It's Mardi Gras, the day when we're all expected to load up on our vices before forty days of repentance and fasting (both literally and figuratively). I don't know how much fasting I'll be doing, but I do have some things to repent for (don't we all). But today, I wanted to post the five things that I'd like to feast on, as Lent begins officially tomorrow.
1. My family. - My Dad with his new cybernetic hip, my mom and her newfound patience as she plays nursemaid, my sons both so loving and excited about life's daily surprises, my sisters and their availability (sometimes, available is all someone needs to be to be helpful), my mother-in-law and father-in-law, my brothers (both in-law and out), my grandparents of the married in and blood variety, my cousins who love to argue about movies and the ones that don't, my nieces and nephews (one of which is surely far too young to be preparing to move to college) and my wife. You are all my family, but much more. I couldn't get by without you. I love you, and don't tell any of you nearly enough.
2. My friends. - I put off calling them, don't reply to their messages in email or on Facebook, leave them in the dark for weeks at a time about the current goings on in my life, and yet pretty much without fail, when I do reach out they're there waiting on me. Thank you. You're better friends than I deserve, and I often think you deserve a better friend. I endeavor to be better.
3. Home. - Louisiana is my homestate, and will always be a part of me. Alabama is my ancestral home. Bastrop is my hometown, and has indelibly marked me (for better AND worse), Ruston was mine for a long time and will soon be again. New Orleans has been for three years (and for much longer in my dreams). I'm thankful for all of them, miss some of them and will always carry a piece of each of them with me.
4. Prayer. - Meditative, liturgical, personal, public, intercessory or any other kind that you prefer. I'm getting a lot of it lately. And it's all good for me. Eat up.
5. Optimism. - Personal, professional, artistic, financial, spiritual. I am optimistic about what comes next for me and mine. My dad is going to get back full mobility in his hips and legs. My next job is going to be a great one. My sister and I are going to pay back these small mountains of student debt we've created. I'm going to buy a house before another decade has passed. My sons are going to be genius, guitar-playing, athletic, superstar doctors. Or, maybe they'll just be happy. Either way, wouldn't it be great?