Didn't we just finish the Christmas season? How can it be Lent already?
However it happened, it happened. Exactly one month of Ordinary time passed in between Christmas and Lent, and here we are on Ash Wednesday. For the second time in my journey as a Catholic, Ash Wednesday has come before Valentine's Day. Luckily, though, Valentine's Day is on a Sunday, which is always a feast day, even during Lent. Thank goodness for that, because See's and Lindt are very important to me. Really.
Seriously, Lent has arrived again and I am glad. I like Lent much better than Advent (which, to me, is characterized by pressures of all kinds which means little time to actually think about the coming of the Christ-child). Lent is different. There is plenty of time during which we are not constantly pressured to find presents for everyone, decorate the house, send cards and bake cookies. I honestly don't know when I became such a Scrooge, but each year I have a harder and harder time making it through Christmas.
Inversely, I look forward to Lent as a time to reconnect with our Lord, who so often takes a backseat to all the business of our daily lives. It is a time of reading (this year it is Matthew Kelly's Rediscover Jesus), studying (check out FORMED on line), questioning how I am doing in my quest for eternal life, and being able to plan how to become the person God wants me to be. Life carries on, but in more hushed tones and with a little less drama. It is peaceful.
As you may recall from last year, I try to add something productive during Lent rather than mortify myself (my husband reminds me that my illness mortifies me automatically, which I can't really argue with). So, no, I am not giving up chocolate or sweets or caffeine. I will try to be more measured with them, but I will not cut them out completely. Instead, I am committed to getting back on track with my blog and will be posting at least three times a week during Lent. I really enjoy writing in this space and haven't been doing it lately for lack of inspiration and energy. Maybe this can get me back on track, for real this time.
I have mostly settled into a one week good/one week bad schedule with my chemo so I think I can better manage and predict my best and worst days and work the blogging in with that. I feel, when I don't blog, that I begin turning inward and become less social overall. I don't want to give into that (unless I REALLY want to take a nap, that is). Plus, my short term memory is pretty bad now, so this is a good place for me to write down what is going on in my life so I don't forget it all. Plus, some day my kids can read this and remember parts of their lives that I was able to record.
Wish me luck, as I wish you, with all your Lenten endeavors.