I am not giving up wine or chocolate this Lent. I am looking at my life and making an impact – socially, spiritually, physically, creatively, professionally, politically, and family-wise. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a reminder that we are all going to die. And Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, the night before Ash Wednesday, reminds us that we are going to live until we die. Lent is 40 days of intentional living.
Here are my aims, remembering that this life is but a whisper.
Speak with words of deep love and mutual respect
No gossip or judgment – Believe everyone is doing their best
If I’m on time I’m late; Arrive early
Pray and meditate
Celebrate the diversity of religions
Train for a 10K in June
Eat more greens (fruits and vegetables) and less whites (carbs)
Make art, especially cards and my art journal
Write in my journal every day
Send work out to be published
Less time passively taking in social media, more time producing art
Read about what makes for good teaching every day
Listen well to students and colleagues
Be firm, but loving with classroom management
Remain organized with lesson plans – organization is the key to success
Give to: the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, International Women’s Writing Guild, and United Methodist Women
Support women and children who are marginalized and oppressed
Honor the sanctuary movement
Write to thank the activists on the frontlines
Support independent and women artists and commercial establishments
Speak up about gender equality
Celebrate and preserve the freedom of the press
Remain true to Chris and the kids
Do not overparent but guide my nearly-adult children to independence
Listen to and encourage the dreams of my children and family
Play more board games
I know I should make these resolutions SMART goals — measurable and time-sensitive. But for now, this is where I am starting. This is the beautiful thing about Lent — it is manageable; we travel from winter to spring. The miracle of renewal and resurrection is right around the corner. Stay optimistic. Have faith.
More on mindfulness.