Lent Project Day 27: Finding the Joy

Photo by Gustavo Tabosa

A few days ago, it was the vernal equinox – the day when we have daylight and darkness in equal measure. There are many threads I can pick at here – the balance of night and day inspiring better balance between work and life, between self and others, between gotstodoos, and wantstodoos. I think about these things every equinox – vernal and autumnal, and when the world changes directions at the winter and summer solstice. There’s some thinkythoughts around how balanced my life is beyond that – my $dayJob has seminars all the time encouraging good work-life balance practices. So imagine my surprise when someone from work, a full 4 days before the scheduled, calendar sanctioned equinox, posted a picture saying that My Part of the World actually hit the literal equinox on Wednesday, ahead of schedule. Like spring caught a good tailwind on the Red-Eye.

I mean, I guess for the non-Physicists in the crowd, it doesn’t really matter what day the daylength exceeds the nightlength, although the three flavours of Twilight is kind of fun. And likely still a better story than Team Edward-and-Bella. Oh… bad Mary!

I’m a huge proponent of celebrating things – which is why I’ve got major, minor, and made-up holidays at the ready all the time. I think it’s superduper important to celebrate as often as you can, and to that end, is it better to celebrate something on a specific day, or is it better to celebrate period. Sometimes, the expansion of families and the blending of households means that a celebration gets delayed or celebrated prematurely. My birthday, my gentleman associate’s and my mom’s fall within a calendar week. Not everyone is having their own party – there would be So! Much! Cake! So we decide when the most convenient-for-all day is, and we gather to celebrate us all. When it comes time to celebrate bigger holidays, co-ordinating my family and my gentleman associate’s family isn’t too hard, but then Child has two other families he visits with his young lady friend as well. That’s a lotta Christmas stuffed into one day and several hundreds of kilometers of driving. So, some Christmas happens with the twinkle of Christmas lights on the Eve, some happens at my sister-in-laws for Christmas morning breakfast. Then, maybe, we have a different Christmas on Boxing day, happily eating turkey and mashed potatoes while cheering on the World Junior hockey tournament. It’s still a gathering. We understand the reasons, and if we have to be Holiday-Slidey, that’s OK. We manage to make our plans with all the disparate family parts, and we gather our loved ones to us.

So while Lent is a time of austerity, it’s still supposed to inspire some joy. We’ve been deprived of some luxury for almost 4 weeks. You’re just tired of being in a Covid lockdown. Joy might be hard to find right about now. But it’s a positive time, to be sure. We don’t just sigh pitifully about our wrongdoings, we rejoice that we’ve identified and named things we want to change about ourselves. We’ve been invited to a table, and we’re getting ready for the banquet.

This Lent, may celebrations be plentiful, and modest.

Extra Credit:

When Lent Feels Joy-Less: 7 Tips to Make it Joyful

The Solemn Joy of Lent (including ideas for some songs to help you reflect – and a link to a Spotify playlist)

I’ve created landing pages for the last 2 years of Lent Project. You can access them from the Reflections Projects option in the menu bar. Happy reading, friends!

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