Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's & Ash Wednesday: The combo plan

The calendar offers an odd convergence today.

It's Valentine's Day. And Ash Wednesday.

The day of romance and love. And the start of 40 days sacrifice, penance and self-reflection.

Geez, sounds kind of like marriage.

Just joking, my lovely bride.

She has put up with me - and the insane schedule I keep - for going on 35 years now. I'm hoping she does not kick my sorry behind to the curb for at least a few more years.

The truth is I have a lot of making up to do. A ton of things I missed or was torn away - all because of work.

I usually make Ash Wednesday resolutions. You know the old Baltimore Catechism routine. You give up something you like as part of the sacrifice of Lent.

Every year I do the same things. I try to cut down on cursing. That usually last about 45 minutes, tops.

I also give up my favorite food - potato chips. That's right. I'm a Herr's man from way back. That guy up on the billboard smiling with Mike Quick? Friend of mine. Yep, I went to high school with Ed Herr.

I have this bad habit of charging into the house at night, blowing right by my wife who has been sitting alone waiting patiently for me to arrive - late as usual - and making a beeline for the snack drawer, where I go immediately up to my elbow in a nice bag of Herr's ripple chips. Don't even bother to take off my coat.

This year I'm going to try something different.

No, I haven't lost my mind. I'm not planning to give up coffee. I was forced to do that for two days back in the summer when I endured a bout of kidney stones. I thought I was going to die - not from the stones. They passed without much problem. But the headache from caffeine withdrawal is probably the worst I've ever endured.

I even considered giving up social media and "unplugging," but work has a tendency to get into the way of that.

So instead I plan to work on achieving some level of balance in my life. I have for decades went overboard on work. It takes its toll - on a lot of things.

Time for that to change.

And what better time than Ash Wednesday, and the start of the Lenten season.

I just hope my better half has not had similar thoughts of combining the two days, and decided to tell me to "kiss my ash goodbye."

Hey, I write headlines for a living. It's an hold habit. Probably should give that one up for Lent as well.

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