So it’s Ash Wednesday and I find myself mulling over the same question as I do every year, “What am I giving up for Lent?”
I will try for back-to-back years of giving up soda. This is so hard for me, but after last year, I know it can be done and my apologies in advance if I am especially cranky this next week. The first week or so always seems to be the hardest.
However I got to thinking (which is almost NEVER a good thing!), since I gave this same thing up last year, it doesn’t really seem like as big of a challenge, you know? Those other popular sacrifices like candy, chocolate, and sweets don’t seem that hard for me to give up either because if they aren’t around, I simply don’t go out and seek them. I’m the person who bakes for fun and then gives all the treats away - I bake more for fun than to actually eat anything I make.
So I thought back to my fine Catholic grade school education, where every year someone would inevitably proclaim they were going to give up homework. Even at a young age, we were all still looking for religious “loopholes”. It was always then that our teachers would remind us that Lent is a period of reflection and bettering ourselves. In addition to the sacrifice of giving up something we enjoyed, we could always make a better effort to do kind acts or be more considerate people. For example, if we were good students in a particular subject, we were encouraged to offer our help and tutor other students in that subject. That whole “making use of the gifts and talents that God gave you” sort of a thing.
This year in addition to going sans soda (I actually just frowned typing that), I am going to challenge myself to write something here every day. When I was growing up, I wrote all the time. I rounded that out with a Master’s Degree focused in writing and then….well, life happened. Dreams and things you are passionate about sometimes get pushed aside due to time or circumstance or a million other reasons. Lent is just as good an excuse as any to dust off my writing cap, put it back on and give this a shot. So right here, every day, for the next 40 days, I will be posting something. Well, the next 39 days since today counts as day 1. How will this be different from all of your other friends’ blogs out there? Good question. Let me try to respond with a bulleted list (this use of bulleting should prove I write for lawyers FAR too much and need to get back in touch with my creative side):
- I don’t have kids (yet anyway), so alas, there will be no hilarious tales of junior peeing in a potted plant of spitting up his breakfast. I do have a couple of fully grown adult friends who I could see exhibiting those same actions after a late night out though, so stories may oddly stay the same.
- I don’t have some cause I am uber/over-the-top passionate about. I am not a die-hard Dem or a Ridiculous Republican. My politics are my beliefs and I prefer to keep them to myself for the most part and not let people see/hear about them from a mile away. No offense to those who are passionate about their parties and very involved. It’s just not my thing and doesn’t define who I am. I also raise money for the causes and charities I care most deeply about, but don’t really feel the need to always wear the t-shirt or slap the bumper sticker on my car.
- I am not on a super cool extended vacation or wandering all over the world. God, I wish I was! So there won’t be any funny stories of dinner with a monkey or pictures of me hiking up a mountain. I won’t be riding any exotic animals or eating any new and strange cuisines. And while I do sometimes feel like riding Metro is a daily adventure, I’ll try to refrain from making it sound like DC public transportation is anything like trekking the globe.
- I don’t have some amazing/exciting/interesting job. Let’s face it, if I had some job that gave me a sense of being professionally fulfilled and like I really used my talents every day, maybe I wouldn’t feel compelled to start writing a blog a day for the next 7+ weeks. If nothing else, any reference to my job will likely make you feel better about yours.
- I am not on some sort of personal “journey” to be chronicled. I am not training for a marathon, or trying to become a vegan. I am not remodeling a house or trying to learn a new language. All of those things sound perfectly nice….and like I would perfectly want to shoot myself after about a week of any of them. (No offense marathoners/vegans/home remodelers/language learners!)
So what the hell am I going to write about? Good question. Only way to find out is to keep reading over the coming days and weeks. I promise to stick to it if you promise to bust my chops and hold me accountable. Who knows – this blog a day regimen could very well make giving up soda look easy peasey by comparison.