Ah Lent... That time of year when those of Christian faiths around the worlds "give up" something before Easter, to commemorate Jesus' 40 days in the desert. (Where I am sure, if he had just stopped to ask for directions, would have been a week, maybe two, tops!) As a kid, we would choose to give up chocolate, or TV, or more often hitting and pinching each other - trust me, as the oldest of four siblings, that one was the hardest!
Now, I am what you would call a C-GINO (Catholic Girl In Name Only) kind of gal. I don't go to church regularly, I did not baptize my children and as you can guess, I have some serious issues with some of the more rigid teachings and doctrines of the Catholic church.
But Lent? Somehow Lent has always meant something for me and this year is no exception.
So while the leader of the Catholic Church himself, with impeccable timing, has decided to GIVE UP his entire flock this year, I am taking things along a different route. This year I am going do DO something for Lent.
I am going to write for the next 40 days. Something every day. Something that makes me happy. A daily "silver lining".
Because sometimes we lose sight of them. The small things that we miss while we rush about in our fast-paced world. Those moments that are gone in an instant in our 'check-list checking, phone reminder beeping, time is slip, slip, slipping away' lives.
And really... It is just so much easier to focus on the crappy things in our days.
You hit the snooze button one too many times and now everyone is late for school and/or work. You forgot that it was pajama day at school and now you feel like the worst parent ever and your kid is giving you THAT LOOK. You didn't eat breakfast and now at 2 PM, you are shoving a chocolate-filled croissant in your face that you know will just make you feel like you want a nap in an hour. Which you can't have because you have to get the kids to swimming and then you put the swim bag on the floor and it got soaked through and now the kids have to go home in the middle of winter wrapped in damp towels and their jackets. AND you forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner... again, so its a mad rush to figure out a decent meal that everyone will eat. There is laundry piled a mile high, a stack of papers that have been on your kitchen counter for 2 months now that you really should have a look at and for some reason your spouse is NOT offering you a foot rub.
Or does it?
Those extra nine minutes in bed were spent smooshed between your two children, one gently running his fingers through your hair and the other one spooned up against you with her little hand intertwined with yours. That croissant was TO DIE FOR delicious and still warm. And while the swim bag was soaking up half of the water on the deck, your 4-year old treaded water for 30 seconds without any floaties and then looked over and full-on winked at you with the biggest smile ever! The laundry is at least clean and while your spouse may not be giving you a foot rub, he is planning on surprising you on Valentine's day with a new iPad mini.
And I need to find them.
I need to focus on the joy in my life, to keep the shadows away and to remind myself that my life absolutely does not SUCK.
So, this is what I plan to do. 40 days of Silver Linings.
I am giving up any feelings of despair and depression and self-pity for Lent.
What about you? What are you giving up? Or do you want to join me and make a little Silver Linings Playbook of your own? (Disclosure-I have not seen this movie yet and it is on our Must See list for the next date night!)
1. Today's Silver Lining was me finding my inner HAPPY PLACE.
It is that spot just past the break of the waves on a beautiful Pacific Ocean beach of the coast of an island in Hawaii.
That spot of calm.
And I am in the water. Floating. On my back. My ears are in the water, my eyes are closed, I am one with the water...
I am of the water.
And in that moment it is just me and the ocean. No sound.
Just the sweet bouyancy of the salty water and the warmth of the sun beaming down on me.
I am fluid.
I am calm.
It is vast and I am small.