Friendship and Lent

I just want to say thank you for following/reading my blog. This will be a long post so get comfortable!

I was on a blogging roll… Then I got sick! I was trying to push a post every other day or at least twice a week but my husband was sick and then it seems I got a sinus infection. It was awful but Allegra D has been my friend. I still sound very congested but I’m not sneezing or coughing so as far as I know, all is well (for now).

I really started to feel it coming on Friday. I woke up and I was determined to get laundry done, clean the kitchen and do a few other things as I was to meet a friend for yogurt. While she insisted I stay home and rest, I insisted that she meet me as I needed to get out of the house even if for a little bit. I was to pass by the mall and get something for myself and her and then meet her, by the time we met we had about 10-15mins to get our yogurt but they were more than enough. First off, I felt like a pig in shit that she was still happy to see me and even more that she didn’t care if I was sick (not knowing if it was contagious or not at that point and she was travelling in a few days).

I think I can safely say that when someone doesn’t scorn you or make you feel like a leper when you could really do with a “pick-me-upper”,  it makes you see that person in a different light. I mean, she is one of two females (not related) I have in my life that I can truly say are my main girls who don’t hide their feelings from me. Isn’t that what we really need? A friend who isn’t afraid to ask questions most would shy away from. A friend who wants to talk to you about issues instead of festering them until they reach a boiling point. A friend who tells you as it is even if it’s not what you want to hear. This is a real friend and that is what she does.

To those who know me well and for those whom I’ve met recently and I know can take what I give, I try my best to be honest. I say try my best because not everyone can take the truth and I don’t always have the best delivery, especially if it’s a heated issue. I’ve been learning over the years how to censor what I want to say and blogging has definitely helped with it. I was once said to be very frank and not everyone can take/accept the truth or my opinion in that fashion. Either way it is important to have someone around us who helps us to see the good and the bad from a different perspective. More important is that (and I think I’ve mentioned this before) we need to let our family and friends know how much they mean to us. When they say something to us that we may not have expected but appreciated, let them know.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ―Mother Teresa

Simple, kind acts go a long way

Today is Ash Wednesday and I went to mass at noon. I walk around for the whole day with ashes on my forehead because I am not ashamed and I quite enjoy the puzzled looks people give me as I’ve forgotten it’s there. I went to FedEx after mass and the clerk kept looking up at me with a puzzled look. I thought, today I’ll wait for people to ask, I won’t offer information. She didn’t ask but I still thought it was quite entertaining. After I left there I went to a Starbucks drive-thru and when I got to the window, the cashier told me the lady in the car in front paid for my drink. I was in shock. I was actually twitching and stuttering as my hand was lost with what to do with my card and I didn’t know what to say to him. As I drove off, still in shock, I said to myself I only have one choice, to pay it forward. I intend to do just that the next time I go there.

Up to last night I couldn’t decide what my sacrifice would be for Lent. We’re often told we have to give up something for Lent, but we should really be concentrating on trying to get closer to God: helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves, praying during the week if we find ourselves only doing it when we want something or on Sundays only, giving up gluttony. I won’t say what I intend to do, but that lady who paid for my drink really touched me today. That simple act of kindness.

I’ve been told that if I have clothes I don’t wear I should take them to Goodwill and I can claim it on my taxes, or sell them. My taxes weren’t a concern when I bought them so I don’t see why I should try to claim something. I just want to know that someone who is less fortunate than myself has something to wear and feels warm and clothed. I’d donate any day before I sell to gain something. We need to look within ourselves when we do things – give more selflessly and less selfishly. My prayer is that this Lenten season (whether or not you are religious) everyone will gain something from a little introspection.


40 days of positive change

Today is Ash Wednesday, Lent has officially started. As I attended Liturgy of the Word this afternoon, the message I heard was nothing short of what I needed to hear. Growing up in the Catholic church, you are taught to “give up” something for lent as our way of “suffering as Jesus did in the desert”. Well as adults, we could give up senseless shopping or bread or some other guilty pleasure we constantly indulge in. The homily given today expressed that we should not just “give up” something but look to change our lives for the better — “40 days of positive change“. Instead of being negative, critical and mean, we should look to be positive, be less critical and give of ourselves (volunteering). To step outside of our comfort zone and take small steps to changing our way of life for the better.

Whether or not you’re Catholic, or even religious for that matter, I’m sure we all have something within ourselves that we can work on to make ourselves better. This message was in keeping with my theme of “change”, that until I started writing this paragraph I didn’t realize was a major theme in my posts for this year. I wanted to start 24 on the right foot and 2 weeks after I’ve been given this message that seems sooooooo fitting for me right now. It’s not just a time to change the physical stuff but the bad habits and mentality that are often so hard to work on. We need to be more forgiving, less selfish and more patient. With all of the technology we have now, it’s hard to imagine how we used to deal before it all. We’ve become “instant”  people forgetting that waiting sometimes is part of life and can help us to take a moment to look at what is going on instead of getting lost in why we haven’t gotten what we we’re waiting for yet.

So if you need a new challenge in life, try changing something within yourself. We all have bad habits we’d like to kick, maybe now is the time for you to give it a try.

Becoming a better person has never killed anyone…