Wednesday marks Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I’m a Catholic (can I get a wootwoot?) and in the tradition of my mother and grandmother (and probably even further back in our lineage), we give up things for Lent.
It’s all about making a personal sacrifice while reflecting on Jesus’ sacrifice for us. So six weeks without ____ or six weeks of a little extra ______. In true Catholic spirit, we generally take Sundays off as well as St. Patty’s and sometime Valentines. Because they are both saints.
As a child, my mom led us in the annual denial of chocolate or candy. That was usually what she gave up, so it made sense for all of us to do the same instead of picking something else and getting denied two things.
I’ve also given up soda, desserts and snacking between meals in respective Lents of the past. This practice isn’t the most fun, but it feel pretty insignificant in the bigger picture of Lenten reflection. I always try to make a more conscious effort to say real prayers and not just speed through a quick Hail Mary leading up to Easter.
This year, I want to do something that feels a little less like a diet. My friend Shannon posted this list of weird ideas from the Life Teen website on Emily’s wall. I’m not sure exactly how some of these translate to closeness with Jesus (Don’t use utensils?), but I give them props for creativity.
I was thinking about my list of new years resolutions and that I need to actually start, you know, working on them. This year for Lent I’m going to not shop.
One of my resolutions is to simplify my life. I have so much stuff. My closet is full. But I love a good deal. I’m going to learn to say no to me. I want to get better at appreciating the things I own and not constantly buying, pinning and drooling over the things that aren’t going to actually make me happier.
Aside from food, soap and gasoline, I’m not going to buy me things. Even if it’s a good deal. Even if it’s really cute. Luckily, I do not have an online shopping problem, which I think is the plague of my generation.
Shopping isn’t a problem in my life. I’m not in debt, but having a lot of stuff is not necessary. I want to get better at recognizing wants and needs. Also, I will have to move this summer, that’s never pretty.
This will also let me put away a few more pennies towards some exciting trips I have planned for this spring. I don’t make a lot of big purchases, but the little stuff adds up. Right now, I think I’m still ok to buy gifts or little things here and there for other people.
Oh yeah, I’m not going to shop on Sundays either.