Scott told me today that he'd been greeting friends all day with a hearty, "Mortal Ash Wednesday!" and it got me thinking about the day. My recent bout with a coldish fluey thing caused me to ignore the time of year completely (Despite a friend telling me he was going to a Mardi Gras party..."Wow," I thought "that sounds nice". Did I connect this information to anything? No. Please don't think I have any concept of how I remember my name or drive a car or anything.) and it snuck up on me today.
I sort of had a head start, what with all my thoughts on mortality lately.
I read Susan once I got home today. Her thoughts on Lent and focus have me thinking on the beauty of this whole lesson; how our joyful Palm Sunday party decorations become the death ashes we mourn with later. I've come a long way in the last nine months, I used to weep at any of the happy memories of my father, now I can smile. I smile quietly and get a little reflective. Susan is giving up multi tasking for Lent and her commitment reminds me of my resolve from the summer to live in the moment. I think the two ideas are very much the same. For every moment we fully enjoy, we are probably prepared a bit better for pain that comes later and for every hour of pain to which we fully give ourselves over, we can better feel the joy we will once again feel.
As I still find myself blinking to adjust my eyes from exiting the grief cave, I found another step and perhaps a similar wish for myself for the next 40 Days: I will trust myself. I won't be disappointed in myself for this lingering illness. I won't worry about the people I have lost touch with, but will work to renew the friendships again. My classes who never seem to score well on vocabulary aren't doing this because I haven't taught it well; they don't do well because they won't study. I'll do my part to remedy my health, my friendships, and my teaching skills but when things don't work out, maybe they just didn't work out. I will accept these moments for what they are.
And I think this entirely justifies doping up on antibiotics and going to bed at nine.