Knows and Dues


Since I've been a word nerd since I first figured out how to read (age 3 or so my mom tells me; I don't know if that's entirely true but I do remember the day I sat in our kitchen in Aurora, Colorado, pleased as a peach that I could read Put Me in the Zoo all.by.myself), it should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with my inner nerd that I love a good pair of homophones.

While I sat in Becky and Huck's school Mass this morning, waiting for my turn to head up the aisle with little Tom for the distribution of the ashes, I was thinking about the little list of my personal goals for this Lent I'd scribbled in my well-worn notebook that I keep in my purse for ideas and snippets of book ideas.

I'd started with the things I was giving up; then underneath that, I had written the things I hoped to work on during the coming weeks. Then I'd bracketed each mini list and labeled them: No's and Do's.

No's and Do's...Knows and Dues...yeah, I know, I know, you get it; I don't need to slap you upside the head with it.  It's ok - go ahead and laugh at my nerdiness revealed.  

It's clear I need to add one more to my Do's list: 

Work on shutting off my inner word nerd so I can better focus on the Mass. 

As Lent begins, I'm doing a few things I always do (give up all sugar, give a little more to the poor, follow the daily Gospel readings, history, and meditations found in the Little Black Book) but since I always do these same things, it feels a little easy.

A little too easy.

The whole purpose of giving up a little luxury or indulgence or giving of yourself in small charitable acts during Lent is to die to self; there's not much room in our hearts and souls for God if we're all filled up with ourselves, filled with our own self-manufactured busyness and importance, filled with pride, ego, and all the "I wants" we desire in the world - even if that "I want" is for something as simple and small as a cookie.

If my Lenten sacrifices are too easy, then by the definition of sacrifice, maybe they aren't.

I'm also giving up Facebook and Twitter during Lent but again, that's not much of a sacrifice for me.  Quite frankly, I think I'm hitting the red zone of social media overload; we're so so so connected online, and yet?

We aren't

Or if we are, it comes at a cost.

Time.  Life online is 24/7 and we can be plugged in all.the.time.

Peace.  Life online is relentless overload of information -clickclickclick.  It's hard to have a sense of quiet reflection when you're hop-skip-jumping from one site to the next.

Presence.  LIFE is a here and now game.  HERE, on terra firma, and NOW, in the moment with those around you. 

I've been slow to write here at this blog lately (and even at my other) because I've been asking myself the hard questions about those costs.  And I've been feeling the drumbeat of time passing swiftly, too swiftly.

As I step forward into the season of Lent, it seems like as good a time as any to step back, to reflect, to journey down the less-traveled path. 

I won't say that I'm giving up blogging because who knows?  Maybe I'll be struck by something so funny or so inspired or just so true that I'll need to share it with you. 

But I am giving myself permission to change, to grow.

To do less so that I can do more.