Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For Lent, I'm giving up...

Today marks the first day of Lent, the period from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday (the last day of Lent is Holy Saturday).  This 40 day period (which usually excludes Sundays in the count) is used for self-reflection, prayer, and sacrifice.  People who observe Lent commit to "giving up" something as a form of penitence.  Traditionally, this "something" is food (fasting), but in current times this "something" has been extended.

I do not observe Lent, but something about the concrete period of time, the challenge, and the idea of self-improvement draws me to it.  It is a practice in self-will and determination, and we could all use a little work on that.  It is exhibiting dominance over your temptations.  It is realizing that what you have chosen to give up is a privilege, not a right.  It is acknowledgement of all that has been given up by others for your benefit.  It is introspection.  It is commitment.  It is strength.  

Last year, I tried to give up complaining... and that didn't work.  This year, I'm trying again.

For Lent this year, I'm giving up web surfing during work hours (this means Facebook and Pinterest).

Lou, if you're reading this, I don't spend all my work time on these websites, but I do sometimes use them as a means of procrastination, something to do while I'm waiting for an analysis or test to finish, or to take a break.  I could do something better with my time, and I'm choosing now to banish this habit.

I've heard from friends other great ideas of things to give up for Lent: the elevator (have to take the stairs), buying your lunch (have to bring), sweets, not eating breakfast (notice the double negative), soda, etc.

What are you giving up for "Lent?"

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