Posts Tagged ‘sacrifice’

This may be the first Lenten season I can remember that I’m not actively giving something up.

I thought about it. I reflected on past years, giving up swearing, M&Ms, diet coke, and alcohol – all of which were both challenging and rewarding.

I thought about giving up something food-related again…and then realized that we’ll be in Nepal in two weeks, where I won’t be eating any of my regular foods anyway.

I considered giving up TV or social media…but again, it would really just be for the two weeks before we leave. We won’t be watching TV or obsessively scanning Facebook in Nepal.

I toyed with giving up other things, but kept coming back to the same conclusion: it would really only be my choice for two weeks, and then it would become a necessity for my current living situation.

So this year, I’m giving up giving up.

This year, I’ll spend two weeks reflecting on the Lenten season while in my comfort zone, and the final four weeks will be spent halfway around the world.

I can only imagine that the time in Nepal will teach me more about the true meaning of the season than a lack of diet coke or alcohol ever did. And maybe it will be the start of a new tradition.

Maybe instead of giving up, I’ll just start giving.

And this year will be the first step.

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Last week, with Lent just around the corner (today), BNF and I were discussing last year’s sacrifice: Diet Coke.

You’re not going to do that again, right?” he asked me. Absolutely not. It was a literal headache for me, and I’m sure I wasn’t too pleasant for him to deal with.

But that still left the Lent options wide open for this year.

What about cheese?” I suggested.

Why are you punishing yourself?!”

The point is fair. I do love cheese. But I also haven’t been eating a whole lot of it while on Weight Watchers, so it seems silly to deliberately give it up.

And then…”How about alcohol?”

BNF suggested it, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t think that I’d take him seriously.

I wasn’t sure about it either at first.

My first thought was whether or not I actually still drink enough for it to be considered a sacrifice. Let’s be honest, I may be 26, but I don’t go out like a 26-year-old. Frankly, I rarely go out at all.

And then one recent happy hour with friends happened and I realized that just because I don’t go out often, doesn’t mean I don’t go out (too) hard. And that this particular Lenten sacrifice is probably long overdue.

Side note: Not true. I did briefly consider the fact that Lent falls over St. Patrick’s Day, I just decided that it’s one holiday I’m willing to miss out on.

I half-assed it once in college. I gave up beer for the 40 days, but ended up playing beirut (and other drinking games) with jungle juice. That didn’t turn out well for anyone.

So this year, I’m all in. No alcohol until Easter (April 8th).

I’ll still go out (as often as I do now), but I suspect that my tab will be lower and my memories less hazy for the next month and a half.

And that? Not such a bad tradeoff.

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…of Lent, that is.

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, and I’ll begin once more the time-honored tradition of giving something up. I know that there’s a general feeling of, “well, giving up a particular food, etc. isn’t going to make me a better person,” and I get that. But one of the main points of Lent, as I understand it, is sacrifice. And what counts as a sacrifice to you, or what will make an impact on you, is a personal decision.

That said, I’ve decided this year to give up something new. It may not sound like much, but it’s kind of a big deal to me.

Last year I wrote:

While talking to my mom about it yesterday, I mentioned trying to give up Diet Coke and she immediately looked worried. “But, won’t you get a headache without your caffeine in the morning? What will you have instead?” And it’s true. I don’t like coffee; I get bored with tea. Diet Coke is what gets me going. (In fact, I have one on my desk at the moment. So, I guess I won’t be giving that up…)

This year I’m done rationalizing.

I drink Diet Coke like it’s water. I have one every morning, like coffee, and usually another one (or two) throughout the course of the day. Particularly during classes.

But not after today.


Goodbye, my friend

I realize that terming this a sacrifice may seem extreme. But think about something that you have or do every day, something that’s part of your routine. Now think about stopping cold turkey. I can’t imagine that it’s easy – and I don’t think it’s supposed to be.

