Tag Archives: lent

Here We Lent Again

Happy Ash Wednesday! It’s time to frantically figure out what to give up for Lent this year!

I actually started thinking about this a couple weeks ago, when I noticed at work that someone had brought in some Mardi Gras-themed pastries from a board meeting. But it’s nowhere near Mardi Gras! I thought. Then I looked at a calendar. But it’s not quite — well there’s still a little time — I mean, who even likes King Cake? Well, the colors ARE nice.

In the past I’ve given up Facebook, and arguing with Drew. Last year I gave up chocolate, and although that was an appropriately difficult thing for me to give up, I didn’t want to just repeat something from last year. So, after some hurried thought (and finishing some Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch last night), I think I’m going to give up ice cream.

What are you giving up this year? (Or, as I know some people do, are you taking on something additional during Lent?)

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Filed under Beginnings, Food, Holidays, Humor, Nonfiction, Religion

The special beans

I gave up chocolate for Lent this year. It hasn’t been too bad so far. It’s only been 9 days. Only 35 more days to go. (Or something like that.)

There’s plenty of other sweet stuff that I can find to try to fill the void. Including (but not limited to) dried pineapple, popsicles, and vanilla lattes. It’s both a blessing and a curse. (PS. It doesn’t completely fill the void. I cannot wait for post-Easter half-priced Robin Eggs.)

Every year I ponder Lent – what exactly is the reason that I’m giving something up? I have to re-justify what I’m doing, and figure out how to frame it. I have read different theories for how the tradition came about, and I think that the one that suits me best, and makes the most sense, is that I’m making a sacrifice, albeit small, to honor God’s sacrifice for me.

So even if giving up chocolate feels like a superficial thing to do, I suppose there’s a point to it. I don’t know if I’ll necessarily come out the other side of this a better person, but all introspection is good introspection, and I’ve never heard of someone regretting going 6 weeks without eating chocolate.

Now if only my coworkers would stop leaving bowls of it out on their desks all day…

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Filed under Food, Holidays, Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion, Self improvement, Writing

Make Me

One of the best things about being an adult is ice cream for dinner. Not literally (well, okay, sometimes), but I mean that sense that you can do whatever you want and there’s no one checking up on you.

On the other hand, one of the worst things about being an adult is that you can do whatever you want and there’s no one checking up on you.

There are a lot of things that I want to accomplish this year. (See: New Year’s Resolutions, 2013). Unfortunately there’s also a lot of internet to explore, friends to chat with, articles to read, and thin air to stare into.

I think the missing piece of the puzzle that turns staring (whether it’s into thin air or at Facebook) into actual productivity is accountability. If I don’t have anyone to answer to except myself, then what’s driving me to complete anything?

Here are some things I’ve tried to accomplish in the past: Bicoastal book club. Writing club. Dieting. Here are some things I’ve failed at: Bicoastal book club. Writing club. Dieting.

The problem with a bicoastal book club is that, without the regular meet-ups to talk about what you’ve read, what is forcing you to finish it? And if your book club happens to be made up of other people who aren’t determined to finish – then you might as well quit before you’ve even begun. A good way to assess the commitment of the others in your potential book club is by how long you’re given to finish the book. More than a couple months and I say your club is going to fall apart after two books, tops.

Ditto writing club. It’s all well and good to pick a prompt and off you go, but if you don’t have at least one other person emailing you something at the end of the month and expecting something from you, then you’re doomed. I’ve tried this in the past, and we made it exactly one month.

All I’ll say about dieting is that, without a good plan, someone to support you in it, and some kind of goal, it’s basically impossible.

But there’s hope! I am now in a book club, made up of real-life friends, and we meet up about every 6 weeks and discuss the book that, for the most part, all of us finished. When we started, I didn’t know how long we would last, but we’ve been going strong for over a year.

A couple months ago I started a new writing club. There are four of us, and while I’m not sure of everyone’s commitment, there is at least one other person who seems totally into it. So I’m clinging to that connection and hoping that she motivates me to write something every month.

Which brings me to dieting…which also brings me to Lent. I’m no stranger to Lent – I’ve been giving things up (off and on) since I was a kid. At some point I decided that Lent shouldn’t be about using the church to diet, so I started giving up things to make myself a better person. One year I tried to give up saying bad things about people behind their backs. A few years ago I gave up fighting with Drew. Last year I gave up Facebook.

This year I was thinking about giving up judging people, but when I suggested that, Drew shut it down. Remember, I need support in whatever I do. We finally decided to go with giving up most carbs. I figured this year I’ll be a happier person if I can stick to a diet, so I’m still technically improving myself.

I know it’s only been a couple days, but I already feel more committed, more confident, and pretty good about myself. In an “I can do it!” way, and not in an “Ice cream for dinner!” way, which is a refreshing change.

Lake County Record-Bee, 2/19/13

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Filed under Beginnings, Being a girl, Drew, Food, Humor, Nonfiction, Self improvement, Writing

Facebook, right ahead!

First, I’d like to mention that Titanic is out in theatres again and I’m pretty psyched. I kind of really want to go see it. Titanic is an awesome movie, and I only hope that they didn’t ruin it by putting it in 3D.

Seriously. I just googled “Titanic screen shots” to find something appropriate, and every single picture made me think, “Oh, I love that part of the movie!” If you haven’t seen it lately (like, since it came out in the mid-90s) you should definitely check it out now.

