I’m writing these thoughts on what I’ve been seeing referred to as Lundi Gras. I’ve never heard that term before but, then again, I really don’t get around that much. In all honesty though, I’m pretty sure Lundi Gras is just one of those faux celebrations made all the more exciting because it happens to fall on a holiday this year. Who ever heard of “Fat Monday” anyway? Feel free to correct me on this, those of you who are more knowledgeable in these matters.
But, I digress.
Earlier today, I was doing some research on Lent. I’m participating in a Pause for Lent over at Floss’ blog and I’m trying to acquaint myself with Lent and how it’s truly observed and what its historical meaning is. The only real experience I have with Lent is the year I decided to give up sugar for it. That was also the year I worked at a donut shop. I’ve always had a little trouble with timing.
I digress again. I’m noticing a pattern.
For the last three weeks, I’ve also noticed another pattern. It has to do with Mondays. I’ve never been one of those folks who groans and slaps the alarm clock on Monday mornings. Mondays have always been just a regular day to me. Sure, I have my favorite day, just like everyone else (I guess) but Monday wasn’t especially hateful to me…except for the last three of them. I’ve been participating in a photographic experiment, in which I take a photo of myself each day. I’ve been trying to let each photo be representative of my mood, my activities and/or my wardrobe for the day. For the last three Mondays, every photo of me has something to do with frowning, crying or hiding my head under an umbrella. What’s up with that? Today, I came to the realization that this was not a pattern I wanted continued ad nauseum. It needs to nipped in the bud.
Enter the true meaning behind the title of this blog. I’m sure the astute reader has by now put together the title and my mention of Lent and you’re already thinking of Carnival. Maybe once upon a time I knew that carnival means farewell to flesh in Latin. I didn’t know it today and today is when I really needed to know it. This Monday was rotten. We had our second annual Valentine’s Fondue last night and this morning the remains of that feast were calling to me. We have cakes and cream puffs and cheeses and breads and I made myself positively ill. Even worse, when my body began to feel the effects of the abundance of rich food, my mind interpreted it as melancholy. I don’t feel well so I must be sad. Give me a break! I wasn’t having a sad day! However, the lack of exercise and truly nourishing food combined to overwhelm my thought processes. I had a not so lovely wallow in self-pity.
So for me, carnival means a farewell to letting my emotions dictate how I spend my days. I understand that it’s okay to feel bad or tired or truly sad. But to let myself feel depressed simply because I need better nutrition and proper exercise is not acceptable.
That’s all I wanted to say. When I say farewell to flesh this year, I will be saying a farewell to being ruled by emotions. Just as it takes some people longer to say goodbye than others, I don’t expect this problem to go away immediately. I expect that it will take some work…and some reminders…and a few swift kicks from those who love me.
Are any of you observing Lent this year? Do you have any traditions or are you a part of a liturgical background? I am truly interested in hearing how you are attending to Lent this year. Please feel free to share in the comment section.