Fat Tuesday

Lent always sneaks up on me. It’s not like Christmas that comes blasting into consciousness with it’s carols, “spirit”, gifts, trees.

No, Lent lurks beneath the surface until suddenly—Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras in French, Carnival in others. The final celebration before 40 days of fasting and denying oneself pleasure.

Neither my wife or I grew up practicing Lent. We Methodists made fun of the things the Lutherans gave up to sacrifice for Lent. Like watermelon. It was a sacrifice to go without watermelon. But you were not going to find it in any store even if you had a craving.

I presumed for my wife it was because she was a Baptist, although I know of Lent observing Baptists. Sort of like the time I discovered Baptists who drank alcohol, smoked, and swore.

Unlike January 1, maybe Lent is a better time to focus mindfully on a new habit. A new or different meditation. A new or better way to treat other humans I meet during the day. Maybe think more deeply—especially before speaking.

The problem with not being a Lent-observing sort of person is that I never celebrated Mardi Gras either—except for the year I was in Louisiana. But it’s not to late in life to raise a glass and celebrate the beginning of Lent and the road to Easter.

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