Today is Ash Wednesday – the first day of the Lenten season.  I grew up Catholic, and though I only ever go to mass anymore on Christmas eve (when I’m visiting my family) I do still keep up with my lenten promises every year.  Most people give things up for Lent – chocolate is a popular option – and view it as an exercise in self-control, or in giving something up in order to remind yourself to reflect on the nature of sacrifice.  I have generally taken a different course, and try and add something on for Lent – volunteering, sponsoring a child, that kind of thing.  I like the idea of being proactive, sacrificing my time or money in a way that impacts the world we’re living in.  Plus, once you get involved in something it can become a part of your life for far longer than the 40 days til Easter.

I’m still undecided as to what to do this year.  I’m thinking maybe a commitment to write at least a little something every day for the 40 days, but that strikes me as similar to the more tokenized sacrifices I was just talking about.  (It’s not exactly helping the homeless, after all…)  It’s a sacrifice of time, obviously, but only to my benefit.  Though… I am a much happier person when I’m writing consistently, which may improve the lives of those who are forced to interact with me every day.  Does that count?  Ha.

Maybe commitment to write + promising to clean the kitchen promptly after dinner every night.  Sounds lame, but I have been super lazy at home lately – when I get home from work I am so tired I’m useless most evenings – and so it actually would be a pretty big deal for me.  Plus, built in reflection time on sacrifice – which is the whole point anyway, right?  Right.

Not exactly discovering a cure for cancer, but as time and money are so limited, this Lent will just have to be a little more personal this year…

Anyone else Lenting?



Filed under anticipation

4 responses to “.lent.

  1. rachelfirm

    i didn’t even think about it until now (i’m such a bad former catholic!). i’m thinking i will try to make it to yoga three times a week – i should be doing it anyway. i used to give things up in high school. soda. chocolate. french fries. but i think setting aside time to make a lasting change to your outlook is much more productive. wonder if jesus would approve of yoga? hmm…

  2. Three times a week would be mighty impressive. I’m not the expert on Jesus – we might need Rev to weigh in on this one – but methinks he’d be in support, s’long as yer not doin’ none a that devil worshippin’ kinda new agey stuff.

  3. I grew up protestant but recently began celebrating lots of Christian, Muslim and Jewish holidays that I have never done before. Last year I gave up soda, and it did make a difference in my energy levels and stuff, but I like your idea of making another kind of sacrifice. I’m not really sure what to do though. Probably should have thought of this sooner!

  4. Miss Avarice – tell me about some of these other holidays! I’m really into creating some new traditions for myself lately, as I’ve let a lot of my old ones fall away. I love hearing about what other people have found to be helpful or moving or interesting in their own lives on that front…

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