so i have written about my dislike of “new year, new you” but my love of resolutions (here). and i have done new years resolutions for almost all of my life. those things are sometimes concrete (i.e. work out more, lose 10 pounds, etc.) and sometimes a bit more vague (i.e. communicate better, fear less, etc.) but today begins lent. i was raised catholic although i am certainly not a devout catholic any longer. but the season of lent was always forced upon us as kids, more so than new years resolutions. and we were always told to give something up, because it was a season of repentance and struggle, so in turn we gave up things that we thought were difficult (candy, soda, pizza) but at the end of lent we gorged ourselves on those exact things we had given up. then when i was in high school one of my theology teachers talked about how we could add something to our lives in the spirit of Christ during the lenten season rather than just giving something up. i liked this idea much better because it felt like increasing the good in our lives rather than just “giving up” something materialistic or decadent for a little while, nothing long lasting or a way to increase the positive within the world. as such i have continued this since and it feels so much nicer. so much so that oftentimes the habit i have created within lent continues throughout my life.
so for lent, i am going to be kinder. i’m going to think before i speak more often than not. i’m going to keep my judgments to myself.
see what kinds of things you can commit to for 40 days – i mean come on, it’s 40 days and see what kinds of positive changes you can create.
here are some ideas in case you immediately jump to the extreme or the negative:
– eat a vegetable a day
– smile at strangers
– do a small act of kindness a day
– hug your family
– write down one gratitude acknowledgement a day
– read a real book