Monday, February 11, 2013

You Might Be Happy, But Are You Baby In A Kitchen Sink Happy?

I sat down last night to think about what I wanted to give up for Lent.

Before anyone accuses me of bragging, I should clarify that I find making my selections public helps my friends hold me accountable and isn't my way of saying look how totally awesome and self-righteous I am.

This year instead of simply abstaining, I want to add new challenges and goals to my daily life.

I've never had a problem giving things up—sweets, alcohol, coffee—because once I draw a hard line, I don't cross it. I'm like a Lent robot.

But how meaningful is that?

I'm the kind of person who eats kale and drinks Dr. Braggs because I could care less how bad things taste if I know it'll make me healthier. Being uncomfortable has never really bothered me, so I have a problem reflecting during Lent and connecting abstinence with any greater sense of purpose or intention. I know how blessed I am—I don't need to sleep without a pillow or stop drinking lattes to get that.

And let's be honest, ladies, Lent conveniently occurs just before bikini season. We know why you're giving up carbs and chocolate. The jig is up.

So this year I'm not going to do the traditional caricature of Lent. This year I'm going to be a better steward of my resources, a better listener, more kind and generous to my friends (and strangers).

This means I can't just buy everything I want (so many pretty things!), I won't roll my eyes at people who wait until they're standing in the turnstile to pull out their smarttrips to leave metro, and I won't look at my phone or scroll through emails while I'm spending time with friends.

How are you recognizing Lent?