Are y’all participating in Lent this year? Now, I don’t think that the concept of a Lenten promise is singular to those who go to church. On the contrary, I think that everyone can participate in certain aspects of Lent.
The official idea behind a Lenten promise is to spend 40 days of almsgiving, repentance, and self-denial to grow in your faith and spirituality. Most people are familiar with the self-denial part, as you probably know people who have given up junkfood, sweets, or meat for Lent. In the past I’ve given up coffee, sweets, and carbs (not all at the same time, but all equally disastrous). But this isn’t necessarily a spirtual practice! I think that knowingly eliminating something that unnecessarily takes up your time and money can be a great thing for everyone.
This year, I’m choosing to eliminate alcohol for Lent, with the exception of a wine tasting I have planned with my mom next week.
Aside from the increase in spiritual time, I’m choosing to give up alcohol because I realized how much time, money, and calories I waste going to happy hour with friends or having a few beers with dinner on a Saturday night. I feel that, once Lent is over, I will hopefully be more mindful of that in the future when I go out with friends.
But what everyone forgets is that in addition to giving something up, you can also take something on in your life to improve it in some way. In addition to eliminating alcohol, I am taking on financial responsibility. That’s a pretty umbrella term, but let’s just say that I’m trying to pay closer attention to where my money goes and how much extra I have to put in savings instead of wasting.
So far, I’ve opened up a Money Market savings account and created a budget spread sheet. I’m going for the big time, y’all. I’m going to figure out how much I spend on groceries, entertainment, restaurants, and really get responsible about my savings. I already feel so adult and empowered!
So religion aside, is anyone considering giving up a vice or taking on a challenge? It doesn’t have to be food! I know people giving up mean, judgmental thoughts. And my friend Emilie is taking on writing meaningful letters to special people in her life.