Yesterday I had a bit of a pity party for myself. I was feeling lost, lonely, and regretful. Not terribly so but enough, and enough of those things is TOO MUCH of those things.
I chose to self-medicate with food.
Several years ago, I gave up coffee, ice cream, and cookie dough in order to pray for something for my kids. I’ve added candy corn to that list and, GULP, circus peanuts too – unless my friend buys them to surprise me. Then it would be wrong to make her feel bad by my not eating them! lol
I gave up coffee, ice cream, and cookie dough as well as candy corns and yes 🙁 circus peanuts in answer to Jesus’ call to pray and fast.
We are not called to sacrifice every day all year long for our entire lives though! Our Lord gives us days to celebrate and rejoice. The week between Easter Sunday and Divine Mercy Sunday is called the Octave of Easter. Jesus, as a Jew, celebrated biggest holidays with eight day celebrations. We follow that tradition. The eight days are a time of rejoicing. The Lord is risen! Jesus Christ conquered death. Our Savior fulfilled the plan the Father put into place when Adam and Eve first sinned and fell from the Garden of Eden.
Because of this, all my sacrifice and fasting is eliminated. I indulge in my three favorite food groups: coffee, ice cream, and cookie dough. I eat meat on Friday. I can eat candy corn and circus peanuts too, but they’re not as popular in Spring so I usually don’t.
The problem is, when I don’t just enjoy the good, but I overindulge in the good. I pretend I am OWED this or I eat like I need to make up for “lost time.” And so, instead of engaging in grateful consumption, I indulge in sinful gluttony.
I was alone last night and didn’t feel like cooking so I ate forbidden chocolate right out of the container for dinner. I thought of watching a movie and saw the popcorn my son and I had bought from the movie theater yesterday still covered in plastic wrap. I grabbed a handful while deciding what to do next. Then I grabbed another and another. Then I got a small bowl, filled it over the brim with popcorn, and sat down with my phone. Then I decided I wanted butter on it so I heated some in the microwave, heard it explode but didn’t bother to wipe it up right away. Instead I poured pipping hot butter over my popcorn and sat down again. By the time I didn’t want anymore, there was only a little left. I couldn’t let that go to waste so I finished the bowl.
By this time, I was tired and went to bed. I did not clean up the microwave first. I did not finish the work I’d planned to do. I did nothing that would have shown I was any different than I had been on any other day of living ordinary. In one quick moment and without conscious thought, I became the old, fallen me I was before deciding to Live Not Ordinary.
I recently listened to a Hallow children’s Lent Saturday Story called The Two Gardens. This story talks about Adam and Eve’s fall from Grace. They are told eating the fruit from the tree of Good and Evil would be poisonous to them. As we know, the serpent tricks them into believing the fruit is not poison and that God wants ultimate power. The serpent tells them it’s not that the fruit is poisonous. It’s that God does not care about them. For the first time, Adam and Eve question whether God is trustworthy or not. Eventually, Eve takes the fruit and eats. Adam watches but poison does not seem to take over Eve and so he eats too.
Poison does not affect them the way we imagine poison does. Instead, the poison was more insidious. It infected their hearts, their minds, their souls. The couple began bickering and questioning and doubting. The poison had seeped in, but it would take generations for its effects to be fully realized.
None of my over-indulgence seemed so bad in the moment. In fact, like Adam and Eve eating the fruit, my food was delicious! I enjoyed it! I was “owed” this! I went to bed feeling less than wonderful but not bad and assuming I was just tired.
And this morning, I woke up when my alarm went off. Usually I wake up a few minutes before. Not today. I lay in bed, my stomach hurting. I got up and showered for work but went through the motions. Today was an exciting day at work. State of the art calculators I’d convinced my school to buy had come in yesterday. Today I was going to set them up and get them ready for the kids who I knew would be thrilled!
I was overjoyed but knew I had to be at the top of my game to get everything done that needed to be done. Instead, I felt nauseous and sluggish. After showering, I moved to the couch and lay down for 15 minutes. Instead of being excited to get to work, I wished I could call in sick. I did not clean out the microwave like I said I would. I did not go for a walk in the beautiful, warm Spring sunrise. I did not bring my A game to work. I splashed used, wet coffee grinds on the white shorts I wore to represent freshmen colors for this afternoon’s pep rally. I did not stop in the Church to say hello to Jesus as I always do before school. I got to work later than I’d hoped.
I could go on about the effects of the poison that I did not recognize last night while over indulging, but I don’t need to. My poison seeped in slowly but effected almost every aspect of my day in some way or another. I probably would not have noticed it or made the big connections had I not been consciously trying to Live Not Ordinary, but, because of my newfound conscientiousness, I could not help but connect my actions to my consequences. I could not escape the truth.
What’s worse is that I justified this all by saying I was celebrating the Octave of Easter and Jesus’ Resurrection.
I failed to Live Not Ordinary, miserably so, last night. I did not do such a great job today. Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. My failures remind me of my intense need for Jesus’ Divine Mercy and my appreciation for having another day to try again to live in honor for Christ, America, and family.
My actions failed me yesterday. Natural consequences to my actions failed me today. The best way I can Live Not Ordinary is to admit my failings and work to do better tomorrow.
Gratitude Journal April 14th.
- C saying it was okay that the software was not installable and the lesson was not going to be perfect.
- Remembering my demands for my own perfection are often greater than those others ask of me.
- S’s asking me to be her Confirmation sponsor.
- Learning a bit more about Dorothy Day.
- Lessons in humility that came painfully to me when I thought I knew more than I did! Ugh!
- Father M for being someone I can ask about faith, for his devotion and truth even when it’s hard or unpopular.
- For Father M’s trip to the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Emmitsburg – how I love it there too! – and his refreshed return.
- Being outside for the pep rally on such a gorgeous day!
- The Christian bookstore still being open.
- Hobby Lobby’s basket sale to put my Confirmation gifts in.
- Dinner with Mom! 🙂
- Jesus’ Divine Mercy and the chance to Live Not Ordinary better tomorrow!