Ahh…it’s one of my favorite holidays today. Fat Tuesday! Each year, I LOVE having the opportunity to throw my inhibitions aside and actually eat without worrying about the calories. One day of the year. Today. (I’m pretty sure that my body realizes it’s Fat Tuesday and just puts those calories somewhere valuable.)
To celebrate Mardi Gras, I am going all out. And I don’t mean earning beads. Not happening. I am all about the food today.
As I have decided to give up sweets for Lent this year (and I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, so it will truly be a sacrifice), so my day has been filled with treats. I went to my favorite donut shop, LaMar’s yesterday and bought a donut to eat this morning (though I was terribly disappointed that there were no Lamar’s bars available, I settled for a sprinkled cake donut). I stopped for a full-fat caramel frappe at McDonald’s on the way to work. I even ate fries with my lunch (shared them with a coworker, so I was still a little bit good). Tonight will surely bring another delicious meal and will most likely be chased with a colorful assortment of Tums. Fat Tuesday is delicious.
Yet, I think there’s something I like even more than the decadence of Fat Tuesday. I know that Fat Tuesday means that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. As strange as it might sound to some, I really enjoy Lent. The church that I attend, St. Wenceslaus, transforms during Lent. The holy water is taken out of fonts. A purple sheet is draped over the beautiful tapestry of the risen Jesus above the altar. The word “Alleluia” is eliminated from the church service. We receive ashes and a Lenten reminder to carry with us through the season. There are more daily Masses offered. Fridays bring Stations of the Cross and a plethora of fish fries. There is a sense of community – a “we’re all in this together”ness. And I really like it.
Each Lent, I find that it is easier to dedicate time to prayer, to almsgiving, to service. I’m giving up sweets. My husband (for the third year in a row) is working on controlling his temper while driving (I extra-love Lent for this reason!). I feel like Lent makes me a better person, and I am quite ready for it to begin.