Friday, April 6, 2012

I'm not Joan Rivers and this isn't the red carpet

Easter is just a couple days away and I'm beginning to worry that I haven't taken full advantage of cadburry mini-egg season. Isn't it sad when we let something like candy take precedence over commemorating the resurrection of the Savior - something to work on for sure.

Also, if I were to have kept lent this year, when do I get to stop?
And when was I supposed to eat fish?

I've never really understood lent. Honestly the only time I ever gave anything up was as a missionary I gave up Christmas music and TV - I know, I'm quite the model of sacrifice. I did mention that I was serving a mission - for the Lord - for 19 months.

Last  year I decided to give up Diet Coke. I lasted a day and a half. I wasn't prepared (read: hadn't stocked up on Excedrin) and when my first headache hit, I fought it for an hour then made haste for the 7-11 for that magic elixir that pours from their enchanted fountain and cures all minor ailments.

This year I did something a little different, I gave up commenting on the way people look. I won't pretend that it was something that I had really planned, but it seemed like an appropriate mental exercise at the time. It was around the time when that BYU student received a note from a fellow student calling her out for dressing provocatively and it was all over Facebook. Someone made a comment, in response to the hullabaloo, that it is never appropriate to comment on the way someone looks. And I thought, really? never? and after thinking it over, I concluded really. hardly ever. Even comments that are intended as compliments can objectify the subject if they are based solely upon physical appearance. And I started to think about all the editorializing I do both in my head and to those around me about other people's appearances. And what about that running monologue about my own appearance.

I decided it was time to stop it. That's right, I was stopping it way before Pres. Uchtdorf made it cool. I'd be commenting on someones hair or shoes or clothes and I'd catch myself and I'd stop it. Whether the comments were good or bad, if they focused on the superficial, I stopped myself in my tracks and found something else to think about or steered the conversation in another direction.

from House and Home.

To be clear, I have allowed myself to recognize beauty, I allow myself to observe the world and express my preferences. But I have tried to cut out the commentary and eliminate the judgment that I so often indulged in. By doing so, I started to see the world and the people around me a little differently. And in time, I found my inner monologue was quieted a bit and filled with other concerns.

So maybe this lent thing isn't such a bad idea - maybe I'll figure out when I'm supposed to eat the fish next year.

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