Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ash wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. I didn't know until one of my students showed up with ash on his forehead. (He had forgotten and was confused by what I was saying to him until he remembered that it was on his forehead.)

A few years ago I had a coworker who gave up retail shopping for Lent. She wasn't even Catholic. So I decided to jump on board and give up junk food for Lent. I succeeded, too. For 40 days I didn't eat sweets or junk food (candy, chips, fast food, etc). In fact, it was so successful that as a result I had more energy, started eating healthier in general, exercised more, and eventually lost 20 pounds. No joke. I was hot that year. You should have seen my butt.

By the time Easter rolled around and I let myself have some candy, eating a small handful felt like I had eaten an entire bag of chocolate. I have obviously re-built my candy tolerance since then...

Anyway, that same year I was talking to one of our medical students about Lent. She mentioned that she was always taught growing up to focus on doing something good during Lent instead of just giving something up. For example, instead of just giving up TV for Lent, you make sure you do good deeds during the time you would have watched TV.

So this year during Lent I will try to do something nice for someone every day. It can be as simple as letting someone in during traffic or as complicated as... um... something complicated. (I can't think of anything. It's late and I just got home from teaching. Give me a break.)

Do you make any changes to your life during Lent?

4 comments:

Kerri said...

hey molly :) this was totally on my mind this week as a neighbor and I were talking about it. Lent truly fascinates me, and I love this tradition. 40 days of fasting -- giving up something that our natural desires call to, but giving it up create us for something better. I'm going to do something too, but haven't thought of it yet. And you'll probably see it on my blog, once I get around to it.

as a thought: your goal will be most successful if you make it more specific, and perhaps if you have an accountability to make sure you do something great. It would be easy to forget, then to recount your day and see what kind things you did and then "count" that. How much more effective it will be to intentionally do these things in the name of Lent. You know?

Braden and Cheri said...

I love this. Thanks for the reminder. I wish I could maintain better self control and give up sweets. I know life would be SO much better without them.

Ashley C. said...

"I was hot that year. You should have seen my butt."

-True Carter

Emma and Dan said...

So, I'm a little behind on blog reading (as always), and I don't know if you'll even see this comment, but just in case:
I like to give up something for Lent each year. This year I am giving up all gossip websites. I am incidentally spending more time on wsj.com and facebook. However, after reading this post, I think that I should commit that extra people.com time to cleaning. There is always cleaning to do and it makes us all happy to have a clean house. :)