I began this story on February 28, 2017. This year it is the date of Mardi Gras or in translation, Fat Tuesday. This day celebrates the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season which begins the following day or what is known as Ash Wednesday. For many people it begins another type of resolution to be better somehow such as giving up certain foods.
In a previous story I wrote about the passing of Uncle Jack and all the drama associated with the paring down of family mementoes. The task my sisters and I have been faced with has been overwhelming. Every moment associated with settling his estate has been exasperating. I’m sure there are many folks who have been put in such situations. If it was up to me…but it hasn’t been. The three of us have never come to an equal understanding of what we have been tasked to do. So you let one be the strong arm and try to survive the ordeal. So many times over the years we would want to revisit Uncle Jack’s wishes. What did I sign up for? And now the beautiful Dutch Colonial home is now on the market. It has been updated, uplifted and given a beauty makeover more than a little lipstick could cover.
So I got to thinking about a common denominator happening to each of us at every moment of every day. It has to do with our saturation of news whether it’s online, on television, in newspapers or in conversations with neighbors, friends, work mates, etc. There are so-o-o-o many businesses that think while we’re in their establishment that we need not one or two but an overabundance of televisions in view. How did it come to this? What would we miss if there was not a one? We all get sucked in to everyone’s opinions and statements that sometimes turn into arguments. In one way or another we are fair game to it all. What has happened to our quiet space; a place of solitude to escape the barrage of daily vexations? We are our own worst enemy. And with that comes a realization to breathe, calm down, stop and become the better person that we know we are.
So as the Lenten season continues whether we are aware of the religious significance or not it may be just a great time to give up or change something. Sort of like what many of us do on New Years’ Eve going into the next year. I have a book of my uncle’s by Norman Vincent Peale published in 1954, The Power of Positive Thinking. This book could have been written today, it is that current in its message. I read a few pages as my last thing to do before shutting off the light at the end of the day. I’d like to think it’s the reason I sleep better. Maybe it’s that and also realizing a few words from Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you might find, you get what you need.” You can take his words in whatever context you believe, but it puts a positive spin to a message and that is to lighten up, make peace with the day, sleep on it and wake up ready to face a new you.