Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Wednesday morning, I rushed my mom out the door at 8:55 A.M. forAsh Wednesday Mass which started at 9. We arrived, ten minutes late, but not too late to get the message; a reminder that we are all ashes. As the priest smeared the ashes on our forehead,he gentlyconveyed that we are simply dust, and not to stress about anything, because in the end, it all ends up a smoldering, black charcoal mass.
I was raised as a Catholic and have always practiced Lent, the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday characterized by abstention from certain foods or activities. This isasymbol of the 40 days which represents Jesus and his struggle in the wilderness.
If I failed to keepmy commitment, as amenopauseebarbee, I have hadyears worth of guilt which has always been defined for me as in intense knowledge of failure or wrongdoing. Why are we such guilt riddenpeople, when everything we enjoy is said to be either fattening, illegal or immoral?
That being said,the moment of truth arrived as I sat in church and debated what wouldbe on my list this year…hmmm, something fattening, illegal or immoral for40 days!
I laughed aloud as I recalled a story from a few years ago.I was at my uncle’s house (the funny one) on Ash Wednesday. After dinner, asI prepared to leave, he kissed me on the forehead and said, ‘Well, Dana, girl, I’ll see youon Easter.’ Dumbfounded, as we see each other often, I said, “What are you talking about, that’s 40 days from now!” He smiled and said, ‘I know, I gave up hanging around ugly women for Lent.’
I thought of my past offerings. Wine… I actually gave up wine a fewyears ago, and all I did was WHINEabout the fact that I was missing my WINE. So I reasoned, I wasn’t giving up wine again! Sweets…yep, another year, I had sacrificed my sweet tooth which was equally as challenging as my wine fast and I soon discovered, a complete sugar fast was non-negotiable. Mydemeanor was nothing near sweet when Lent ended.
As I sat struggling with what to give up, my mother with her ageless wisdom reminded me, that following Lent, is not always about giving up, but also dictates bringing something into your life. We struggle so much everyday to think of what to eliminate, castrate, terminate, or fumigate from our existence, that we don’t value what good bringing something into ourlives can do.
So, as it happened in Church, I decided, not only would I give up sweets, (Lord, help those around me),I alsowould add every day recognizing that in the end, we are dust. I vowed to love more openly, to be transparent, and to dance and sing as if no one is watching.