In other news, I’ve been thinking a lot about what will happen on Sunday. Sunday is Easter. Easter means a lot of things to me, and I like it a lot. But this year specifically, Easter means my return to Facebook. And I’m no longer sure how I feel about that.

This morning on Sarah and Vinnie, Vinnie said:

“People say ‘That’s not real life.’ But Facebook IS real life. That’s where real life is happening. Every day I see people run to Facebook to post something important about their life. Or not important.”

Very apropos, since I’ve been thinking about how to handle this return to “real life.” I might have to do this in a list format.

On the one hand: I am starting to not miss it. I definitely don’t miss getting irritated by updates from people I don’t like. And I don’t miss having to keep up with everything that everyone posts.

On the other hand: It is a great way to keep in touch with people I don’t regularly speak with. Like far-flung cousins or old family friends. Also, sometimes we use it for work purposes.

On the other hand: I am enjoying the ignorance of not knowing certain things.

On the other hand: I don’t want to be “that guy” who has to tell everyone, “Oh, I don’t have a Facebook.” What’s next? “I don’t have a TV” or “I don’t have a cell phone”? (No, never either of those things.)

On the other hand: What if I have some piece of critical information to share? Drew and I are currently moving into a new apartment. It’s kind of exciting. But how is anyone going to know that without Facebook?

On the other hand: Who needs to know about that? Besides people who will come visit, who will probably ask me for the address beforehand?

On the other hand: Okay, so what if I had some other kind of news to share? And rather than sending mass emails or trying to text everyone, I just want to drop one Facebook post and be done with it?

On the other hand: Would I not be doing that just to get attention? And I certainly don’t want to go back to pandering for likes or comments. Also, isn’t that kind of why I have  a blog?

So, I guess I haven’t really decided anything. Except that I need to figure out when I can go see Titanic.

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Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Friends, Memoir, Self improvement, Technology

Facebook, do you miss me?

Last weekend was about the halfway point during Lent. I meant to do a little introspective on how it’s been going without Facebook. But I got distacted with real life and it’s happening late.

I find that I don’t seriously miss Facebook. Occasionally I want to wander over there to kill some time, but I’ve found other websites to take care of that aspect of it. I am afraid I’m missing friends’ birthdays. But oops. I did totally miss one friend’s birthday party invite, but it was at a bar on a Wednesday night in San Francisco, and chances are I would have taken a raincheck anyway.

I kind of like not having Facebook in my, um, face all the time. I don’t have to read the endless posts about The Hunger Games movie coming out. It’s not like I’m not interested in The Hunger Games, but when I have opinions on something like this, it’s so hard for me to watch other people’s opinions go by without saying anything…lol. I don’t miss seeing the same memes posted over and over again. Or seeing the horrible grammar and spelling on the wall for my high school reunion (yikes).

I have also accidentally sort of fallen off of Twitter. I just love not having the pressure of staying caught up on what everyone is saying all the time. Do I sound old?

The only thing is – I guess I thought I’d be more missed. Looking at it now, I get that people are more likely to comment on something I post, rather than just posting a comment onto my timeline. But I don’t know. I thought that someone would want to talk to me. But it seems that no one really does. [Why do I know this? Because I have to get on Facebook for work sometimes (don’t worry, I don’t go through the news feed, I go straight to facebook.com/theatreworkssv), and so I see the pitiful number of notifications.]

Or if they do want to talk to me, they are emailing or texting or talking to me in person. And isn’t that what this is all about?

So…I guess so far this experiment is successful! Still no word on whether I’ll be back on Facebook on Easter Sunday. We’ll see!

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I will trade social media for books any day of the week.

I gave up Facebook for Lent. I wasn’t going to give up anything, because as usual it snuck up on me, but then my uncle made an offhand comment (a Facebook status, actually), that “I guess none of us gave this up for Lent.” And then I realized that would be a great idea.

My reasoning was that I have friends who I never reach out to anymore, because I rationalize that I know what’s going on in their life, because I just looked at 60 pictures they just posted of their latest vacation. But I’m not really keeping in touch with these people. So I’m going to attempt to communicate with friends and family via other methods – even if it’s just email – over the next 5 1/2 weeks.

In the few weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday, I had been getting tired of Facebook – of always checking it and of never really seeing anything new, but then checking it again anyway. I also feel like my news feed has devolved into people sharing not-funny pictures. Oh, and now I get to see all the weird, embarrassing articles you just read online.

I’m not complaining about Facebook. It is what it is and it’s great for some things. But I think this break comes at a good time.

On the other hand, I know I’m doing something right because I’m kind of dying to get back on there and see what’s going on.

I have been uploading things for work, but not looking at anything else. Which is hard. I have stopped myself half a dozen times from just lazily clicking on someone’s profile, from a comment they made on the work page, just to see what’s up. Oops!

But last night, while I was on a mini-cleaning frenzy, I looked down and realized there was an Amazon box of 4 books on the ground. I remembered ordering it, but couldn’t quite remember what the items were. Then I cast my gaze around…on the pile of books I got at that used bookstore…the other used bookstore…from that Amazon gift card…from that payday that I went to Barnes and Noble…and I realized, if I had 9 boxes of books (a conservative estimate) when we moved in here, I surely have 11 now.

How did that happen? In 2 months? Maybe for Lent, I should have given up buying books. But that’s just crazy talk. I’d sooner give up chocolate again.

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Filed under Being a girl, Books, Nonfiction, Religion