So I walk into Old Navy the other day and instantly this guy starts telling me about all their sales and deals and how they have some sort of Yoga giveaway. Yoga is alright, I guess. I did Bikram yoga once or twice and I couldn't walk for 2 weeks, so I guess it works, but I'm anti yoga the same way I'm anti sushi and all other stuffwhitepeoplelike/hipster/new age California type stuff. A walk in the woods and a shot of whisky will always cures what ails you, I always say. I'm a mountain girl at heart. I don't like fish unless it's deep fried. I like my salads with ranch.
But I digress.
So, this guy is pushing the yoga giveaway and I'm all, "I don't do yoga," and I pat my belly and say, "Obviously." And then the lady standing at the yoga giveaway center is like, "Oh, are you pregnant?"
"No," I said. "I'm just fat."
Next Wednesday is the first day of Lent. I've never been in the habit of giving things up for Lent, because, well, I just haven't. This year is different, and not just because I want an excuse to stop being an elephant.
I heard a sermon a while back that made me see things in a new light. It was about enjoying life, and seeking joy, and finding strength in the joy of the Lord. You'd think it wouldn't be that hard to enjoy life (because my life is pretty frickin' awesome, if I do say so myself), but sometimes, for me, it really is. But ever since this sermon, I've been doing much better on that front and have made some positive changes and have been quite content lately. There was a specific passage that was read that has kind of become my mantra:
Nehemiah 8:10-12 (English Standard Version)
10Then he said to them, "Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." 11So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved." 12And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
I love the idea of living a big life. Going for it. Counting your blessings. Eating and drinking and sharing with others. Since adopting this mantra has brought me so much peace, I thought a good exercise for Lent would be to cut down on the me enjoying part and focusing more on the sending portions to those for which nothing is prepared, which I suspect is the most important part of the passage.
So, here's the deal. I'm not going to eat sweets from next Wednesday till Easter day. This doesn't mean I'm giving up frozen pizza or won't drink juice (which has sugars in it). But it does mean no chocolate. No dessert. Dessert is like air to me. I may not survive the next few weeks. I'll add to this being more conscious of what I eat and doing some exercise. I'm hoping by posting this publicly, I'll stick to it. I have my pride to keep in tact, after all.
But the rest of the deal is that I'm going to find ways to help other people. I already donate to charity and volunteer now and then, but I'm hoping to ramp up my efforts. I'm about to donate a laptop and a bridesmaid dress. I hope to clean out my closet and donate to Goodwill. I also want to find some things that get me out and about. Maybe even things where I need to go outside my comfort zone - a soup kitchen in Skid Row or something. We'll see how it pans out. I'll keep you updated. You keep me honest. Deal?
My hope is that I'll come out of this a little smaller, a little wiser, and having helped some people.