Lent 2011: Guess What I'm Giving Up?

Heather Chaet

lentHappy Fat Tuesday, people. Live it up while you can because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. The day strangers on the subway think you have a little schmutz on your forehead. We're gearing up for the kick-off of the Christian atonement season. That's right: the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent.

Lent doesn't mess around. It's one of the most important times on the Christian calendar -- when Christians all over the world prepare for the Holy Week with some serious acts of penance. Most give up a vice or something that is important to them to get closer to The Big Guy. I have heard of some who start something good during this time too (like exercise or volunteering), and some heavy hitters do both.

I'm Christian. Lutheran to be exact. I like to think of Lent as Spring Resolution Time. A perfect time to detox, shape up, think, "What can I do better?"

Each year, I give up something for Lent. Each year, I fail. Maybe I'm doing this wrong. 

According to my research, lots of people give up lots of things, but the five that popped up the most were:

1. Chocolate/Sugar/Dessert: I can't pick this. It's birthday season at my daughter's preschool. Think 23 birthday parties in a few month span. Think cake every Saturday. Think ice cream every Sunday. I'm setting myself up for failure if I choose this No-No.

2. Cigarettes: The good news is I don't smoke. The bad news is I can't choose this as my Lent No-No.

3. Caffeine: I didn't even give up caffeine when I was pregnant (don't get testy with me, ladies, I cut back). Not only will the withdrawal headaches force me to hurt someone by Day 3, I think I'd be so tired, I'd sleep for 40 days and 40 nights ... wait a sec, that actually sounds kinda nice.

4. Watching TV: I work at The Stir. I blog for a living. I recap Survivor as part of my job. Not gonna happen.

5. Swearing: No f#%*&^@! way I could do this.

So, I can't pick one of the most popular Lent No-Nos to, well, say no to. Mama has to think outside the box this year. I don't shop enough to give that up. I don't eat fast food enough to have that be a big deal. I don't yell enough to make that switch.

What do I love? What do I do every single day (often many times a day)? What, if I gave it up, would feel like a huge sacrifice? I've got it! For Lent, I'm giving up (pretend there's a drumroll, people) -- Angry Birds!

Fingers crossed I make it this year.

What will you give up for Lent?

Image via jezobeljones/Flickr

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