Today is the start of Lent. Before I fell asleep last night, I thought long and hard about what I will give up for the next 40 days. I still have the day to make my final decisions as today is a day of fasting. It's a good thing too because truth be told...I'm still waffling. I am not very disciplined when it comes to sacrifice. My Mom used to give up candy, cookies, cake, pie, ice cream and peanut butter and I thought she was crazy. Not that I eat those on a daily basis either, but it just seemed so extreme. Maybe I'm onto something here. I did bake brownies and a cheesecake last week. I only had a couple corners of the brownie and a small, indulgent piece of the cheesecake, but I'm like my Dad like that. I'll take a forkfull, and think it doesn't count. And it's so true that once you start eating more sweets, you come to crave them rather quickly. Refined sugar truly is evil. Ok add it to the top of my list.
1) No Sweets.
And don't get me started on the computer. I never quite fell into the Facebook frenzy and even my farm has now lost its allure, but I can log some serious time blogging. Writing here is a good thing, but I can really get bogged down in following blogs, and I don't even usually take the time to comment. I'm going to impose some online limits during Lent as well.
2) Half an hour at night to read blogs.
Because I realize that I often am dialing my phone before I've even backed out of my driveway, I'm gabbing too much when I should be paying attention. I think it is in the best interest of my safety (and the safety of others) as well as my sanity to put my cell phone away when I am driving. I often feel frenzied because I don't have enough quiet time all to myself. I've had some of my best ideas, some of my most relaxing moments when I'm alone in my car. Not to mention the fact that I'm not setting a very good example for my kids who will have cell phones one day...one day very far in the future that is.
3) I'm taking the Oprah challenge and limiting my cell phone usage while driving to emergencies only (so hopefully I won't have to use it at all).
It seems that my standing Lenten promise is always to refrain from cocktail hour on school days. Coming off of the holidays, a glass of wine or two on random nights becomes habit. So sorry Jess, but we're going to have to schedule our "wine nights" for the weekend for awhile because...
4) I'm limmiting my intake of libations to weekends or special events (not that you're not special).
Many a past year I have decided to incorporate something good rather than give up something not so good. That really seems to work better for me because it seems much less like punishment.
1) Unless I am kidnapped or become violently ill, I will be at mass every single week until Easter. During December, I look forward to it every week because the mood during Advent is joyous. During Lent, the mood is more sad and somber so I have to really motivate myself to go.
2) I am going to practice random acts of kindness everyday. Little thoughts, gestures and helping hands to brighten other's days.
Now that it's here in black and bold, I'm going to be held accountable.