This week is the beginning of Lent Season ~ that 40-day stretch in the Christian calendar distinguished by hundreds of thousands of people depriving themselves of chocolate and alcohol in the month leading up to Easter ~ Wednesday begins a time of fasting from sin and vice.
Just as with making a New Year’s Resolution, promising myself to ‘do this’ or ‘not do that.’ Lent poses a problem of logistics for me. Do I avoid making a promise to myself, and to God, that I know I can’t keep. Or join the fray yet again, for it to only end in disappointment, regret and guilt. I have the willpower of a mayfly (FYI – the insect with the shortest lifespan of less than 48 hours ~ ironically the same length of time it takes for me to break resolutions and Lent promises.)
I keep to my pledges, at best, a week ~ then begin making excuses as to why this transgression doesn’t count and that this misdeed is like the other, until I’ve devoured an entire two-pound bag of peanut M&Ms. (It was the peanuts! I was eating the peanuts and the chocolate was collateral damage.)
There were also those years when I tried to be devious and not give up anything tangible, but rather behaviors that were less than stellar. I would promise to give up my sedentary ways and to exercise more (failing this the first day it rained), to not swear at other motorists (that lasted all of 20 minutes), or not buy any more books before reading the small library of novels piled on the floor. (Yeah, did really great with that one too, instead of tangible books I am now amassing an impressive digital library.)
I could simply ignore the impulse to do anything, much like I have broken the cycle of guilt and despair about New Year Resolutions, but the years of childhood religious indoctrination is hard to deny. Reprogramming is an option, as is an intervention, but still I keep going back to the idealized obligation to fast from something, something that can be addictive, during these next 40 days.
I think, at last, I have hit upon a Lenten activity that will be easy for me to complete. I plan to give up things “that do not bring me joy.” Well, in a way. While I’m not going to completely purge my life, I am planning to remove something, or somethings, from my closet each day of Lent. At the end of the 40 days, I’ll donate all those items to someplace like Goodwill or Waterside Mission.
We’ll see how successful I’ll be in this project
“Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” John D. Rockefeller Jr
This week’s word is:
What to do:
Using “give” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back here, and add your story to the Mister Linky list. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.