So the Lenten season is upon us once again. This means many people are giving up things including food, internet, telly, etc. It also seems to mean that if you do choose to give up one or more of these things, that you can get
called out spoken to rather harshly if you are doing so for good or not so good reasons, or bashed because you are practicing your faith.
I saw many instances of this online yesterday, and then again this morning. I was reading one of my favorite blog’s Theodora’s Losing Weight in the City, where 2 commenters made comments that I personally didn’t care for. It bugged me she was getting judged on her choice. If she wants to give up fries, or I want to give up meat, or someone else wants to give up soda, then they should be able to do so, without it being a federal case.
While I am Catholic (and not a particularly good one as of late, I 10000% admit) I think however you choose to practice the season is fine with me (not that it’s about me of course). I wouldn’t have remembered myself had I not seen all the pancake day ads in the shops here in Glasgow.
Giving up something you enjoy is hard. Not Jesus Christ getting flogged hard, but I don’t think any of us are in danger of having that happen to us. So we have to choose something that is hard for us, and it isn’t for anyone else to say that it is a good or bad choice, or anything.
Let me tell you a story. Picture it Sicily….. oh wait wrong story. 🙂 (I figured humour would be good about now.)
2001 was my first year as a practicing Catholic. ( I went through RCIA as an adult- long story tl:dr) While I was going through the very end of the process during Lent, I gave up chocolate, one of my very favourite things. And it was hard. It’s in cookies, and cake, and snacks, and ice cream. I was in the process of losing a lot of weight at the time, and sometimes, I would treat myself to a very small handful of snowcaps at work, especially if I was having a bad day or I knew I had a long workout ahead. So choosing to give up chocolate was HARD. It sucked and I hated every minute of it. But it gave me an appreciation of what it is like to make sacrifices.
Then, on Holy Thursday, I was on an outing with the committee to pick a new venue for the holiday party (which didn’t happen, as it was 2001), and one of the gifts we were given was a box of chocolate covered strawberries. I think I probably cried when I got home and looked at them, and thought about what to do. I really, really wanted them. But I also really wanted to finish what I started. And if I do say so myself, they were damned good at midnight Easter Sunday morning.
I’ve digressed, I know. Anyways, I wasn’t even going to give up anything this year. I have issues, issues with religion and life and love and death that I really don’t care to share at this point, nor do I want to talk about. Anyone who knows me in real life right now, probably has a very good idea of what I am talking about, but for right now, in this moment, I would rather keep it to myself.
At any rate, I decided to give up meat. I gave up diet soda last year, and didn’t feel like repeating it, given my diet soda consumption has decreased 50000% since getting back to Glasgow b/c I am too lazy to carry it home from the shops. I enjoy a small/bottle every now and again, but not to the extent I was drinking it at home. (Yes, I know all soda is bad for you and whatnot, but it hasn’t killed me yet.)
So I hope all my readers here will respect my decicion. I hope people in general can respect other’s decisions on what to give up/not give up/add in/pray more for Lent. It is a personal choice and we have no idea what is in another’s intentions or heart, or what people plan to do with their extra time.
I can tell you this. All the money I would have spent on eating chicken wraps out at lunch will be going to the 3rd annual David Tennant birthday drive to support Headway Essex.
If you practice, are you giving up something/adding something in for Lent?