I am more than aware that it is Ash Wednesday. At 12:05, I will attend mass at some random church near my office. It’s even on my Outlook calendar.
While I have planned this aspect for over a week, I have not come to a solid conclusion as to what I should give up this year.
I honestly can’t remember a time when I succeeded 100% in my Lenten resolutions. I think that goes hand in hand with the fact that I often totally and completely lack willpower.
The problem isn’t coming up with something to give up – there are a number of things I could give up. The issue is that I can rationalize not giving any of them up. Does that make me selfish?
Many/most years, my birthday falls during Lent. Spring break fell during Lent every year. St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent this year. I am going on vacation in ten days, clearly during the parameters of Lent.
For that reason, I can’t give up drinking. I mean, I could, but I really don’t want to. This should make me feel a little guilty.
I thought for a moment that I could give up wine, but that seems like kind of a cop-out, if I am still drinking beer, as I drink wine much less frequently.
I thought about giving up Starbucks, but I already had it today and that’s my morning ritual – I’m a little too inflexible to make that change for 40 days – although, I would save roughly $200. Now that’s depressing.
I could still give up coffee/espresso drinks (I had cider this morning at Starbucks), but then I’m out my morning caffeine. I’m not so sure I could live until 10 a.m. without it.
The year before last, I tried to sacrifice Red Bull. Again, my afternoons were spent in a cranky haze.
I suppose my realization is this – I’m being far too self centered and totally missing the point – sacrifice isn’t supposed to be easy. I’m just feeling kind of unwilling to try.
There are plenty of things in this world I should give up; after all, we all have our vices, most which we wouldn’t admit in a church atmosphere anyhow.
So do I take the plunge and give something up that will truly require sacrifice, take it day by day, and just see how I do? Or do I take the cop-out route and choose something that I won’t truly miss?