I Give Up
Rookie is the newest member of our family. This cute little 4 month old Morkie, like most dogs, lives to satisfy his appetite. He LOVES to eat! Nothing makes him wiggle and dance and exude excess cuteness like his belief that he is about to be fed or given a puppy treat. He’s learned that the drive-through at the neighborhood Chick-fil-a is puppy friendly, offering bones to its canine “customers.” So when we go through the drive-through, he climbs in my lap and puts on his most irresistible cute face. He’s learned that a successful trip outside to potty will earn him a puppy treat, so even if he doesn’t have to go he will often pretend to go to try to earn a Milkbone. When he’s ready to eat and thinks we don’t know, he will whine a pitiful little whine. When he’s ready to eat and thinks we don’t care, he’ll bark a shrill, demanding, ear-piercing bark. When he’s ready to eat and sees we aren’t moving to comply, he’ll try to dig his way through the cabinet door to get to the food himself. The fact remains, no matter how cute, or obedient, or pitiful, or demanding, or determined Rookie may be, whether or not he is fed is completely out of his control. He can express his wishes, his needs, his desires, but he cannot on his own make them be fulfilled. He can entertain or annoy us, but that’s about it.
I’m discovering that I’m not so different from my little canine buddy. My obsession in life isn’t eating (thank goodness) but there are a few things that I desperately want out of life, every bit as much as Rookie wants his next meal or treat. (And believe me, that’s a LOT!) My years as a single parent have trained me to be independent and determined. If anything is going to get done around my house, it’s up to me to figure out how to get it done. The unsettling fact remains that there are many things that my independence and determination can’t produce. Sometimes I’ll try a few Rookie tricks – looking cute, or compliant, or pitiful, or demanding – but just as Rookie can’t produce his own supper, I can’t make these things happen. I can entertain or annoy others about it, but that’s about it.
Yes, it’s true. There are things that are completely out of my hands. There is nothing, and I mean nothing I can do to get the results I desire. Damn, I hate that.
Today is the beginning of the season of Lent in the church. At our pancake supper last night I overheard several conversations about what people are planning to “give up” for Lent. I was a little embarrassed that I had given no thought to the matter at all. Giving up things for Lent has never really been one of my traditions. But late last night I realized that maybe I should consider it. I don’t plan to give up sugar or soft drinks or candy or anything like that. I just plan to give up. Period. These things are out of my hands anyway, so I may as well try to let go.
So that’s it. For Lent I give up.
Something tells me giving up sugar would be a heck of a lot easier.