Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog


Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…