Giving Up Things For Lent

I've never been really good at giving up things for Lent.

Oh, I was better at it when I was young. Easter Sunday was always a testament to my fortitude and stick with-it-ness.

Now that I'm older, giving up things for Lent just leads me to a dismal sense of failure. My good intentions evaporate after only a few hours of resolve.

But last year, I had an epiphany.

I came to the realization that my whole life was about giving stuff up. I routinely gave up cake, ice cream and candy. I gave up over spending and using my credit card. I gave up impulse buying, eating saturated fat, staying up late, high heeled shoes and jumbo lattes with extra cream.

So I asked myself what there was left to give up for lent. The only thing left, I surmised, was to don sack cloth and rummage around with a begging bowl.

Then came the epiphany.

Instead of giving up something for Lent, I would DO something for Lent.

What a freeing moment that was.

Each day, I did a little something - not much, just a little something more than I typically did.
I walked the dog five minutes longer.
Picked up the cat when she wrapped herself around my legs and gave her a nuzzle.
I vacuumed my husband's car, weeded a flower bed I had been avoiding, sorted my old books and took a bag to the library re-sale shop. I even called an elderly aunt who was difficult to talk to.

By Lent's end, I felt re-born.


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