Lent: A Week In


 So actually it's a little over a week in and here's where I am right now with my Lenten discipline.  

  • Giving Up:  No chocolate, no liquor.  This seems to be harder this year than in past years.  Maybe it's because I've been drinking more during this pandemic.  Most nights I am really missing that glass of wine.  It doesn't help that twice I've found the cork to a bottle of red wine in my dining room has "popped" out.  Is someone trying to tell me something?  I guess I didn't have it in tight enough?  So I've really pushed it back in and so far so good.  I have to say that I really missed a glass of red with a plate of spaghetti.  But this practice forces me to THINK before I eat or drink, and that's definitely a good thing.  (Something I don't do enough.  Please note that although I have given up two of my favorite things, I have yet to lose a pound.  Sigh.)
  • Giving:
    • I'm not specifically putting together a 40 days/40 items box to donate to our local food pantry.  Instead, every time I go to the grocery store (which is at least once a week), I pick up extra items and then leave them in the bin at the pantry.  I regularly scan the circulars (on line because my mail person no longer seems to deliver them) to find what is on sale.  I'm a big buying up lots of laundry detergent when it is on sale; which is has been for the past two weeks.  Thus far I've but 6 bottles in the bin (that should increase to 9 tomorrow morning) along with other items.  I'm well on my way to the 40 items and figure I will surpass it.  While I try to regularly purchase items for the food pantry, sometimes it's easy to forget.  I'm being very mindful of the 40 items that I need to purchase to fulfill my personal obligation.  Hopefully this will become a habit for me.  There is too much food insecurity in our world.  While I can't feed the world, I can try to make an impact (no matter how small) locally.
    • My plan to express my thanks daily to people who have impacted my life is harder than I imagined.  I've been doing this via email for the most part because I want them to have "something" to hold onto (even if only in cyberspace) to remind them how important they (and their actions are.)  Phone calls can be forgotten and (sadly) I don't have much faith in our postal service.  I did make one phone call to a friend because although he does have an email address (and yes, I know people who do not!), he rarely checks.   I had to leave him a voice mail (which I hope he will keep) to briefly let him know how much his friendship has meant to me.  Later that day he called me back and we had a great talk.  (Although I still feel guilty for not staying more in touch with him.)  The others have been emails which have been difficult and time consuming to write.  In some ways that makes it more important.  I have to focus on the person and what they have meant to me (and why.)  I try to do this early in the day when I am fresh. I also fear that if I don't get to it early, the day will get away from me and I will forget. Something I really do not want to do.  My hope is that these writings will be meaningful to the person; just as they have been meaningful to me.
Lent for me is a challenge.  By doing all of the above, I'm trying to make it a more thoughtful and meaningful time.  We can all use some more meaning in our lives. (Of course, I am human and I'll admit I can't wait for a really good piece of chocolate and a glass of wine on Easter.)  If you are observing Lent, I hope it is a time of reflection for you...and I hope you'll share your "adventures" with me as well!

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