Forty days of thanks

Today is Fat Tuesday, the final day to scramble and figure out what I will be doing for Lent. More often than not I will give up sweets. For the past few years I have opted to think about giving up sweets until I realize it is Ash Wednesday only after I have eaten my weight in Girl Scout Cookies. There is something so right about Thin Mints that makes it feel so wrong. Then there are the years I want to make a positive change. My sister one year opted to only think positive thoughts. I believe she did not even make it past the first waking hour of Ash Wednesday. I am pretty sure I would break that promise before even waking.

So this year, I will  strive for each of the 40 days plus Sundays of Lent to thank my friends and family for all the good they have given me. To write one note a day to send to a loved one, friend, acquaintance or even stranger who has graced me with their love, friendship or kindness. I recently received a thank you note from a dear friend who wrote that writing thank you notes “really makes one realize all the good.” And that is what I want to do, realize all the good. It is easy to get bogged down in the negative. To feel overlooked, underappreciated and more often than I care to admit, jealous. I will never stop having those feelings, but I can choose to deliberately focus on the good. And there really is so much more good.

I hope to be successful in my Lenten promise. I hope to have my friends and family know how much I really do love and appreciate them. But I know, if I fail, they will love me none the less. Because I am blessed with an abundance of good.  And I honestly can’t give up sweets this year. Not with a fresh half-gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream in my freezer and a news room filled with Girl Scout Cookies. And for all of this, I give thanks.

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