I’ve decided that Lent is kind of like your second chance at a New Years resolution. First off, I’m not a big fan of NY’s resolutions. Of course, I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to “turn this year around” but on the whole, there is so much pressure and expectations put on NY’s resolutions that they inevitably fall by the wayside. I’ve decided that I’m going to use the Lenten kick-off to reinforce all those crippling and emaciated resolutions and give them a second chance at redemption. Sure, I’m not Catholic. HELL! I’m not even religious. But there is something very cyclical about preparing for the start of spring that anyone can appreciate…even ME!
However while most devout Catholics gave up meat or donuts last week, I decided to take a different route. I decided to look deep within myself and use the next 40 days as a way to revitalize my mind, body and spirit in a way that will prepare me for the birth of spring. I’ve decided that the thing I’m going to be giving up for Lent is negative self-indulgence. I know that this concept might be a little bit vague, but for me I know exactly what this means. For the past couple of months now, I’ve felt like I’ve been doing everything in excess. I’ve been living large, partying large, spending large. Basically in all facets of my life I’ve been taking everything to the extreme. I’m so done with it. Now is a time to cut back and strip down everything to the bare essentials. The period of immoderation is over and I’m at a point where I can recognize just how much it is holding me back. I spend way too much money on things I don’t need, I come straight home and do nothing but watch TV, when I go out with Friends its always to the same places. I’m soooo sick of all of it.
For the next 40 days I’ve decided to treat myself the way I would treat anyone else around me. With respect and delicacy. I’ve made a list of all the things I’d like to change in my every day life. All the things that if I could that I feel would make me a new person inside and out. I need to start preparing myself for spring. This has been quite the long and intense winter. I’m ready to step out of the darkness and into the light, but not like this. I need a makeover before I’m ready to greet Spring. And this is going to be a complete makeover. Like Cher from Clueless says, “I need to makeover my soul”.
Some of the things I’ve decided that I’m going to tackle over these 40 days and 40 nights is revitalizing my mind, my spirit, my body and my heart. I’ve decided that I’m going to start reading more. And not just trite fiction, but something that will feed me intellectually. So far I’ve been reading a very interesting biography on Abraham Lincoln. I’ve only just started it – but I’m continually surprised at how little I knew of our most beloved (Sorry John Quincy) President. After I tackle the story of Abe’s life, I think my next book will be about a strong kick ass woman. Maybe Alice Paul or Juliette Gordon Low.
As for my spirit, I’ve decided to start journaling more. I’m not so much of a meditator, but the process of writing out my thoughts, feelings and observations not only helps clear my mind, but it also makes me look wicked smart in a coffee shop. DONE! As for my physical makeover, well…I could write bibles worth of things that I’d like to change. But for the most immediate I’ve decided that I’m going to start cooking more of my meals. I’ve gotten into a horrible habit of buying lunches and dinner way too much. I need to focus more on knowing what I’m eating, and taking the time to prepare all of my meals. Sure – its so easy to fall into the easy and familiar pattern of ordering out, but in the end – I’m poorer and less happy.
One of the other things that I’ve decided to do is to stop the disgusting habit of going straight home and laying in front of the couch for the rest of the night. I hate that I do that, and more than anything – I HATE that I LOVE to do that! Lately I’ve been looking at blogs and websites and figuring out cool and fun things to do in this city after I get off work. Last Thursday my girlfriends and I went out to an art gallery after work and listened to poems and short stories about lust and love. It was amazing and a perfect way to spend a night after work. This week (because its St. Patties Day) we are making a special “Irish” themed night out.
The idea behind all of this is that at the end of these 40 days, I won’t be a complete slob. This is my 40 day sprint. To focus purely on myself for this Lenten season and work on all the things I can possibly do to make myself better. At the end of this, I’ll look back and reflect on what worked, what didn’t, what changes I can make, what I can start to fit into my normal schedule and what is just a complete waste of time (although I can’t really think that any of this wouldn’t make the cut). I’m really only one week into this “makeover”, but I have to say that so far I feel great! I really and truly do. I feel like for the first time in a super long time, I’m actually in control of my life and not just feeling like I’m trapped on a runaway train. I’m so excited to see what changes there will be at the end of this ride!