I just realized this morning that I have not done a very good job at all at keeping this year’s New Year’s Resolution. Yes, one singular resolution and I can’t even keep it. I think it might be impossible for me to keep, which is why I’m considering chucking it along with those 33 Facebook Friends I exed out over a month ago.
The thing I’m having a hard time figuring out these days is how all those other people out there in the world seem to be able to do everything. And specifically to right now, how do all those moms out there do all those special little holiday traditions with their kids? Like, for instance, dyeing Easter eggs (or carving pumpkins or making Christmas cookies or making little red, white and blue cupcakes to take to the Fourth of July picnic by the lake to watch the fireworks…) I mean, how do they DO all that? It’s not that I don’t want to do all those things. They all seem like beautiful little bits of seasonal bliss to help our kids ebb and flow with the seasons of life as they grow. But I just can’t seem to manage it. I feel like an insane, asthmatic, eyes-half-open, backwards-walking duck (Duck? Yes, duck.), running from event to event from Advent through Easter. It’s all I can do to make dinner three nights a week, let alone breathe in and out while doing it.
I already know that I just don’t have any craft genes but I’m beginning to think there must be a holiday gene as well that is just missing from my entire family line (well, on one side of the family anyway). My kids are lucky if they get a birthday party every five years. I think they actually did get Easter baskets once three years ago or so. And I just flat-out stink at stocking stuffers. Will they grow up feeling deprived, I wonder? I mean, we do TALK about the holy days and special days and their significance in the Church and in our lives.
Anyway, Lent is finally over and I’m still trying to sort out my feelings on the whole thing. Not that my feelings matter in the long run, but I have them nonetheless and I’d like to sort them out. This year we decided to give up dessert as a family and I personally gave up Facebook on top of dessert. It was kind of interesting the way it all affected me. I hated not being on Facebook for the first two weeks. Hated it. I thought about going to it ten times a day and had to remember that I was fasting it. But the funny thing about fasting things other than food is that it can always be filled up with something else. After the initial withdrawal symptoms wore off, I felt very free being off it and began to consider never going back on it again. So yes, it kind of helped simplify my life and I felt some freedom, but isn’t the purpose of fasting to cause you to realize your dependence on God and pray every time you have an urge to do whatever it is you’re not doing due to fasting? I can’t honestly say that fasting Facebook, or even dessert for that matter, caused me to focus on God more, or my need for God. Maybe I’m not doing something right. But I did notice that when I fasted the good old-fashioned way on Good Friday, I noticed a huge difference. When you cut food out – all food – there is no substitute. You can’t fill the hunger longing with ANYTHING else. It makes a huge difference, spiritually. You can’t help but recognize your frailty and dependence when you’re hungry. And I’m not just talking about craving chocolate either. The dessert fast was kind of silly, in my opinion. I just ended up putting sugar in my coffee again. There are all kinds of loopholes. Nope, I think there’s no substitute for pure hunger and that’s the only real way to fast, I’ve decided. What that means for forty days of Lent, I can’t quite figure out. I guess I’ll think about it next year.
Oh, and while I was off Facebook, I noticed a couple of my “friends” did some chucking of their own. My friend count is less than it was forty days ago. I wonder if I’m relieved or hurt? I can’t tell yet.
In the meantime, I really do wonder if anyone can help me out on the “doing special things with your kids” categories. If you are one of those people that I stand in awe of that pulls it off regularly can you tell me if you’re happy about it or if you hate it? Does it bring an atmosphere of joy to your household or do you lose patience with your kids? Are you able to do all the daily tasks on top of it all or does the whole thing just go to pot? Or maybe I’m asking the wrong questions.
Maybe what I really just want to know is how do you DO all that?