The talk around the water stop today has been about Lent. “What are you giving up for lent?”
Since I’m not Catholic, I’ve never really paid a lot of attention to the time of Lent. But, I think I have found a place in my beliefs and in my faith for some aspects of this practice.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial…
One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed is how often food is used as the source of self-denial. I’ve heard the usual tales of giving up fat, chocolate, beenie weenies, and wine. One person is giving up red cabbage. I secretly think they REALLY aren’t that fond of it, so it’s easy to let that one go.
Many people use this time to get back on the wagon they started rolling around the start of the New Year. Some choose to use this time to stop a bad habit such as smoking, biting nails, obsessively organizing sock drawers, or color coding post-its.
So what about me? What do I want to give up for Lent? I’m going to go in two different directions and see how this all works out.
The two time wasters—TV and Net
The few TV shows I like add up to 6 hours a week. That’s it. But that darn TV is on all the time. I’m so used to the background noise that I turn it on when I’m cleaning, on the computer (work and non-work related), or just about anything I’m doing. It’s ALWAYS on. And lately, I have found myself getting distracted by crazy stuff.
And the good ol’ net. I really need to set a timer for my beloved Dell. Spring is here, I need to be out running, taking pictures, playing with bugs, focusing my mind on the important things, anything but chained to my laptop.
The huge mind trap—negativity towards myself
I’ve made some good strides in this direction. I know now there is a direct connection between fueling my body and my mental perspective. Basically, when I don’t take care of my body, it affects my mind which starts that vicious cycle of feeding emotions. But I still struggle with negative thoughts when things happen that are out of my control.
Last week, I had some some problems with dehydration which then caused me to BLOW UP and hold in every ounce of water I was trying to replenish. The scale showed it. For the whole week, I told myself things I wouldn’t tell a stray dog. Even though I went to the gym each morning and ran most nights, I hated seeing all this Michelin Man puffyness going on and I completely trashed myself. Why do I do that??
This week, a lovely sinus infection has me scrambling for probiotics to counter-act the antibiotics that I’m taking…again. The scale is not going to be happy this week either. But I SHOULD BE happy because I’m alive to tell about it and I’m overall in a much healthier place than I was a year ago.
There are some things I won’t give up. They are important even if trivial.
- a hot bath—double duty: sore muscles and me time
- Kindle—I must read stuff that is not school related. Otherwise, school burnout is a speeding train and I’m tied to the track.
- SLEEP—it keeps me young and my glucose levels low. Nights when I don’t sleep well, my morning number is high. I had no idea how important good sleep was until the past few weeks when I’ve gotten 6-8 hours most nights. I feel like a new person.
Here’s to the next 40 days of finding better ways to spend my time and focusing on other important things. Happy Lent!