How to Fat Tuesday

There aren't a lot of Tuesday Holidays.

Which is a shame.

Tuesday just doesn't have much celebratory fare. It's kinda of the forgotten middle child of the seven day week. Monday has got it's own comic strip (Garfield), Wednesday is Hump Day (whatever that means) Thursday is named after Thor (and of course Thanksgiving), the rest of the week are essential party days, but Tuesday just isn't all that interesting.

It's a day to vote every few years, and of course, Mardi Gras.

So there's a Super Tuesday and a Fat Tuesday. Starbucks is currently lobbying for a Vente Tuesday.

Mardi Gras, or Carnevale, is a Saturnalian adopted party to usher in the first day of Lent.

Let's go crazy before we have to give something up for forty days.

One last gasp of debauchery before the bishop christens our foreheads with ash.

I won't be partaking in the revelry, sorta, since I'll be performing, but there will be beer and music and happiness. All good things.

But before the five o-clock bell rings, I thought it might be nice to consider the whole "Giving Up" of something before the easter break.

Now . . . I didn't grow up with any formal religious education, so I didn't really learn about Lent until I became almost but not quite Italian. The idea is one of personal sacrifice to honor the gods (plural), or part of the trinity (singular) : )

Originally you were supposed to give up meat (except fish and sometimes poultry) for the entire time. But that makes goat farmers a bit nervous, so it was scaled down until you weren't supposed to eat meat (except fish and sometimes poultry) on Fridays.

That's not much of a sacrifice so a personal twist was added. Now, you should consider something in your life that you may be, ahem, addicted to, that you can drop for just shy of three fortnights.

Taking stock of my own life (not that I am in any conceivable way moral or healthy) I couldn't find anything of visceral value that I am either able or willing to give up.

I mean, I could give up alcohol. Which would be a fantastic thing, but there's an Oscar party on Sunday night that I am not going to miss, nor do I plan to turn down an offer of a glass of wine, so I'd fail miserably after, what . . . like four days.

I could give up mindlessly checking my email. That'd be good. Remove it from all of my mobil devises and stick with checking it once . . . or twice . . . maybe another during lunch . . . and you can see that I've already failed that test.

I could give up flossing.

No, that's a terrible idea.

I could kill my television. But with the season finales of both Justified and The Walking Dead on the near horizon, I feel like I wouldn't be honoring my wife which would be almost but not quite like breaking one of the ten commandments.

The problem here is is that we're supposed to take a long look at our lives and our habits and decide for ourselves what kinds of sacrifices we could make.

Making sacrifices is a good healthy thing, so I'm not gonna knock it.

But what if we flipped the notion?

What if instead of making offerings of sacrifice, what if we made and offering of productivity?

I could spend all day listing the things I need to start doing as opposed to the things I need to stop doing.

What if we spun it so that Fat Tuesday is a celebration more like New Years Eve where we just come to some resolution?

I prefer that idea.

It's more democratic.

But this isn't about Lent . . . its about Fat Tuesday.

So assuming you take my advice and decide to give-up/start-up, here's what you do in the mean time:

First, pick something. Doesn't matter.

Second, tell someone. A priest, your wife, all six of your Twitter followers. Telling someone makes it real, and makes it harder to cheat.

Third, post your progress. Somewhere, anywhere. Go ahead and Facebook it if you need to. I like to keep a running tab on my refrigerator.

Fourth, notice things. Anytime you put a change into your routine, something different is bound to happen. Could be good (loose weight, climb a flight of stairs) Could be bad (cranky, achy, sore). But notice those things. I can't prove that there will be any metaphysical epiphanies, but when you notice things, you start to live 'in the moment' (so to speak) and it's a nice change of pace.

Fifth, cheat. Don't give up . . . just cheat a little. Road bumps are the key dissonance to a positive resolve. Those who cheat, just a little, are actually statistically more likely to continue rocking.

Finally, if you're going to cook pot-roast on a Friday, don't tell your mother-in-law. It's not that she's crazy, it's just that she worries.

Nobody wants to end up in heaven alone.

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