I had grand plans for yesterday to share with you all my most awesome (and first) experience with Mardi Gras. It just happened to fall on my 21st birthday and we partied like rock stars. Unfortunately, I got called by my sons new school...on his 2nd day there...to be told he has diarrhea and needed to be picked up. So, you will have to wait for another time to hear about the hedonism of my youth. Now on to today's post about Lent! Don't worry...I am not going to get all biblical here (maybe just 1 definition).
I think I mostly still do lent out of habit, and maybe even as a way to test my self control. I am not Catholic, but I did grow up in the Lutheran Church (my grandfather was our Pastor). My family attends a non-denominational church that doesn't really push Lent. I am not even sure most people who do lent even know why (in the religious sense) that they do it or why it is 40 days. It is representative of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting.
I try to pick something different every year. I also try to make it something that I will have a hard time giving up. Some years I am successful, others not so much. My successes include carbonated beverages, fast food, smoking and beer. Most people said the beer was a cheat since I allowed my self to drink other forms of alcohol. My response..."and what did you give up ass wipe?"
My failures come a bit more often. At the beginning of 2005, my daughter had just turned 2 and we decided that was the right time to start trying for a second child. What better time could there be for me to give up alcohol for lent? Yeah, my husband was traveling more than he was home, I was working a job that I hated and driving a seriously crazy amount in Houston traffic everyday (for those of you who are familiar with the area...from League City to Baytown (for my daughter's preschool...it was close to my MIL work) to the Galleria area where I worked in rush hour. I think I made it almost 2 weeks. Then, I really needed a drink (or two or seven). Payback came when I found out I was pregnant a week later.
Giving up coffee was also an utter failure. The caffeine withdrawal headaches nearly put me over the edge. I really don't like to torture my self with headaches especially when I am a weirdo that won't take medication until I am on my death bed.
I was really struggling (actually not, I just kinda ignored that it was coming up) with what I was going to give up this year. I really don't drink that many sodas anymore, just one or 2 on the weekends. Fast food is few and far between. I am not a chocoholic...in fact I am not really big on any sweets.
The topic was a big one on the radio this morning. The Catholic Church is apparently asking people to reduce their carbon foot print and offering suggestions on how to do so. Some people are giving up white foods. Hmmmm. Some people aren't giving things up, but pledging to do something better like drink more water of go to church. Yeah, not the right thing for me though. The I heard it. Giving up chips. The thought send chills up my spine. I am addicted to salty snacks. If you leave me alone with a bag of chips they will disappear! Let me tell you, I should have stock in the Lays company just so I could get back some of my money! So there it is internet. I am giving up chips.
So, what if anything will you give up? Do you do it for religious reasons? If you are Jewish, do you have any thing that calls for you to make a sacrifice in you life?