I missed Ash Wednesday services yesterday, offered for the first time at my church this year. Or maybe they have been doing it all along, and I was too dopey to notice. I'm voting for all of the above.
The school decided to give my kids back to me early, so I could suffer in style, and I said yes to many playdates. Which goes to show some of last year's Lenten season stayed with me and I'm a tad less hermit-y this year.
Hooray for progress.
With that in mind, here's what I came up with, for 2008 (drumroll optional): Less hollering at the kids and continuing to eat right and exercise. Which sounds like bad New Year's resolutions, but better late than never.
So, what's up with the yelling? Well, I could come up with some fair excuses for my bad behavior and we could coddle my inner child for her undue sadness (read: absent hubby & soaring pain + developing smart mouths all around me) but really? In the end? I'm in charge of me and lately, I've been lax; my temper short. And this leads me directly to Lenten Law #2: If I eat right and take care of myself - like a mama really should - I might try deep breathing and use calm words, before launching into Banshee Mode.
I don't know if these things really count, I'm still a newbie to the Christian calendar thing. But when I go to bed at night, and recount the times I lost it with my kids - when I blew up at the 354th time they asked me why they couldn't stay up late or why pudding isn't a suitable lunch staple or why we have to brush our teeth when there's no school today or why we didn't leave precisely at 5:30 when I said we would and the calendar said 5:30, I'm looking at you, Zack - I'm ashamed. Surely I can do better.
And gentleness has got to be good for the soul.