Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Damn, it's Lent

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
  --Dalai Lama

Yeah, and then I get to work. Sigh. The Dalai Lama is all smarty-pants about such things because he has never walked into the kitchen at work looking for a cup of coffee, only to find an empty pot scorching on the burner. It's not so easy to have kind words for others in that situation, believe me.

With the crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, and paczki behind me, I begin Lent with a way-too full stomach and some thinking ahead of me.  Unlike too many others, I do not give up chocolate or soft drinks--I'm more of a self-improvement kinda gal.  Lent is a time of reflection for me--a time to renew my attitude, to rethink how I treat others, how I treat myself, and to maybe just think before I speak or act for once.

I like to take stock of things in my head and think about the things that need improvement--and god knows, there is a lot of that.  But I am human, and so I acknowledge the brown and bruised spots of me and I work on changing that.  I'm not always successful, but I think just admitting you need work is a big step in itself.

I'm not a very religious person, but I do consider myself more spiritual instead.  I don't find peace in four walls and a roof, instead, I find it in the small things of this good green earth. I mean, how can you not see the miracles of this life and not know there is something deeper and more profound than us? So it is with the help of the miracles of Spring and the changes in the natural world around me that I see that this is a time of change in myself as well.  A time of taking stock, turning my face to the sun, and reaching for a better me.

And to kick off my annual Lenten self-improvement plan, I usually give up swearing for the duration as well.  Okay, so it's typically failed 10 seconds after my alarm goes off on Ash Wednesday, but it is the attempt that counts, right. And if I fall off that  no-cussin' wagon, I'm gonna hop back on and forge ahead--with a whole lot less four-letter words.

Well....unless the idiots at work don't start making the coffee....


vanilla said...

May the bruised spots fade, and no new ones accrue. May the coworkers get their heads wrapped around the coffee chores; may all your coffee be hot and fresh!

[I don't know whether you noticed or not, but your post began with a bad word.]

Winnie said...

I think I'd rather give up chocolate than swearing. It would be easier.

The joy of being raised Baptist was we never observed Lent, but then again we weren't allowed to dance, drink, .... so it was a very strict Lent year round.

Have some fish fry and hope a freeze doesn't get the early bird flowers that are already popping up.

Pricilla said...

It's good to be a goat worries except when is the next batch of apples arriving and no god.

silverthoughts2 said...

I wasn't going to give anything up for Lent, but I felt guilty so I'm going to try not to curse and to get up at 7 each morning.

Grace said...

Can't comment on the Lent thing since it has no meaning for me but the burnt coffee pot? - that's almost as bad as: A) someone stealing your lunch and B) rotten food in the fridge and no one responsible for cleaning it.

I've always gotten a kick out of women who curse well - the one's who carry it off in a kinda classy way. I can't get away cursing - for some reason people think it doesn't suit me. When I was 20 my boyfriend tried to teach me to curse. Went like this: "Him: say son-of-a-b***h" "Me: No, no I can't say that". Nowadays s**t is probably my fav word...

Jen Chandler said...

I heard a prayer once: "Lord, so far, everything is going great. I'm thankful to be alive and I'm thankful for today. But Lord, I'm about to get out of bed and I'm really going to need your help for the rest of the day!"

I totally understand! I like the idea of self-improvement for Lent. It's a great time to reflect, get rid of things that weight you down and focus on what needs to be done. Thanks for the inspiration.

Here's to people who will always make sure the coffee pot is full of fresh brew...and mounds of chocolate for the days they fail to show up!


Petula Wright said...

I mean really people, how hard is it just to make some more coffee! SMH for you. :-D

I was doing good with the no cussing ever since my middle daughter oh-so-politely called me on it. That was until I was relaying to my best friend what her dad recently did ... If I have a jar I would have to put about 100 quarters in for every f bomb and a variety of other coins for every other unladylike word that spewed from my mouth.

