Lent starts tomorrow. Yes, already. So today is mardi gras. Which I've never been a big fan of; I have never once gone down to Soulard, no did I head down to Galveston's Mardi Gras in high school. My brother told a story once about waking up on the beach with the tide coming in after a mardi gras celebration down there. My family is prone to excess and frankly, I don't know if I need a whole holiday dedicated to excess.
That said, I usually try to kick myself into shape spiritually or otherwise during Lent. I am a convert to Lent. Not really been a fan until the last two years or so. Anyway, as a kid we were always supposed to give something up, which i never really stuck to, or add something good to our habits, which I was better at. But none of the things I ever picked made that much of a difference to my basic personality. Nothing really changed me.
But last year. Last year I gave up complaining about the weather. I'm prone to seasonal affective disorder, maybe not diagnosable, but close enough. Winter blahs. And winter blahs tend to trip other wires in my brain that maek me just a tad nuts. Cabin fever, shall we say. Or the general feeling like I'm trying to crawl inside a suitcase and snap it shut.
And complaining about the weather only makes all of this worse. Last year, I realized sometime around Ash Wednesday that every time I opened my mouth in conversation, it was about the weather. How boring is that? so I didn't do it for all of Lent, and by the time Easter is here, frankly, there's nothing to complain about. And it made the early spring so much easier in my brain. I was "offering it up" instead of "suffering the cruel fate of a displaced Texan shaking my fist at the sky". I started telling myself a different story, as my friend Mary would put it. And it helped.
so I'm going to try it again. Because wow. I need to try it again.