Lent, a time of reflection and renewal, I always look forward to it. But by the time Easter rolls around I am ready for it to be over: I miss my Alleluia’s already.
A common tradition for the period is is the act of penance, giving up something for the 40 day duration. It is another reason that by the 30th day of Lent I am ready for it to be over already.
This year I gave up meat and beer. I know. I know.
Lesson learned: I missed beer far more than I missed beef.
I also decided that I had to work on myself and add tasks that I want to complete during the season. Last year I decided that I would write every day, hoping to spur my stagnant creative juices. It worked. I am now over a year into the reawakening. I want more.
So this year I set the goal of competing the first draft of a memoir about my journey as a stay at home dad. I worked regularly on it. It did not work.
Lesson learned: This project is not a book in the traditional sense. The project meandered and everything that I added as connective tissue felt tacked on, which of course it was. What tackling the project did was allow me to think of different ways the same material could be handled.
Mixed media/documentary is the way I am leaning right now though I am considering a book of essays. The latter seems somewhat incomplete and a cop out as it require some more lame material. We shall see.
This year Lent also came as I was beginning my training for the half marathon in May. I endured a cranky left knee, sat out the better part of two weeks, jumped back into it. The physical challenge and process of training has been a key part to this period of reflection. My training runs have provided me some much needed quiet time (save for the music).
I do not get much time to myself given my schedule and roles. I was surprised I found the solitude oddly comforting. As a twin I never really saw the positives in time to my myself, I rarely had it growing up.
Lesson learned: Running is not evil. In fact, I fell in love with it. I am now a runner and will steadfastly defend it.
Some other lessons learned during my 40 day running and writing bender:
“I am a Lorax”: We live in a world full of “Onceler’s”. Like the Onceler in “The Lorax” they claim that, “Business Is Business And Business Must Grow, Regardless Of Crummies In Tummies,You Know.”
In the real world they don’t manufacture and peddle “thneeds”, rather they push other things that we can truly do with out like: “hydro-fracking”, “derivatives” and “oil speculators”. People will talk about the need for all of these things. That need is based solely on the fact that they need to make money and make as much of it as possible, no matter the consequences.
I am meant to be a Lorax, a person who keeps fighting the fight even when you think or know that no one is listening. I want to pull back the curtain on the things in our world that are destructive and unnecessary: like Birthers. Here’s hoping I am more successful than my Suess brethren had.
Apparently I used to look like shit. Now of course no one came out and said this directly. But so many people have come up to me since my running really took off and said, “You look great” with the enthusiasm of most contestants who were told to “come on down” on The Price is Right.
I am sure that they don’t mean it they way I am taking it. But after a while I got the point: I now look good and used to look like shit. Shit.
I learned about the existence of meat glue. Thankfully it is not an issue for me as I eat only organic grass fed beef and organic pasture raised chicken and pork. But still the thought that I have had consumed such a grotesque thing in the past was almost enough to drive me back to my Lenten diet.
Hapyy Dyngus Day, beer me.