Fat Tuesday apologies

Nicole and Sue were discussing their Fat Tuesday culinary experiences as I slugged away between them on the treadmills this morning.

Nicole went to local guilty-pleasure joint Fat Bob’s Smokehouse. Sue was pleased that she stuck to her high-protein weight-lifting competition diet.

Me?

I had leftover homemade mac and cheese and ate Ovaltine straight out of the container. Not because it was Fat Tuesday. But because it was Tuesday.

Part of me felt I should have purposely indulged in some bad-for-me food. Perhaps get a large Shamrock Shake or an extraordinarily large pastry treat. But since I’m not giving up Shamrock Shakes or extraordinarily large pasty treats for Lent, it didn’t quite seem appropriate for me. Then again, shoveling in the homemade creamy goodness of macaroni and cheese after watching a team of incredibly fit and talent women begin training with the Western New York Flash women’s soccer team didn’t seem completely appropriate either. Oh, and I washed that down with an episode of The Biggest Loser.

Perhaps consistency isn’t my strong suit this week.

So after a bit of thought and a few too many simple carbohydrates, I decided to give up saying “I’m sorry” for Lent.

There are different levels of “I’m sorry” and a few versions will stay in my every day speech. For instance, “I’m sorry I stepped on your foot” or “I’m so sorry for the loss of your loved one.” But too often, I find myself apologizing for nothing at all. It’s a blanket apology. I’m sorry I’m slow. Sorry I’m a beginner. Sorry that my interests and passions don’t excite you. Sorry, because perhaps my existence is burdensome to you.

Maybe I’m unique in my overwhelming need to apologize. Perhaps it’s my own special psychosis, one of my deeply ingrained ways of reinforcing my thoughts of being not good enough as if to say: I’m sorry for dreaming big. I know better.

What could I accomplish if I stopped saying “I’m sorry” and just kept doing? Apologizing keeps me living small. And no one benefits from me playing small in the world.

What opportunities might open to me if I gave up the apology for 40 days?

This has the potential to be much more difficult, and rewarding, than giving up chocolate.

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