Giving up cussing might seem more like a resolution (more fitting to NewYear's than Lent) but really, I have to admit, I rather enjoy letting out a good &*#&*#@ now and then, and a real blue streak like &%$#@! *&^%*# and ^%&$$ is delightfully satisfying not to say wonderfully like taking the lid off a pressure cooker that is about to explode. Sometimes you just can't express what you mean without a good four-letter word now and then. I confess: cussing is a guilty pleasure.
So recognizing that cussing is a guilty pleasure makes it well-suited to a lenten sacrifice. A resolution is a vow to improve oneself. Giving up something during Lent is intended to cause one to be reflective and meditative and feel some pain or discomfort in order to bring oneself closer to God. Giving up cussing would do that. I am sure God gets tired of hearing &^%**$ and *##$%$@ during public addresses or on TV shows. Cussing has become epidemic in modern American society, That aside, it still feels good at times and so giving it up during Lent is good spiritual practice. It is also good for the spirit itself.
Well, an educated and sophisticated person can I suppose. The meaning behind the cuss can be let out in more appropriate ways with some lovely ten-dollar words one acquires through a good study of the English language. One needs only to turn to Shakespeare to find some very effective and devastating turns of phrases that would turn any grandmother's ear red. But I digress.
I shall give up cussing here on in, at least during Lent. It will be a sacrifice for sure. Like, as I was blogging about yesterday with the giving up of impatience. While driving, a good cuss, ^&$$$#%, alleviates the pressure of waiting needlessly at the stoplight when then is no traffic or the railroad crossing when there is no train. It feels good. So during this season of inner examination I shall refrain from the minor and the major cuss as much as possible and doing penance of some kind when I slip. It will be maybe one of the most interesting and enlightening exercises during Lent I could do.
And who know? Maybe I won't need the swear words after Lent. My sacrifice would then become a legitimate resolution for the rest of the year and certainly cut down of my soap budget thereafter.
Day Nine: Give up cussing. Amen. Now there's a word I could use more often!
I can be rather impatient. Oh, yes. You might not believe it, but let me assure you it is true. There are times when I get very frustrated waiting..like at stoplights. Oh, boy, do I hate waiting at stoplights. I fume. Yes, I sit and I fume about wasting time at stoplights that seem like they will never change. And this is whether I am driving or walking the dogs. Waiting is not always something I do well. I want what I want and I want it now.
Well, that is not always true. I do agree there are somethings worth waiting for. Today it might be this blog. Since I am writing it in the evening, I am going to assume it was worth waiting for. Impatience would not have hurried it up. It was just one of those days I was doing other things and it was post-poned. No, I was not procrastinating. I gave that up on day one. So today, it is impatience.
Seriously, impatience does not help one to have good mental health. I can feel my blood pressure rise and I tend to get real grumpy. This happens when I'm feverishly tryng to get something done or find a misplaced paper or my keys when I'm already running late. So I did develop some good habits like making a list, placing papers in a file folder or my "to be filed" bin and hanging my keys by the back door dutifully when I arrive home. But still sometimes I don't lay the proper groundwork to avoid the frustrations of not finding what I need when I need it. And as far as waiting at stoplights, well, I find it a good time to think a deep thought, check my cell phone for messages, or just observing the people and things around me.
Okay, so impatience is not a sin. But it not pleasant to be around, either. I know that. I am sure I will hear about the next time I have an attack. It will probably be a temporary lapse in consciousness. Remind me, gently, that I gave it up. And please, please....may I ask you be patient?