Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lent

I have been fruitlessly trying to lose about 15 pounds for several months. I keep starting various regimes, but I never stick with them. I guess I just decided there was enough stress in my life without dieting, and it's not like I'm really fat, right?

So, I'll confess to having selfish thoughts when I realized that the Lenten season was coming up. I could give up desserts, and between meal snacks, or maybe even go the more strict "only one meal a day" fast. 40 days of dieting, complete with religiously imposed guilt if I cheat! It's the perfect combination for someone like me with little to no personal discipline.

In the end, though, I decided not to twist a religious holiday for personal ends (although it would not be the first time in history that someone did such a thing, I know). The whole point of Lent is to focus on Christ, and I'm pretty sure that turning it into a diet would do exactly the opposite of that. So, I'm not doing anything dramatic for Lent this year.

But I didn't want to overlook the season entirely, either. I know it's not a very concrete lenten goal, but I'm making a conscious effort to waste less time. So, when I'm done going through my blogroll in the morning, I try to find something else to do for a while, rather than go through my blogroll again two minutes later just in case someone has updated since then. When the TV is on, I get out my crochet and work on it while I'm watching TV. (Although I finished my one pound ball of yarn only about 8/9 of the way through my shawl, so I'm gonna need some more yarn before I can return to that project, unfortunately.) When I'm driving to class, I sometimes turn my radio off and allow my mind a few minutes of uninterrupted thought or prayer.

I honestly don't know what this goal has to do with Lent. It doesn't really fit the Catholic model of grieving during Lent, nor does it fit the Protestant model of prayer and preparation during Lent. (Okay, I know that neither denomination's practice is that simple, but those are the basic underpinnings.) I guess I'm doing it because, once I started thinking about what I could give up for the holiday that wasn't a backhanded diet, I came across so many things in my life that could go. And rather than doing the typical Jule Ann thing and starting a huge life-renovation project in which I tell myself I won't go on the internet at all any more and instead of watching TV I will spend 8 hours a day in prayer and I will take a vow of silence except for when I am asked a direct question in class, and then lasting somewhere between an hour and two days before giving up and going back to normal, I decided to do something more reasonable. Well, it made sense to me. Happy Lent, everyone.

4 comments:

tim good said...

one year in highschool i tried to give up homework for lent.


it didn't work so well.

Sarah said...

I always thought that lent was about "giving up something," my protestant pastor suggested that it's not just about giving up lunch (or chocolate or TV), it's about giving up lunch to pray/take care of the elderly/sing praises/fill in the blank. It totally changed my view of lent.

wrath said...

My father always said he gave up caster oil and liver

Speedcleanqueen said...

I gave up sex one year. That was hard!

Do you still read livejournal!? :(