25 February 2009

Lent: Self-Improvement for the Attention Deficient

Loads of people - like me - avoid making New Years resolutions because we know in our hearts the resolution only lasts, at the outside, until St. Valentine's Day.

Yet every year, at the crack of dawn on New Years Day, millions of otherwise-sane individuals make grand promises to themselves to quitsmokingandloseweightandquitdrinkingsodamnmuchand
spendmoretimewiththekidsanddocharityworkandandand.

Which is utter nonsense. Nobody can wake up one morning and completely overhaul their lives AND, more ridiculously, expect it to stick. Unless, of course, they are all married to life coaches.

In which case there is NO way they can quit drinking.

Enter Lent.

Forty days of self-improvement and character-building sacrifice. Forty days. And at the end you are rewarded with chocolate eggs and a ham dinner. Forty days. You could stand on your head for forty days if you had to.

Last year for Lent I stopped engaging in idle gossip. That was much more difficult than you'd think. I don't initiate talk about other people - unless they've pissed me off and I need to vent - but think about all the time you spend listening to, and unconsciously engaging in, talk about other people.

Now, a year later (give or take a full moon after an equinox, or whatever), I am still very conscious of gossip and do make an effort to avoid it. I am not going to leave the table at a dinner party to get away from it, but I really try to hold my tongue.

So this year I am going a step further in the self-development department: I am not participating in gossip and I am giving up Facebook - in favor of books. How's that for self improvement? My book reading is way, way down and I can directly link the decline to the amount of time I spend online in the evening. But not for the next 40 days.

Additionally :: deep breath :: as a means of sacrifice I am giving up wine.

Did you just say "Big deal." ?? Big deal?! BIG DEAL?!! Yes, as a matter of fact, it is a very big deal. Hub and I enjoy a glass or two every evening with dinner. I love wine and I am fairly certain it loves me. It's complicated....

I am taking the wine money and doing something good with it. Not giving it to Christian charity, they get enough between offerings and Catholic Charities...although Cc would be the obvious choice considering the impetus...but, naaahhh...So, in this case, one case of wine's worth of loot goes to the local no-kill shelter.

So is this unrealistic? Yeah, probably, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway.

It's going to be a long, crabby forty days but hopefully I'll come out on the other side a bit better person than I am now - and full of chocolate eggs.

(Who besides Fab Boy gets the pretzel reference, eh?)

5 comments:

alejna said...

I'm afraid the pretzel is lost on me. (That makes me want to go rifling through my clothes to find a pretzel...)

Good luck with the Lent business. Will you share with us here what you are reading?

Melissa said...

I think I get the pretzel reference. The whole folded hands in prayer thing? If not that, then no.

Facebook AND wine? At least you didn't give up whine. That would be really hard. Me, I'm just going to try and keep my house clean. Bwahhahahah!

Country Girl said...

Kids in Catholic school...I know all SORTS of things I forget on a regular basis. You ought to see the black smudge on TNNK's forehead! They actually MAKE pretzels for Good Friday.

Tom said...

When you set pretzels in reference to Lent, the only thing I can think is Bent.
There is one Christian charity that I know you have donated to, and it is greatly appreciated. Oh, and since you won't be online anymore, Happy Feb. 27!

Kylie w Warszawie said...

I LOVE THIS POST! The most AWESOME definition of Lent EV-ER!