So, in the spirit of Mardi Gras indulgence, I’m sipping on my current Diet Coke, knowing it’ll be my last until Easter Sunday (April 24th). And I’m prepared for the headaches and the caffeine withdrawal (I think).

I’m just not sure that the boyfriend’s prepared to deal with me like that.

Wish him luck – he might need it more than I will.

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and, like any good procrastinator, I’ve yet to decide what I’m giving up this year.

Last year I asked for your suggestions and finally settled on giving up swearing and M&Ms. And failed miserably on the swearing. Who knew I had such a potty mouth? (Don’t answer that.)

While talking to my mom about it yesterday, I mentioned trying to give up Diet Coke and she immediately looked worried. “But, won’t you get a headache without your caffeine in the morning? What will you have instead?” And it’s true. I don’t like coffee; I get bored with tea. Diet Coke is what gets me going. (In fact, I have one on my desk at the moment. So, I guess I won’t be giving that up…)

The problem is, along with anything I think of to give up (TV, Facebook, Diet Coke, etc.), I immediately think of the reasons why it’s just not possible (Lost, certain communications, withdrawal). Maybe I should just give up rationalizing for 40 days instead?

In any case, unless anyone has another inspired suggestion (which I’m completely open to), I think I’m going to try this whole (non) swearing thing again.

  1. At this point in my life, my vocabulary should be big enough to avoid curse words for at least 40 days.
  2. I really don’t like failing, and after my poor performance last year, I feel the need to redeem myself.

So here we go. Wish me luck.

(Oh, and of course I’ll be giving up the office M&Ms again this year. It’s kind of tradition now.)

Oh someecards...it's like you know me.

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Last night we had a rather interesting conversation that ranged from relationships to wisdom teeth, from work to boob jobs.

Cla was telling us about getting her wisdom teeth taken out, and an additional (optional) procedure that, the surgeon warned her, might leave her chin permanently numb. She opted out of that one, preferring not to chance having a novocaine lack-of-feeling forever.

Later in the conversation, the topic turned to boob jobs (I don’t remember the segue…or if there was one), and Cla told us about a friend of hers with a newly acquired set. “But,” she said, “they were so hard! Plus, if it’s done wrong, you could lose sensation in your nipples.” We all agreed that that would be no good at all, but, given the common thread of losing feeling, it made me think of (a significantly tamer version of) Maxie’s Would You Rather.

SO…would you rather lose sensation in your nipples (I think the drawbacks are obvious), OR lose sensation in your chin (think drool, dropped food, etc. where everyone can see)?

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A week from today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent – 40 days of sacrifice leading up to Easter. And despite what it may sound like from some of the stories I share here, I do consider myself fairly religious. Therefore, come next Wednesday, I’ll be giving something up. I’m just not sure what yet.

Now, I’m a WASP to the max, so I have it a little easier: I don’t have to fast at all, or give up meat on Fridays. And if I do mess up, I don’t have to go to confession. (Which really works out fine, considering I already carry around an ample amount of guilt – vestiges from my grandmother’s guilt trips, you see.) But every year I try to sacrifice something different, with varying degrees of success.


  • There was the year I gave up chocolate – and had hot cocoa by accident on a Girl Scout retreat.
  • Once I gave up beer, but not alcohol in general. (Let me tell you, playing flip cup and beirut with mixed drinks…not the best idea I’ve ever had.)
  • Another time I gave up trash-talking/gossiping about a specific person (who totally had it coming), and my friends celebrated with cake and a party when I was done.
  • And another, I gave up T.V. – which made it awkward when I walked out of the room while someone else had it on.

But this year? I’m out. I have no idea what to give up. I asked Cla about it and she said, “Don’t do alcohol! We’ll be in Argentina!” Duly noted.

That being said, I’m open to suggestions. Regardless of your religious or non inclinations, what would you (or have you) sacrifice(d) for 40 days and nights? (Or even a week – I’m not picky, I just need ideas.)

I really can’t do chocolate again. It might be better for my waistline, but it totally makes me cranky.

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