Wednesday, February 6, 2008

40 Days and 40 Nights

What better way is there to start off the 1st of 40 days of Lent than to attend Ash Wednesday service? There is none, right? Right. But I am extremely disappointed in myself for not going to church today. I thought I would list my reasonings, but please don't judge me :).
  1. I wasn't able to attend the morning service due to an early morning meeting at work.
  2. I had all intentions of going at 5:30pm, but was starving.
  3. The 7:30pm mass is still an option, but (a) I don't want to go by myself, (b) I am very tired and comfy on my couch, and (c) My Tarheels play Duke at 8pm.
Pathetic excuses, I know.

Growing up, I was always under the impression that we always had to "give something up" during Lent. When I got older and teased my Mom about not giving something up, she would reply with "it's not always about giving something up ... it's about being a better person." She always says she is "trying to be more patient"... which is funny because I view her as the most patient person in my family. I can almost bet my Dad is giving up chocolate, but somehow there are always "buts" and "ifs" in there..... "if it is candy coated, it is okay".

In the past I have usually given up chocolate or soda. But since I really don't drink soda anymore and I find that chocolate is a necessity in keeping my sanity with my work conditions, I feel like that is just not an option. It's just safer, not only for me, but my co-workers and students if I don't give it up. The same goes for coffee. Not happening.

I then began to think about what my Mom always says and was brainstorming ideas of how I could be a better person ... greet everyone (not just the ones I really like and not for the only purpose of driving crabby people bonkers) with a warm smile and a postive attitude, possibly throwing in there a "good morning, afternoon and if I don't see you again, good evening" type of comment; have more patience with my co-workers and students (which I am usually quite a patient person at work); etc. I really couldn't think of anything that would be justifiable for Lent.

So I was back to thinking about what I could give up. What is it that I really could and should do away with for 40 days and 40 nights? Then, boom! Like a bolt of lightning, it just hit me square in the face. Alcohol. Yep, folks, you read it correctly! ALC-O-HOL! None. Nada. Nilch. For 40 days and 40 nights. I had been telling my friends that I am going to cut it out soon, to aid in my half marathon training and they just laughed. But, Lent couldn't have come at a better time, or I couldn't have chosen a better time to train for a half marry. It's going to be hard, but I am okay with that. If I survive, maybe I will wear a shirt that looks something like this ....

Happy Hump Day!

15 comments:

Badgergirl said...

Giving up alcohol. That's a good option! I still need to figure out something to give up. I better start thinking hard...

jkrunning said...

Your good. I couldn't do it. Me are margaritas are an item.

akshaye said...

um.. i was the watching the same basketball game and drinking a beer as I read this!

Good for you.. I'd any day give up alcohol over coffee.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Being a mom, I totally get your mom working on patience rather than giving something up. (not that you were a trying child or anything!) It's a constant battle, and when you fail, you feel so bad.

Good luck with Lent. I've been away for awhile...

miss petite america said...

i remember in college, everyone tried giving up alcohol. sounds like you're more dedicated than they were though :)

i never go the "give something up" route. to me, it's the gimmicky part of catholicism. i think your mom has it right when she says the 40 days are to focus on being a better person.

plus i've always liked that part of scripture that says when you're fasting you shouldn't put on the appearance that you are fasting, but instead groom yourself well and put a smile on your face. something along those lines. where's the virtue and penance of fasting if you're broadcasting your "sacrifice"?

sorry that was a lot of catholic talk...those are just my opinions and of course people can observe however they see fit.

Wes said...

Welcome aboard :-) I think that's fantastic!!

Molly said...

I am still on the chocolate band wagon! I have decided that this year I am going to add giving up my (beloved) Coke Zero.

I also had thoughts about "adding" something and decided that let would be my time to truly reconnect with workingout and what it does for me and how it make me feel!

Good Luck and Take Care!

Allez said...

Thank goodness I'm not catholic!

Lance Notstrong said...

I will be giving up casinos and strippers.

Jess said...

That's madness! I don't want to hear it.

Danielle said...

Alcohol is a good one to give up...Have you seen the movie 40 days and 40 nights...I've thought about that one before (but then i remember I'm a good Catholic girl and already don't do that!! :) One thing though, you do realize that it's actually 46 days though right? If you've ever heard that "Sunday's don't cout" rule some people use to justify a "cheat day" that's the reason. I think doing something to make yourself a better person though is good to. I'd like to give up about 7 pounds...does that count??

J~Mom said...

You did not....LOL you can do it!!

RunnerGirl said...

I'd much rather give up alcohol than chocolate myself, although I actually prefer the third option of not giving up either! Good luck.

Ms. Math said...

Good luck with Lent - you'll do great!

Steve Stenzel said...

I forgot about Ash Wednesday. I had meat. Dang it. I'll be better tomorrow (Friday).