Mardi Gras Living

mardi_gras_masksFat Tuesday is today. One more day of revelry before we Catholics enter the desert of self-denial. One more day of Mardi Gras living before we morph into Sisyphus and roll our sacrificial boulders uphill only to watch them roll back down until Easter. Lenten promises that seem so easy on day one soon become dark clouds by day five and impossible burdens to carry for forty days. It’s always difficult to give something up and each year it becomes harder to choose something to let go. The truth is, I like all of my vices. I like my Mardi Gras life.

In the days leading up to Lent, our family talked about what we would give up this year. Dad did not disappoint. Like a confident poker player, he went “all in” again this year. No coffee, no alcohol, no sweets, no fried foods, etc. The overarching mantra: if it tastes good, spit it out. Oh yeah, and he’s going to exercise thirty minutes a day. Show-off.

I was more moderate in my approach. Unsure if I’d be dealt a strong hand of resolve, I decided not to take any chances and met the minimum bid with no alcohol on the weeknights and raised it to no chocolate.

The boys weren’t too eager to participate and were feeling squirrelly about their commitment to religion in general. They offered up vegetables and milk hoping we’d take them seriously while they dissolved in laughter. School! Homework! Chores! hahahaha!!! When asked what things they might do, older son said, “What I’m going to do is not give up anything for Lent!”. Hilarious.

When the eyes dried and the hiccups subsided, the boys settled on chips. They decided they would give up chips for Lent. My husband and I looked at each other and nodded. That would make them edgy until Easter. It qualified.

Our omissions this Lent will remind us of the sacrifices Jesus made for us and serve to bring us closer to God. We’ll have some uphill battles to fight, but misery loves company and we’ll all be rolling our boulders uphill together for the next forty day. But let’s face it, uncomfortable as we’ll be for a few weeks, we’re still living Mardi Gras lives.