So today marks the beginning of Lent.
Obviously, I was raised Catholic.
Being somewhat non-committal on the subject of religion now (I prefer to say that I "make it up as I go") I'm always surprised by the gravity that Lent has for me. By the longevity that it's had in my life. When I was little, it was (duh) because Easter was coming. Easter meant Easter baskets. Easter meant a pretty dress to wear to church. (If I was lucky, there was also a hat.)
These days, though there still are Easter baskets, (that still come from the "Easter Bunny" because my mother rocks) I think I prefer the tradition of the season. (Lord knows it's not the Easter mass that I enjoy... Sorry Lord.) I kind of like the sacrifice. I like the deliberate-ness of taking something small and important out of my life, and every time I turn to do it/eat it/use it out of habit for 40 days, I deliberately think of WHY I am not doing it/eating it/using it.
And why am I giving something up for 40 days and 40 nights? Well, to go into that would be to go into what I personally believe regarding religion and a higher power. And you guys don't want to read that, right? That is not what this blog is here for. Let's face it, you guys want to know what I gave up for Lent.
I don't have any set rules for what I give up each year. I usually just know what it is when I stumble upon it. It has to be difficult enough to be a sacrifice, but it can't be so difficult that I'm miserable for 40 days and 40 nights. In the past (before I had to cut back in order to have the innernetz at my house) I have given up Starbucks. That was difficult enough that I actually did that a couple of years running. Last year I gave up high fructose corn syrup. MAN. That stuff is in EVERYTHING. That was a tough one. When I was in high school I gave up carbonated beverages.
This year, when I solicited suggestions on Facebook, they ranged from the ridiculous (regular Coke - please, people... the goal is not to be miserable) to the non-applicable (American Idol - sorry...I don't partake.) But they led to some considerations. Give up Survivor and my beloved Colby? Somehow I don't think that would be difficult enough. Another friend suggested giving up texting (and blogging) and I was intrigued... until I realized that all that would do is probably raise my phone bill (and, let's be honest, how regular have I been with posting lately??)
As Fat Tuesday wound to a close and I hadn't yet thought of anything to sacrifice for Lent, I started to panic. In the end, instead of just giving in and giving up something reasonable like regular Coke (which would be really tough, but not impossible) I had a complete lapse of sanity and decided to give up the snooze button on my alarm clock. Let me say that again. I gave up the snooze button on my alarm clock. For Lent. For 40 days and 40 nights. No snooze button. I get up when my alarm goes off. Like, I hear my alarm, and then I have to get out of bed.
I can't even blame the boy for this suggestion. I did it all by myself. Madness.
Me. The person who owns several different types of pajamas that all say the same thing, "NOT A MORNING PERSON." Me. The person who my family has learned not to speak to until I've been awake for at least an hour or had Starbucks. Whichever comes first. (My mother gave me a coffee mug for Christmas that says "Crabby." Yep, that about sums it up.) Me. The person who could sleep for 13 hours at a time if you let her. Me. The person who had an organic chemistry lab that lasted until 10:20pm last night and had to be in to work at 7:00am. Me. The person who everyone was afraid to wake from a nap in college (except for one brave soul....) Even today the BOY hates waking me up from a nap. It's not pretty. I do love me some sleep.
The things I'll do in the name of religion....sheesh. I swear. (Wait. No I don't. Swearing is a sin. Oops.)
The first thing this sacrifice did was cause me to re-set my alarm for a reasonable time. No more of this setting-for-5:30am-in-order-to-get-up-at-6:00-or-6:15-stuff. The second thing it did was cause me to practice self restraint when my alarm went off this morning, I couldn't hit snooze, and I had to remember why. The object is not to be bitter when remembering why I'm sacrificing. Yeah. That was a challenge. My entire shower was spent thinking things like, "Not bitter. Doing this for a reason. Deliberately thinking about things that I otherwise might not spend time thinking about. Not bitter. Do not hate the world."
Of course, if my cat hadn't chosen today to poop on my doormat which caused me to realize that no, I hadn't yet gone to the store to replenish my supply of paper towels, I probably would have been a tad more successful.
Anyone else out there give something up? If not, you can still show me some love by giving me your thoughts on how successful I'll be at this undertaking. The boy thinks I'll last a week. He's so supportive.