So, you remember that I was going to take a new approach to observing Lent this year? Well, we’re about halfway through the season now, so it’s time to check in and see how things are going with our efforts to be inclusive, creative and embracing.
I haven’t kept a log of my activities because that seems kind of overweening, but I can say I’ve done a few things these past weeks with a specific intention to reach out, connect and be kind to others. Such as:
- Baked cookies and took them over to a neighbor who was entertaining a friend of hers with three young children who were more than pleased to help me eat them.
- Sent some pastries and a gift card to another neighbor who was in the last few days of her pregnancy and having a hard time getting out of the house to have fun (the baby is now a couple of weeks old and quite a cutie).
- Took the dogs to visit my former neighbors, who lost their own miniature Schnauzer a few years ago and can’t bear to get another one. They sure did love each having one of mine on their laps for part of an afternoon, though, and the dogs loved it, too.
- Finally worked out a lot of old stuff with an old friend by email, hopefully advancing our friendship into a brighter new day.
While I wish I could say I’ve been really committed and devoted to this practice, the truth is that I am not like that with much of anything that isn’t mandatory, so, no. But I do keep it in mind, and try each day to do something good for myself, such as exercising or listening to music or adding a few dollars to my Mad Money fund; as well as something good for somebody else, such as making a call or sending an email or baking cookies.
I tend to be pretty exclusive in my dealings, and I’m trying to widen my circles a tad. I also take care of things in my current circle–I call my folks and my sister regularly, I keep up with my friends by email and Facebook, I talk to my plants (especially my poor bamboo), and I lavish affection on my dogs. I try to pay attention to and appreciate all my blessings every day.
Self-renewal is not about big one-time gestures and life-changing makeovers. It’s about daily choices, small things, consistently done with love.