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.