I grew up around a lot of Catholics. My dad's family is all Catholic, Aaron and I were baptised in the Catholic church, and we grew up in Esparto, which has a large Mexican community and lean towards the Catholic faith. I have many memories of the ash on the foreheads of my friends and their parents. And many memories of talk of what people were giving up for Lent.
I've always been intrigued. Not really because I wanted to give anything up. And not really because I was jealous of the tradition. Just curious. As I've gotten older, an adult, I've learned of a lot of friends who have practiced the tradition of restraint and restriction for their faith. But I've also found that there are a group of people out there who "practice" Lent to better themselves, with no religious reasons at all.
A couple of bloggers I read have been talking about their goals for Lent and it got me thinking. Could I participate this year? There are definitely things I could work on, use forty days to practice, and make positive changes in my life. And even though the religion I was raised in doesn't observe Lent, I respect and appreciate the idea of giving up something to bring you closer to your faith and beliefs. And while the goal I have chosen will not make the world a better place for anyone (except maybe me), I like the idea of reminding myself that I am a strong person, able to take on these little goals and be successful, which will/can translate to encouraging me to take on bigger roles and goals that will affect and make better the world I live in.
OK...I'm giving up desserts. I mean the desserts we all know and love. Candy. Cake. Ice cream. For the next forty days, desserts/sweets to me will include apples, pears and dates. I will sweeten my life with the goodness that nature provides me. And I'll be honest...it won't hurt the weight loss goals that have nothing to do with Lent! :)
Cheers, Katie :)