Well for the first time in my life (I think), I’ve decided to give something up for Lent this year. And it’s alcohol.
Now I didn’t choose to give this up because it’s an issue in my life, which really seems to go against the point of giving up something for lent (if something is an issue in my life, I should give it up anyway). I chose alcohol because it is truly a luxury in my life, and something that I have often enough, that it is still a sacrifice (as opposed to my usual “giving up killing hookers”). I’m hoping that it’s something that I’ll be reminded of enough, and have a craving for enough, that I will be reminded of why I’m sacrificing it, because I want and need to focus on God more.
However, I’m also realizing that I know next to nothing about Lent. And since I don’t see Gayle on a regular basis anymore (that’s for Centrepointe folks), I feel like I should probably take this time to really learn about the traditions of Lent. So I plan on doing that as well (Wikipedia here I come).
I do fear that this might be more difficult than I initially thought, and when I had a really stressful work day a few days ago, I was reminded about just how much I love alcohol. And since I’m not smoking anymore either, I have no more vices to lean on when times get tough. I’m hoping to maybe develop healthy vices when getting stressed out, like running, playing music, praying, or being nice to people (is that a vice?). In other words, here’s hoping that “chocolate chip cookies” doesn’t become my new vice.
So wish me luck, and if you’d like to have a drink with me, please wait until Easter, and then we’re getting plastered!
(Sidenote: I just want to point out that I have one sentence where I make a “killing hookers” joke, followed immediately by a serious sentence about spirituality. What other web site offers that, I mean honestly.)
14 thoughts on “Giving Up”
I do wish you the best, and I admire your commitment to the task. I know it would be hard for me (giving up smoking took LOTS of tries until I finally succeeded). I did recently join the health club, and for me working out really does burn up wayward energy (which, when not addressed in a healthy fashion, results in food and other cravings).
Now if I could just get to sleep when I want to/need to. Oh well, one thing at a time.
Good luck, buddy.
You don’t go to sleep when you need to? You go to bed at like 9pm, do you need to go to bed earlier?
The title of your post made me thing something way more ominous was going to be written, although giving up good old American beer could be followed by a theatrical DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN!
You don’t need Wikipedia to tell you about Lent. For Lent’s real true personal meaning, you just need to look in your gut. We’ll call this “Belly Button Lent”. BBLent is to remind us that we have things that other people don’t have, and that to deprive ourselves of those things is to know our fellow (but less fortunate) brothers and sisters. If I give up chocolate, I know what it’s like to not have the money for a luxury like sweets. If I give up swearing, I know what it’s like to have grown up Mormon. If I give up beer and wine, again Mormon, or even Muslim maybe. If I give up the right thing, I’ll know what it’s like to not have healthcare coverage or to have a minimum wage job. Belly Button Lent will give me insight into everything that I’m scared of and teach me to be even more thankful for the things I have, and it will teach me to fight and claw and take every advantage possible to ensure that people don’t give up things over BBLent to know what it’s like to be me.
Thank you BBLent, and thank god I only have to live like the poorest huddled masses of our society once a year for 15 days or however long my gut tells me you last.
By the way this year I’m giving up cable television while the writing strike is still going. I’ll know what it’s like to be Amish!
Ha indeed you will. And thank you so much for the intense education. I had no idea that inspiration was so close to my gut.
As your “Catholic Friend” I can help you with Lent traditions. We’re ALL about Lent. Priests wear purple (the official color of Lent) and it’s actually a very “dying time” which is ironic to me because it always comes near or during spring.
It’s the end of the liturgical calendar. Catholics Fast Wed for Ash Wednesday and on Fridays. We don’t eat meat those days either – but fish is okay.
Interestingly enough, it would be technically okay for you to have the thing you’ve given up on Sundays during Lent. Because It’s the Holy Day (and calender day Jesus rose) so each Sunday (including during Lent) is seen as a day of jubilation or mini-Easter. However, I don’t recommend just saving it all for Sunday. You’ll crave it a lot more during the week. It’s best to give it up altogether, but if you slip up on a Sunday, you’re okay.
What else? Do charity during this time. Our church always takes up special collections, does clothing drives and volunteers down at the soup kitchens and such.
If you haven’t found a church you like in Chicago yet, this is a good time to start the search. Lent is a time of prayer, reading the bible and reflection. It celebrates the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. So… the most important thing is focusing on the passion, the time leading up to, and the gift at the end.
THIS IS MY FAVE TIME OF YEAR! I LOVE Lent.
so… alcohol huh? i have to say that i give you a lot of credit for giving that up for Lent. it’s truly is hard work giving up something that you often enjoy as an outlet for comfort, stress, and truly celebration if needed. this is quite random but not having had cheese in over three months is quite tough… well dairy products in general. you will crave it and want it so badly that you will find yourself on the way to the store only to realize that you could not bare to break your word. been there done that. cravings pass.. push through.. that’s all… oh and what about coffee?? is that not a vice of yours at all??
Ohhh, good call, coffee is a wonderful wonderful vice that I’m not giving up anytime soon.
Actually, I don’t really even think of it as a vice anymore, it’s like saying my bloodstream is a vice. It’s just part of my survival
Good for you. That would be a good one for me to try, too.
[Obvious joke alert.]
Maybe we can go out for a beer to discuss it. Buh-zing!
But seriously, we’ll be praying for you during this. I really respect what you’re doing.
Last year I gave up coffee, and then never picked it back up. This year I am so stressed out by my hard semester, I don’t dare deprive myself of anything that de-stresses me. Not even reality tv. I feel a little bad, but not bad enough to do anything about it.
I’m giving up snow . . . er, wait, oh that’s not in my control? Dang it, because I’m really sick of it.
I know what Lansing has given up for Lent. Salting the roads and fixing potholes. That’s above and beyond just giving up a luxury, and believe me, people in their cars are noticing.
CONGRATS I know you’ll make it. If you need inspiration think of me-I haven’t been allowed alcohol in over 2 years due to the chains of motherhood, AHHHH! I’ve given up sleep oh wait that’s not my decision that was taken away from me as well. I guess I’m just hoping to survive the next 40 days trapped indoors with a newborn and a toddler, HELP!
ok that part about killing hookers made me laugh so loud at work! haha!! 🙂 Sorry just had to comment on that 🙂