It’s Mardi Gras day and everywhere else in the world it’s Tuesday. So I have work to do and phone calls to keep businesses afloat. But I am going to let you in on a little secret. I couldn’t miss truck parades in front of my house this morning. The music makes me want to start the grill first thing. It wakes me up every year! I really believe in celebrating Mardi Gras because I practice lent with such vigor. I did this even before I moved to New Orleans.
Lent is intended to be a season of contemplation, sacrifice, and simplicity with fasting and prayer, a time to grow in faith. Easter, of course, has both secular and religious observations, but for me it’s arguably the most sacred time of the year. Many people choose to give something (or add things) during the 40-day season. For some, this can be meat, sugar, or other forms of foods. For others it can be adding things such as more exercise, sleep or water. One year a friend of mine added a curse bucket and every time he or I cursed we add $.25 cents to the bucket. Needless to say we donated almost $200 to the Mission that lent season! Ha!
This year I have decided that I am going to make this a self-care lent. I decided to do something different. Instead of the usual: giving up sugar, salt, or men (HA!), I decided to give up my busy schedule. I decided to give up saying yes to things that caused me to be bitter and depressed. Instead, I decided to say no in order to say yes to myself and to the people I truly care the most about. Jesus did tell us to love others, to serve the broken, and to administer justice, but He never once said to do it at the expense of our own lives and our own health.
These items make the list of self-care rituals for my lent:
Eat healthy and mindfully
Create a cozy space in my home
Say no at least twice a day
Unplug from my life at least once a day
Make sure I keep in touch with my friends
If I can do just these things for 40 days, I think I will make a difference in my life.
Quote for the week: Self-care is not selfish, it’s self-respect.