It was Shrove Tuesday yesterday and I spectacularly failed to eat any pancakes despite feeding Caius some for breakfast. I am planning a pancake session later this week though, when the kids are home.
So that makes today the first day of Lent, a 40 day stretch of thoughtfulness and build up to Easter in respect of Christ’s sacrifice in the desert where everyone traditionally fasts after using all the luxuries up in their pancakes. Giving something up is supposed to focus your mind and bring you closer to God and the story of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice as you sacrifice something too.
This year I don’t feel that giving something up would make me anything other than resentful as I’m already on a bit of a healthy eating push and resenting that. Also, I couldn’t think of anything to give up that I consumed regularly enough for it to be a conscious effort every day and so I had an idea – instead of giving something up, I will do something every day instead. Something different that requires enough thought that it is a bit of a challenge.
With this in mind I wrote down a list of the dates between now and Easter and made the discovery that Lent is actually not 40 days long at all, but 46. A quick delve into the internet told me that this is because Sundays don’t count – do you hear me everyone? YOU CAN EAT CHOCOLATE/DRINK WINE ON SUNDAYS IN LENT! You are not allowed to fast on a Sunday by tradition so the 40 days are made up of all the days between Shrove Tuesday and Easter that aren’t Sundays. Awesome.
So, after adapting my list to no longer include Sundays, I was ready to go.
Next to every day, I have written a name of a friend or family member and on each day I am going to do something for that person. It could be anything – write them a letter, send them an email, give them a present, make them something – whatever I come up with. Just something that makes me stop and think about that person and appreciate them – it is very easy to not speak to a friend you don’t live near to for weeks, even months and I’m very guilty of it. I’m hoping that by setting myself this challenge, I will make up for some of the time I haven’t made enough effort in regards to friends and family. We are all guilty of it and, as the last couple of weeks have highlighted, we don’t always have ‘tomorrow’ to remember to make that phone call or send that letter.
I’m going to try and do it now.