Fastnacht Day.

Today is Fastnacht Day, which I only recently realized is not celebrated everywhere. But we definitely celebrate it in Pennsylvania Dutch country, where we love our fried foods something fierce. It’s a big day around these parts, and almost every grocery store sells them. It’s not unusual to see signs crop up in people’s front yards advertising a dozen freshly-made fastnachts for around $4.

Fastnacht Day is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent officially starts. Fastnachts are basically donuts (sometimes triangle-shaped instead of round) and are made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally fasted from during Lent.

Anyway…every year on Fastnacht Day, we get a giant box of donuts (not real fastnachts) at work for the staff. Donuts are not something that I typically crave. They’re good in the same way anything that is doughy and fried and covered in sugar is good, but I don’t normally dream about them.

I had prepared myself for today. I told myself that I could eat one donut, and that would be it. This is a pretty big achievement for me. I remember in the fall, when one of our employees was leaving, we got a huge box of donuts for her send-off party. I ate one, and it was good. So I ate another. And another. I think I ate 4 donuts that day.

I’ve always had a hard time stopping myself once I start. It’s much easier for me not to start at all. And today is no exception. I ate my donut, and I immediately felt the desire to go grab another one.

But I didn’t. SUCCESS!

I realized that throughout the rest of my life there are going to be lots of proverbial boxes of donuts along my path, and that it’s OK to have one occasionally. And I know that it might always be harder for me to remain in control around those foods than the average person.

Slowly, I’m learning to be OK with less. It’s hard, and it’s uncomfortable for me. But it’s what I have to do.


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