I am doing lent this year. I either make a conscious decision to do it or not do it. During my childhood years, I remember going to mass and giving up sweets. I’m not sure if I became more spiritual or connected to God but I know I may have become healthier as we had to walk to mass every morning and I definitely was more connected to the stash of sweets growing in the back of my wardrobe. I also lost sleep and serious energy protecting them from my thieving siblings who had their own stash hidden somewhere. Before the sun had hardly time to settle in the sky, we would rise up on Easter Sunday morning and rummage in our hiding places look at the lovely sweet we were forbidden to eat until mass was over. Oh! The pain of it all!
Now, in adulthood, if I do lent or not, it depends what is going on in my life. Some years I do. Some years I tried and failed miserably, and some years I don’t. That was usually at times when I felt there was enough sacrifice in my life and it would be fitting me better to take care of myself and my family without feeling guilty or fretting just because I had meat on my plate or a glass of wine to my dinner. This year, however, I am more up for it and I am doing lent to take care of me in a different way.
While reading an article about lent I found out that the word Lent literally means springtime which is a time of new growth and renewal. Lent is a time of opportunity to renew our faith, a time to focus on God and his Son’s sacrifice. If I’m being totally honest I am using this time to focus on break some bad habits that developed over the winter season. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. During Lent we are encouraged to break bad habits and/or form better habits as we decide to give up something in our life which is not healthy (spiritually, mentally or physically). This then enables us to connect more and reflect and prepare for Easter day. I am hoping my preparation and reflection will stretch through the whole year.
I sort of delayed my New Year’s resolutions to now. Once the darkness starts to lift and the birds start to twitter a little bit earlier I think I start to come out of hibernation and want to do things. Lent, for me is a better time, in my humble opinion, to make promises so my focus is more on forming good habits and getting back on track for the rest of the year.
Unlike my childhood ways, I have nothing stashed at the back of the wardrobe for Easter day. Mind you, sweet treats are not my down fall but hand me a box of Pringles and I will not know when to stop when I pop. And I am fooling myself if I don’t think I’ll pop after Easter but by that time hopefully I will be in such a good routine that I will not want to pop! I think my biggest trial will be Easter so I am preparing myself that a good healthy regime is not just for Easter but for the whole year, I hope whatever you are doing, breaking a bad habit, forming a good one will serve you well during Lent and beyond.