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Giving Up Some and Growing Up Some More

In the spirit of Lent I have been trying to decide one action to refrain from doing and one good action to add to my life. After some minor contemplation (hmm...chocolate, coffee, ice cream?) and honest acceptance that I could not omit anything too good like coffee, my cell phone or sex, I decided I won't check facebook after sundown. Lame, I know. But, this is new to me and it's a start.

Now, about something good to begin doing. And, again, I'm just being honest. I will not take the time to volunteer at a food shelter. I thought about donating money to the local SPCA. I also thought about trying to say something positive to everyone I encounter each day, "That is a lovely shirt you are wearing. That email you wrote was very articulate. I can tell you put a lot of thought into this project." Yeah, I can do that. And I'll try not to say something mean in my mind after the positive comment, "Too bad that shirt is too tight on you. And while we are on the subject of emails, stop sending me forwards. Too bad this project's going to get tossed in the trash by your boss."

I'm not sure if she intended to do this as her Lenten promise, but a friend from our past sent Andy an apology card, which he received in the mail today. Reminding me of My Name is Earle, she reached out to Andy after years and apologized for some mean remarks she once made about him behind his back. I guess at the time, he had found out and asked her about it. She denied making the remarks. Six years later, after a frank conversation with someone in her present life, she decided to come clean and apologize. I wonder how many others are on her list?

I wonder how many people are on my list? I may have to go back to third grade and start with an apology to Dori Wolf. She injured her tail bone jumping off of a swing and I'm pretty sure I made fun of her for it. From that point forward, I participated in my share of catty girl circles and spent more time than I'd like to remember being mean to others to make up for my own insecurities. I think most of those I've stabbed have forgiven me or have stabbed me back, making us "even". Yet, there are those out there who have not tolerated my behavior and have dropped out of my life. I've always wondered how I could get them back as a friend. Until today, I'd accepted that I had to live with my mistakes and understand that we can't always undo what we've done.

Did Andy forgive our friend from the past? "Melissa....yes, of course," he told me, clearly annoyed at my silly question. I'm sure it was very hard for her to write that note but it only took him a minute to accept her apology. I applaud her for her heart-felt, simple gesture. Maybe I'll follow her lead and ask for forgiveness this Lent. I guess I can't do it over facebook. I wonder if Costco sells bulk amounts of note cards?

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