An-t-way, I like the self-improvement reflection. Good luck and good thinking.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Giving up cussing is a good one because it's tough! Good luck with everything you hope to gain during this period.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should say....some constituents at work went out for ashes at lunch, and some time moments after returning to work, were cutely cussing up a storm in a 4 way phone meeting. Returning to work, they were so quickly proud of their black cross of christianity, how soon we forget. Fran's Dad

Ann said...

oops, first day of lent and I messed up already. I'll just have to start fresh tomorrow :)

BeadedTail said...

I guess I'm not religious if I really don't know what lent is but I guess it's good since I don't have to give anything up then! I hate the smell and taste of coffee so have never made a pot in my life so that means I've never burned coffee either. :)

Lin said...

Vanilla--Oh, you caught it! ;) It was intentional.

Winnie--Oh, I'm already in the hole for a few words, but I'm really trying. Just think how many I would have used otherwise!

Pricilla--But who makes the apples??? ;)

Silver--I think picking one or two faults to work on is enough for Lent. I'm gonna try to be more patient with folks too. We'll see how long THAT lasts! Hahaha!

Grace--We finally had to hire a cleaning lady--outside of the janitor we already have for the slobs in our office! She is GREAT! Cleans the fridge, microwave and counters so I don't have to anymore. Hooray! I'm not sure I curse "well", but I do curse and it's not good.

Jen--I like that prayer! I may have to use it tomorrow.

Petula--And our coffee is pre-packaged! It's not that tough to pour it in the filter and press a button--but apparently some folks think so. Some occasions just call for a four-lettered fury. Your daughter will understand some day. Words are better than actions, I say.

Liz--Oh yeah, it IS tough--that's why I have to give it up every year! Hahaha!!

Fran's Dad--And why must they continue to wear their ashes ALL day?? I want to say "Okay, I see, go wash them off." That is why I don't go for the 4 walls thing.

Ann--You have 40 days, my friend. It's not too late! ;)

Beaded Tail--Lent is a Catholic thing--we like to suffer, you know. ;) You're okay on the coffee--I don't like the folks who love to drink it, but won't make it. Like that's MY job??? Ugh. Do you drink soft drinks in the morning then??

paul s said...

Amen Lin we sure think the same way but i sure would not mine doing my lenten self improvement on a nice beach with tasty drinks but then again i think some people call that vacation , oh well i just keep trying to improve in beautiful Alsip Il.

Lin said...

Paul--I'm just happy the snowdrops are starting to pop up in my garden--can't even imagine going someplace warm right about now! Thanks for putting that in my head. UGH! :P

Catherine said...

Did the Dalai Lama work in an office? Nope... I don't think so. ;)
xo Catherine

Pricilla said...

duh - the apple tree. A goat's thinkin' process is linear

Rebecca Mecomber said...

I NEVER understood Lent. Never understood why people give up a "vice" for 40 days only to pick it up again as soon as Easter rolls around. "Big whoop, 40 days," I imagine God saying. Of course, some sins are very hard to ditch, but STILL. This is supposed to be GOD we're talking about! Doesn't He deserve a bit more appreciation? Catholicism baffles my mind, totally. No wonder people get turned off by religion. But then again, I am a *true* Protestant. (I was baptised a Catholic as a baby.)

And I TOTALLY AGREE with you about the Dalai Lama. People quote his mushy words all over the place, sighing and wiping tears at such sagacity. Bah humbug.

Anne said...

I'm not much of a giving up type of person either. I much prefer to attempt to make improvements.

Lin said...

Catherine--AND he walks around in his jammies all day. 'nuff said. Homeboy can't begin to imagine what it is like.

Pricilla--:) I see. Hahaha!

Rebecca--I don't get it either, so I use it as an excuse for reflection and introspection. But that said, I do subscribe to a lot that the Dalai Lama says. I like his messages of peace and harmony. I'm not sappy about it, but I do read his words more during Lent--hence, the quote.

Anne--Me too. And goodness knows, I need a lot of them!

Sharkbytes said...

Lent, hmmm. yes... I suppose I should do something. I don't get the point of a season where you can compete with your friends to see who is more religious. If I give up something, I won't be telling.

Jodi said...

I never give up, instead I enhance. I read the Bible everyday. It is much easier, I think, to give up rather than discipline one's self to do something you don't always do that enhances.

You know what I say? Shit, pass the chocolate!