Ash Wednesday!!! I was so excited thinking that they’d finally made a holiday to celebrate me and all my craziness. Seriously, it would have to be one bad ass holiday to follow on the heels of a day called Fat Tuesday. You’d have to work hard to top a day that get’s celebrated with floats, beads, and drunk chics flashin’ their boobies, so I knew Ash Wednesday would have to involve ass-loads of rum and cake to compete. And if it’s a day about me it’s a day about carbs. Yee haw!! *stuffs cake in mouth and washes down with Captain Morgan*
Then the truth came out. Ash Wednesday is the opposite of Fat Tuesday. In fact, this is the one time the fat kid is getting to make fun of the skinny kid. “Ha ha! You’re lame and skinny and boring Mr. Meister-boring Boring-meister holiday.” Ash Wednesday is the fun killer of holidays. How the hell did the fun killer of celebrations get named after me? This sucks. Come on, Mr. Pope. Can’t you change the name to Bertha or maybe Floyd Wednesday before you retire?
Anyway, after discovering I couldn’t change a religious holiday that’s been observed for centuries, I decided to join the ride. I’m looking the holiday straight in the eye and saying, “I see your giving up chocolate,and raise you…Wait. What am I going to raise you?” Liquor? Is it really fair of me to endanger the lives of others with that selfishness? Nope. Sugar? Hell no. Save that kind of penance for someone who does evil crap like dress up their pets. Sex? (My husband just started crying at his desk and has no idea why.) Don’t worry, honey. That was just some crazy talk. The disturbance in the Force has been corrected. Cursing? Oh, yeah, that’ll go over like a f*ckin’ brick.
So after tossing around some other moronic ideas, I came up with a keeper. For Lent I’m giving up “giving up.” Yep. You read it right. Stay put and I’ll explain.
There are few things that I truly, TRULY give 100% to. I may say I am, but more often than not, I’m letting little dark voices keep me from throwing everything into it. I’m not going to get into all the nitty-gritty, boring psychology behind it, but it comes down to fear. Deep down inside I have the fear that I’ll put everything I have into something and it still won’t be good enough. If I don’t put everything on the line then I don’t lose everything when I fail. That’s the sad and ugly truth.
The last thing I truly put 100% into was playing Lady M. It paid off. The thing before that was my first novel. It failed and that hurt. What hurts more is that another author took the same idea, wrote it, and just landed a 7 figure deal with it. What if I’d gotten back up after that first blow and had kept pushing on? That would have been my deal and my book is actually better in many ways.
The time before the book that I put every ounce of myself into something was when I directed a children’s production of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. There were so many nights that I stayed at the theatre until 2am to make sure the set was painted and props built. I worked my ass off and it came together in the end and the kids had a blast.
So, I want to know what it would be like if I threw myself into everything with that same kind of determination and passion. What would my parenting be like? My house? My writing? I’m not saying that I’m going to suddenly become Superwoman with a type A personality and no shreds of ADD. That can’t and won’t happen. What I’m saying is that when I’m tired at night and depression is tugging on my outlook, I’m going to force myself to muscle through. I’m not going to walk away from cooking a decent dinner because I’m “tired’. I’m not going to walk away from a writing project because I’m afraid it will disappoint the people who hired me and they’ll think I’m a joke. Not doing the damn project is what makes me look like a disappointing joke.
And that’s it. That’s my plan. I’m rolling up my sleeves and I’m going to see what I’m capable of doing when I give up my habit of giving up.
So what’s your sacrifice this holiday? Have you ever observed Lent before? If so, what did you give up? Share your story.
Wicked wishes- Ash