What shall I give up for Lent this year – and also what should I start doing during Lent? The rule in our house has always been give something up – take something up. I’ve done this many times over the years – and not always with great success.
Just a few of my Lenten promises (and failures)
- Gave up swearing – Took up going to daily Mass. I succeeded going to daily Mass – but failed miserably at not swearing. That went out the window the first time I stubbed my toe on an end table. I kept trying, but God kept putting end tables in my way and the swear words just kept streaming out of my mouth.
- Gave up saying a specific swear word (you know the one that starts with F – I know, not very lady-like, genteel or nice – but so appropriate under certain circumstances) – Took up saying the Rosary daily. Failed at both of these – First F-bomb was dropped when I cut my hand with a knife and I kept falling asleep when I would say the Rosary. I’m hoping I get a little credit for at least falling asleep with the Rosary in my wounded hand trying to say my prayers.
- Gave up potato chips – Took up exercising daily for at least 15 minutes. Yes – I gave up on the swearing prohibition – apparently, I’m genetically engineered to spout foul language at the drop of a hat (or a stubbing of a toe or slashing of a hand or any other inconvenience in my life). Succeeded at the potato chips, failed miserably at the daily exercising (unless you count housework, laundry and breathing).
I have known people who have given up soda – which I know without even trying would have the same success rate as not swearing. Chocolate – same thing. I know it is supposed to be a sacrifice – and it’s all about striving to be a better person – but I’m not sure a cranky, decaffeinated, foul-mouthed sloth is what God had in mind.
So, what is the plan this year? Well, I’ve given serious thought to giving up desserts and taking up exercising more (like the way that is very noncommittal to amount of exercise?). I’m pretty sure I can already see how this one is going to end. I could make it really easy – give up exercise and take up eating more sweets – I know I would be successful – but I would also gain at least 40 pounds by the end of Lent!
I have a long list of things that would make me a better person – things I could Give Up and things I could Take Up. I know I should concentrate on those things that make my family a little crazy – which means giving up blogging, talking or oversharing – talk about taking all of the joy out of life! No – there has to be another thing which is an irritant to my loved ones and wouldn’t suck the life out of me if I gave it up!
Hmmm….. Think…. Think…. Think…..