Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Giving up

Yesterday I did something rediculous, something I haven't done since I was about fifteen - I decided to give up something for Lent. I haven't participated in Lent since I was a teen, because every single time I ever tried giving something up I lasted about a week, usually less. Also because by fifteen I was pretty disillusioned by the whole concept of giving something up for something I wasn't sure I believed in...and then I just kinda forgot the whole Lent thing existed.
Not this year. This year I'm doing Lent. Or at lease attempting to. Why? Because, aside from the fact that it's one of the few Christian traditions I honestly am compelled to acknowledge, it's also an excellent way of breaking bad habits - of which I have many. And so, after very little consideration and thought, I decided last night to give up one physical and one non-physical item for Lent.
My physical item is chocolate. Chocolate is the perfect thing for a lot of people to give up for Lent, but espcially for me because my love for it is so extreme. Chocolate sustains me. In a way it has become like a religion to me - when I'm happy I rejoice with it, when I'm sad I turn to in for solace, when I'm unsure I use it as a measure of my uncertainty (one block - mildly confused, two blocks - disheartened and weary, three blocks - serious depression and anxiety). chocolate is too much a part of my life, and too often consumed without thinking and without enjoying - something food should never become.
My non-physical item is excuses. I make far too many excuses on a daily basis - to myself, my family and my friends. Mostly they are little excuses like "sorry I was late, there was traffic", or "I can have chocolate, I'm sad". But little things are the kind that niggle and twinge, and grow ever-slowly into bigger and bigger things. So even the ever-so-little excuse - "I don't feel like swimming today, I have a headache" - become big problems - "I haven't been swimming in two weeks AND I ate way too much chocolate - no wonder I'm packing it on!". And there's nothing stupider than feeling bad about something you could have prevented purely by being a little less willing to make poor excuses for your own laziness.
So that's me for Lent. Now I've just got to figure out how to stick to it. Day one almost over and I'm already having chocolate withdrawels, but so far no excuses that weren't completely valid. Yay me!
Oh, and because I missed FebFast, all dollars normally spent on chocolate will be donated to a worthy charity at the end of Lent - with my chocolate habit they are going to be thanking the Lord all the way to Christmas that I did Lent!

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