Happy Fat Tuesday folks!
(or Mardi Gras, or Paczki Day, or just Tuesday for those of you who are fun-suckers).
For those of you that don’t know, Paczki are delicious cream or fruit filled Polish donuts that I am definitely not an expert on. I did, however, grow up in Michigan where these were totes popular – and traditional – to eat on Fat Tuesday because we’ve got a plethora of Polish people lurking around the state – specifically Detroit. No, I’m not from Detroit. I’m not going to pretend to play that card, but I will 100% piggyback on any delicious treat traditions available to me.
Turns out, you can find paczki in California, but they’re gonna be Armenian and probs red (at least in my singular experience today). This is smart because Californians don’t seem to be too familiar with paczki, and the appeal to those pining after Valentine’s Day treats is an A+ marketing move. My manfriend and I picked some up at the Papillon International Bakery. Snaps for Little Armenia (my lil neighborhood here near Los Feliz).
sexified box o’ Paczki
To all the people that have not read my about page: I’m Catholic. That’s right, JC (Jesus Christ) is my homeboy and God is my rad dad. I’m proud of my faith, and like anything else, religion is a spectrum. I’m continually discovering where I fall throughout this spiritual journey named “life” (but you best believe I’ve got some qualms cause feminism and stuff… eh, that’s for another day).
Fat Tuesday means that Lent starts tomorrow, a.k.a. Christians’ biggest holiday season (thought it was Christmas? Naw man, Hallmark has duped you again).
HERE’S SOME LENT STUFF….
Short Version: Lent is that period of time where Christians personally “give up” something (like a bad habit or food). There’s a lot of special church shenanigans, fish fry Fridays, and it ends on Easter.
Longer-ish Version: Lent is a celebration of when Jesus was like, “Yo guys, I’m gonna go chill in the desert for 40 days to figure myself out before I start telling people I’m Jesus, Son of God, ya dig? Oh, btw Satan is probs gonna be there. Don’t worry, I’ll resist his temptations of tasty water and all that jazz.” So today Christians recognize Jesus’ badass desert days by sacrificing something small daily (you can also add something instead of “giving up” something, like adding a meditation session to your daily schedule). For example, if you give up chocolate, every time you want chocolate you think FUCK I CAN’T HAVE CHOCOLATE, THIS SUCKS, but also if Jesus suffered in the desert for 40 days, I can handle no chocolate cause that’s like a teeny-tiny fraction of the shittiness he endured.
We don’t eat meat on Fridays either, again as a sacrifice (thus fish fries… because fish isn’t meat? I don’t know, ask a Pescatarian to explain that). Yes, you go to church a lot too. There are holy days throughout Lent: Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday (this also doubles as a list of average band names).
Anna Version for everybody: Lent is a season of mindfulness. I don’t care if you associate yourself with a religion or not, or if you’re all about dat atheism, but EVERYONE can benefit from being mindful. So I want to ask/encourage you to choose a period of time (it doesn’t even have to be now – it can be September for all I care) and commit to doing something that makes you mindful everyday.
For a month, pick something to do or not do: don’t eat candy, meditate for 5 minutes, take daily walks, shut the radio off on your way to work, commit to looking out your window at the world once a day for 10 seconds, paint a picture a little bit everyday, write a one-word (or one-sentence) diary each morning.
Be present. Be mindful. Be thankful to someone or something. It doesn’t have to be God (It’s about God for me, but I’m not here to shove God down your throat). It can be your Mom, or your passion, the Earth, the concept of Love, that guy that waves to you in your apartment building sometimes. Being thankful for anything is so so so important in this world. Relish and enjoy that gratitude – I think it’s one of the most beautiful things that make us human.
Almost forgot – it’s tremendously good for your mental health too (just check out what the Huffington Post has to say). It can lower depression, anxiety, stress, and even make you feel less lonely. That’s right – farewell sads, hellooooooooo mindfulness.
B.T.W. GO EAT PACZKI. I promise they’re delicious.
B.T.W.W. I’m giving up alcohol for lent…. jeepers dude…. I miss beer already.