It's Fat Tuesday, and that means Mardi Gras time. Woohoo [read sarcastically]. But for those unaware of Fat Tuesday's significance, it marks the last day befor Lent. So people binge on the thing they're giving up starting the next day, Ash Wednesday. Or at least that's their excuse to throw the biggest party of the year. Every year I try to fast during Lent, not because I long for the days before Luther's 99 theses, and not because I need another shot at a New Year's resolution, but because I think it's a good idea. To fast from something I grasp too often, and feast on something more meaningful. Over past Lenten (is that a word?) seasons, I've fasted from:
-Kissing. Me AND my girlfriend partook of Lent that year.
-Sarcasm. I was so dull no one talked to me for 40 days. I think I lost friends that season.
-Lying. It's harder than you think.
This year, I'm thinking desserts. Sweets. Junk food. Unless it's fruit, but that's not junk food. I thought about giving up cussing, since I don't really cuss all that often. Imagine me on Fat Tuesday if that were the case: bleeping expletive bleeping bleeps. I'd have to get it all out of my system. 40 days is longer than you realize. I thought about giving up myspace and facebook and blogging, but that wouldn't be fair to you guys. I thought about fasting from making fun of people, but that wouldn't be fair to me. I was dull when I lost sarcasm. What would I be left with if I gave that up?
The thing for me though, when I actually give up these things I need to, I am generally bitter about it. Frustrated. Resentful. And prone to re-indulge myself once Easter hits. So I want to have a better attitude this go-round. If I give up junk food, I want to eat healthy. I don't want to just fast from something; I want to feast on better things. And I don't mean that literally, in this case. Feasting on fruit literally, would still negate the fasting from junk foods. But figuratively, I want to replace that which I'm giving up. Like the kissing. Replace it with quality conversation, and intense hand-holding. Right. And the lying. Tell the truth. The sarcasm. Say nice things about people and situations. That one was the hardest. Except for the lying and kissing. I wouldn't say the sarcastic remark I was thinking, but I'd note audibly that there was one in my head for that moment. Same difference. Just not as many laughs.
All this to say, you should think about giving something up until Easter. And when you do, be happy about it. It really is a good thing.
Just don't give up kissing.
Now I've got some junk food to go gorge myself with. After all, it is called Fat Tuesday. And it's almost over.