Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Post-Easter Ruminations


So it's the week after Easter Sunday and I have a bit of the post-holiday blues that I always get going on after we've just had a special occasion. I had originally planned on starting back to work promptly on Monday, but I actually wound up taking kind of a mental health day instead, since I didn't have so much on the books this week that that wasn't feasible. I honestly didn't feel all that great and I most definitely didn't feel like working, so I decided to just... spend a day transitioning. It helped, I think.

It's not just that I miss having Easter to look forward to either. I actually miss Lent as well. Sometimes I feel like I must be the only person in the world that must feel this way, but there's something about Lent that I really like. I'm not normally the type of person that's enthusiastic about limiting myself or striving to be better and more diligent in general, but Lent brings that side of me out in a way that feels natural and positive. I'm realizing that I like that motivated side of myself when it surfaces under the right conditions, which is surprising when you consider how I feel toward the whole New Year's resolution thing.

I guess New Year's resolutions don't feel like there's much of a point to them. You're trying to change something about your life and become a better person... but why? To better live up to society's standards as far as what you should weigh or how much money you should earn? I don't think I like the way most people's approaches to their resolutions aren't realistic either. People talk about making these sweeping changes as far as their lives go and think they're magically going to be able to maintain those changes indefinitely. I guess I like that Lent has a set start date and end date. 

After Lent's over, you get to look at the changes you made, assess whether or not they were useful to you, and decide on your own if you'd like to continue. Plus, there's an actual point to doing it beyond "well, people try to better themselves this time of year, so I guess I will too". You're looking to get closer to God, remember what's actually important in life, and at least temporarily remove things from the equation that might be keeping you from doing those things. Maybe that's not a motivator for some people, but it really seems to be for me.

That said, I did fantastic in regards to sticking to the goals I set for myself this year. I did everything that I said I was going to do in the previous post where I talked about my Lenten intentions for the season. Some of it -- like the reduction in the frequency of my alcohol-drinking days -- worked out so well that I'll probably stick with it for the most part. I felt great, I found it easier to be productive, and I think I even lost a few pounds. I feel like Lent helped me in the way that it's supposed to and I'm proud of that. It makes me wish I'd had more positive exposure to religion at other points in my life. It probably would have been very helpful. 

On a slight side note, I've been finding myself wondering what my grandparents (or any of my more exemplary ancestors) would have thought of me if they could know me today. Would they be proud of me? Would they actually be glad they were related to me? It's neither here nor there, but I don't feel like I've ever been someone that my immediate family members were really proud to know and to be associated with because of who I really am as a person. It would be nice to think that there might be some little part of me that inspired that feeling in a relative, even if they're no longer around.
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