In case you aren't Catholic (or have been asleep...ahem...Ricardo), today was Ash Wednesday. Fortunately my church had an 8:30 morning mass so I was able to start the day off at the newly renovated church before starting the rest of my day. Last year at this time, the church renovations were underway and we had mass in the lower church which is, as its name implies, down stairs. It's been a good year for the church.
So why do I sound so excited about Lent starting? It's a time for giving up something fun or tasty and you're not allowed to have meat on Friday and you're fasting.....ugh. Well, it's a very religious and solemn time for me and many Catholics (not all because people have religion in their lives for different reasons) which ends in the most religious day of the year for us: Easter. Christmas is widely celebrated of course, but our entire FAITH is based around Easter.
Lent is the Easter pre-cursor where I try to prepare mentally for the Easter celebration and all that leads up to it during Holy Week. During Lent I'll go to church in the morning at least once a week during the week, will be giving up all candy bars and such, and will do some form of charitable works and/or giving over the next 40 days. I choose to look at it as a very positive time with a great celebration at the end.
Some Lent info: Lent actually ends on Holy Saturday; During Lent, each Sunday is "exempt" from fasting and should be celebrated like a mini Easter; Those Sundays during Lent aren't included in the 40 days of Lent (i.e. Lent is actually 46 or 47 days long).
So don't lament Lent! Celebrate it!!