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Today is Shrove Tuesday,  a day  for self-reflection and examination of conscious prior to Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.  Being an introvert (and a shrink) I am all for self-examination.  This sounds to be a more useful way to spend the day than wearing garlands of purple, yellow, and green beads and drinking too much. (1) Every year when I announce Lenten plans to scale back ebullient living for a quieter/simpler lifestyle people poo-poo it all and wonder why I bother.   Many religious practices have traditionally set aside periods of abstinence to work on spiritual endeavors. (2)  I think it good for my soul. Some years I ‘give up something” but this year I think I will strive instead to lead a more austere life.  I will eat less lavish foodstuffs and take smaller portions – and more meatless meals.  There will be less time on the iphone watching Youtube and Facebook and more time for stretching and yoga.  I should dust off the zapoten and give meditation another try.   Best proposal:  cut down on my continual reading of newsites like CNN, Yahoo, Huffpost, and (worse of all) Joe.My.God. (3) Perhaps what this all means is making Lent a time of less noise and a more a time of Silence. That’s the dot!  Silence.   I could benefit from  Silence.  How often do I encounter quiet?  Answer: hardly ever.  The workplace has continuous background music. (4)  In the car I am hearing lectures, podcasts, or courses.  At night I fall asleep listening to something or other.  I talk too much; I don’t tolerate ‘dead air’. There is no Silence in my life anymore. Silence.  That’s the goal of forty days.   images   (1) Admittedly not as much fun. (2) It’s also good for the waistline and saves on bar bills. (3) Mind! “Joe” does a great job, but through his website I am constantly exposed to vitriol.  I sponge this stuff up all too readily and it makes me ill.  Until I have better boundaries I best abjure. (4) As I type this I hear out my office door the hourly broadcast of “Don’t Stop Believing”.

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