During the Oscars Sunday night, John Travolta mangled his introduction of Idina Menzel. In an instant she became Adele Dazeem. Almost as quickly a meme was born. As a result, you too, can “Travoltify” your name. On Monday’s episode of The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon wondered what went through Idina Menzel’s mind when she heard John Travolta’s introduction. “Let it go! Let it go!” is what he imagined. A day later, John Travolta’s publicist reported that is also what Travolta is trying to do. I hope he isn’t ashamed of what happened. He made a mistake. He’ll make others too. Idina Menzel? I’m sure that is a name he’ll never forget.
It’s Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The other night Sweets asked me what I was giving up for Lent. That’s the tradition, to abstain from something you enjoy to remind you of the habit, practice, or attitude you want to embrace. There’s more to the season, of course, what it’s about and why Christians keep it. This isn’t “that” kind of post. She said she is giving up meat (her brother Bud is, too). “Why?” I asked. “I think it will be good.” “Good?” I said. “Yes. Good.” “You know,” I said, ” We’re almost Vegetarian. Why don’t you give up dessert instead?” “Dessert?” Her eyes widened as she said the word. “I could never do that!” We laughed.
Sweets doesn’t have words to describe what she is giving up meat for. Not yet anyway. When she figures it out, I’m sure she will tell me. She’s good at that, in the way tweens are. In the mean time, she will do her best with this discipline. She’ll make mistakes, yes. That’s okay. If anything, my role is to help her be gentle with herself, when she does.
We make mistakes. We have habits, and attitudes we’d like to change. If we’re ashamed of these habits, they can turn into personal versions of the Adele Dazeem meme. When that happens they have too much power. It’s time to let go. As you think about the way you’d like to change, consider singing along with the song. Don’t try to change because you want to be perfect. No. Let go of the burden feeling you have to be perfect brings. As the song says, let the old needing to be perfect you of the “past be in the past” so that a wholehearted human you can “rise like the break of dawn.” “Let it go!”