Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Holy Lent and Fast

In the past my observation of Lent has gone a little like this...I decide to give up treats or some other form of food and then Easter Sunday looks a little like this.

This year I decided to do something a little different. I've been reading the book, Eating by the Light of the Moon: How Women can Transform Their Relationships with Food Through Myths, Metaphors and Storytelling. I hate to say it (due to the fact that it's a terrible cliche) but I have some issues with food. It's ok. I'm working on it/them. And this book is incredible. It's given me a new language to use to talk about food and somehow, talking about it using myths and stories is making the understanding easier (should I be surprised? No). Which leads us to this year's Lent offering.

You know that voice in your head that responds to things you do? You might do something totally brilliant and the voice in your head will say something like, "You rock. Good job." If you do something awkward that voice might say, "my goodness....that was rough." They call that voice your internal Mother. Well it turns out my internal mother is a Chinese Mother. That link is to a New York Times article that you should read. The author argues that Chinese Mothers are superior because they are strict. My favorite bit is this list of things the author's daughters would never be allowed to do.
  • attend a sleepover
  • have a playdate
  • be in a school play
  • complain about not being in a school play
  • watch TV or play computer games
  • choose their own extracurricular activities
  • get any grade less than an A
  • not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
  • play any instrument other than the piano or violin
  • not play the piano or violin.
My internal mother is like that. She's strict and mean. If I do something awkward she doesn't just say, "that was rough" she says, "You are an idiot! How could you have done that? Everyone will always remember that and you should be VERY embarrassed." The hubbs and I call that mean mamma Po.
I have decided that I don't take well to Chinese mothering so Po is what I am giving up for Lent. For the next 40 days, when things get awkward (which they seem to do alarmingly frequently for me) she's just going to say, "That was rough. What can we learn from that so it doesn't happen again?"

I think that's the kind of mothering I'll take to so I'm giving myself 40 days to try it out. I think it will be better for my body, soul and spirituality then simply giving up treats (which my college roommate asked me to please never do again because it made me so mean).


  1. I think that's a great idea, Sallee. Good luck. Your definitely have that mother in you :)

  2. Great goal Sallee and so funny. You are funny!

  3. Hahaha, I forgot about your Lenten candy fasts...and the ensuing orgy of sugar on Easter morning!

    I like your new plan much better. I know this "Po" woman all too well myself.