Forget Punxsutawney Phil, the real harbinger of Spring has arrived. The season of Lent is once again upon us.
I should say "upon me", since I don't want to make any assumptions regarding anyone's religious customs. With the exception of Scientologists, of course. And Mormons. And those scary looking tar paper church shacks I see in the North Georgia mountains; surely there must be some snake-handling craziness happening there.
Who am I kidding, really. I consider all forms of supernatural belief to be fair game. But I have the most fun with Catholicism, since of all the whacky theologies out there, it's the one that I know best. I was going to say "intimately", but then thought that might sound bad, like I was molested by a priest or something. For the record, I never was. (Molested, that is. I definitely remember being Catholic.)
It still haunts me. I was in the choir until my voice changed. I even served my catechismal duty as alter boy. The only sugar I ever got was an after-mass Snickers bar. What was the matter with me? Was I not pretty enough?
I'd like to believe it was because I just asked too many annoying questions. I went through with Confirmation as a favor to my parents, but after that I was pretty much over the church.
Why do I do the Lent thing then? I'm having deja vu of trying to explain this before. But I think it's just become a seasonal tradition for me. As Winter winds down and I look forward to pool season, I take the opportunity to do a six week "reset". A chance to shock my body and sharpen my mind with a sudden change of routine.
I remember reading somewhere that it takes thirty days to replace a bad habit with a good one. I'm not sure about the actual amount of science that went into that number. But 46 days ought to be a good start.