Friday, March 7, 2014


As an Episcopalian, I'm used to giving things up for Lent.  Growing up in Milwaukee, which has a large Catholic population, Friday night fish-fry was routine (I'll allergic to seafood, so I always had something else).  And now as a vegetarian, I love how many people are meat-free at least on Fridays during Lent.

As a child, I usually gave up sweets.  I realized pretty early on that it meant I'd score an awesome and insanely sweet Easter basket.  But there also weren't a lot of other "vices" that were options.

As an adult, of course, I have many options.  Things I remember giving up:
snooze bar (that was a major fail, it was before I started running (as a runner who meets friends to run, snooze is never an option now), and unfortunately, I'd hit snooze without being fully conscious of doing it)
social media
TV (that was pre-cable, pre-The Bachelor, and pre-House of Cards)
shopping (other than for food)

And I've also done the addition of things:
reading the Bible
community service
written correspondence
phone calls to far-away friends and family

Things I considered for this year but rejected:
alcohol (wouldn't be much of a sacrifice)
cheese (seemed too hard to figure out work lunches without it)
TV (umm, 3 episodes left of House of Cards, have to finish the Bachelor, then season 2 of the Americans)
my car (doing a running commute on all possible days, worried it would be too many miles too fast)

My husband is best described as Catholic with issues.  Unfortunately, he has been impacted (not as a victim thank goodness) multiple times by the pedophilia scandals:  one of the priests from his childhood, the priest from his son's childhood first communion and confirmation, and the priest from his parents' parish until about 5 yrs ago.  So yeah, he's got mixed feelings about the church and giving money to it. 

Anyway, he drinks far more regularly than I do -- he probably has a glass of wine with dinner 5 days per week? 

I floated an idea of a joint Lenten sacrifice to him, one that would be tough for both of us:  coffee (espresso only for me, espresso and coffee for him). 

His reaction?

"Even Muslims get to drink coffee!" 

Haha.  So no joint sacrifice for us.  He's doing alcohol, I'm doing sweets (which he never eats).  I'm also doing community service (2 hours Sat and 2 hours Sunday this weekend already planned!).  And I'm going to attempt to donate 6-7 items from our house each week.  The idea for that was someone who is doing a bag a day -- either of things to pitch or donate.  I'm too much of a hoarder, so that will never work, but one thing per day?  I should be able to manage that. 


  1. "Catholic with issues" haha, that is funny and tragic all at once. I am a Catholic with issues as well ...

    I LOVE the addition thing, and was really not a fan of the 'give up sweets in order to binge later' thing when we had kids, so we tried more 'positive action' ideas as well.

    I also love your 'rejected ideas' pile - like resolutions, why pick something we have no interest in doing?

    The donate is a great idea - we do a purge every August as we prep for new school shopping, and all four of us hit our closets. Amazing what can go!

  2. I really like the idea of giving away things during Lent. I gave up peanut butter because I have a problem! My son gave up juice which is fine at home because I haven't bought any, but he keeps "forgetting" when he goes to friends' houses. He also reminds me that since he hasn't made his first communion he doesn't really have to give anything up yet. I'm not sure if that is entirely true or he heard it from a friend.