO if they want to close for the day, do it the day after because of the 7 p.m. mass on Tuesday. I can't justify taking my kid to that because it will probably be 1.5 hours, which means she will be in bed about one hour later than usual.

Facie said…
Bluz: I know it sounds trite and overly simplified, but if everyone was a little nicer to others, the world would be a better place.
LaLa said…
Nice sentiments-do unto others and being grateful to wake up 'cause not everyone does! Great job with the box.
Facie said…
Thanks, LaLa. I have found quite a few good ones. I just hope I keep up with the box.

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