When I was in school we used to have mass in the gym. There were no pews or kneelers…only folding chairs. When it came time to kneel, we’d have to do so on the hard gym floor. Once, a friend and I kneeled on her jacket for a little cushioning. One of the nuns spotted us and said “Do you think Jesus had a jacket to kneel on while he was in the desert for 40 days? Suck it up.” Then she took the jacket away until after mass was over.
While I remember that like it happened yesterday, the message has not stuck with me. Admittedly, I’m a lapsed Catholic, but even before the lapse giving things up for Lent was not high on my list of things I liked to do. I would always say that I’d give up something…like ice cream or chocolate…and then I would sneak it the first chance I got. I remember making an argument to my mother once that frozen yogurt was not technically ice cream and I was not, in fact, sinning by eating it.
So I don’t give anything up. I also don’t get ashes and I eat meat on Fridays and I don’t go to mass. Just a few of the very long list of reasons I’m probably going to hell. The thing is…this year, I’m kind of inspired to do something for Lent.
I’ve been reading other blogs this morning and seeing what everyone is doing for Lent and now I want to do something too. But I’m not going to give anything up. Instead, I’m going to be proactive…I’m going to do some things that will lead to permanent, positive changes.
First…I’m going to exercise. I recently changed my work schedule and I no longer have to be in the office at 7:30. I pushed my start time back to 8:30…all with the thought that I was going to use the extra time in the morning to get more done. Instead, I’ve been using the extra time in the morning to sleep, which is nice, but not very productive. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to get up and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I’m going to do that four days a week and on Friday, I’m going to sleep later.
Second…I’m going to stick to the house cleaning schedule I made six months ago. J and I did a major cleaning a while back and the house was all sparkly and shiny. But I didn’t keep up with it and now it’s kind of messy again. Starting tonight, I’m going to do one or two chores off the list every day and I’m going to keep the house looking nice all the time.
Third…I’m going to drink water. I’m actually pretty good at this during the week. I fill up my water bottle every morning and I suck down 20 ounces of water before lunch. I get in a bit more during the afternoon. But on the weekends, I don’t drink any water at all. My goal is to get up to 64 ounces each day, including weekends, by the end of Lent.
So that’s my Lent plan. Let’s see if I can stick to it for all 40 days!
Oh…and I’m still going to eat meat on Fridays…because I think that’s a dumb rule.
What are you all going to do?