Happy Fat Tuesday. I started celebrating Mardi Gras in college, when we would strip down to our bikinis and beg for beads from the college guys, very intoxicated and kind of high. Yes, mother, I dabbled only slightly in Mary Jane, but it was only once or twice before I was in the Air Force, and a carefree college student without the burdens I carry now. Mardi Gras here is steeped in tradition. It started in 1703, 13 years before New Orleans was incorporated. Mobile, AL was the capital of French Louisiana. Throughout the years, Mardi Gras traditions continued even after the Yankee occupation during the Civil War. Then Joe Cain would dress up as a Slacabamorinico, and he would parade through the streets of Mobile. Before then the Mystic Societies would raise money for charity and help the poor with their masked balls and other traditions. In 1939, the first African American Mystic Society was established, and eventually the Mystic Society merged with Mystic Crewes of Mobile and established the Mardi Gras Society of Mobile. Like thousands before me, I will wake up tomorrow hung over and humbled by reveling in Fat Tuesday fun.
Tomorrow the sacrifice begins. There are 6 weeks in the Lenten season, so I will be making 6 sacrifices in preparing for the coming of Jesus.
1. I will be abstaining from alcohol. I enjoy a glass a night of wine and I will be abstaining save for my birthday with conveniently lands on Sunday, March 16th.
2. I will be abstaining from candy. I will still enjoy a piece of pie at 1:59 on March 14th, but other than that, I will be avoiding anything whose primary ingredients include sugar, corn starch, or fructose.
3. I will be limiting my time on social media to 10 minutes daily. This includes games, and updating posts. The only thing I will be doing is updating my on-line running log, and sharing cut pictures and sayings from the kids. The time saved from hours of socializing online will be spent writing in my journal, my novel, or articles.
4. I have given up all soda processed soda. God bless the Soda Stream. The only bubbly water I will be consuming will be from the soda stream. Otherwise I will be drinking just water.
5. I have given up swearing. (If you have virgin eyes, please read no further). For 46 days, the words, shit, fuck, bitch, ass, and any variation of those words will no longer leave my lips.
6. Finally, I will be giving up gluten products and salt laden foods when feasible. I do have some gluten products in my home that must be eaten up or they will go bad, otherwise, there will be no sandwiches consumed. I will be instead eating fresh foods, gluten free, and organic.
I hope you enjoy this Lenten season and take the time to sacrifice.