Tag Archives: sacrifice

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