Today is the beginning of Lent.
If you're Catholic, like my lunch buddies are, that means not eating meat and the start of a 40 day fast from something.
If you're Protestant (like me), then Lent is a little more optional. And, I certainly ate chicken, today.
Truthfully, I don't always give something up. I haven't in a really long time, actually.
This year, however, my Sunday School teacher is doing a study on Lent and prayer. He challenged us all to find something in our lives that we need to give up, in order to gain better. The idea is that if you spend 40 concentrated days out of each year to become a better person.... the person God wants you to be.... then imagine what you could do in 20 years of practicing. Anyone can take 40 days to focus..... it's just over a 12th of the year.
His main point was that we not just give up a food item, etc. That if we're giving up a food item or something material then we need to recognize what Spiritual goal we're trying to accomplish.
So, I'm participating.
It got me thinking about what I need to alter.
In the past, giving up soda (which my brother does every year - and this year he's adding FB to the list) would have been major. However, I've gradually done that over the years and pretty much finished off this summer. I went from regular sodas to diet. Then, this summer, I basically cut that out except for rare occasions. Now? I may have a soda once or twice a month. I'm comfortable with that.
I could try to give up sweets, but I'm already trying a modified version of that. I mean, I count every calorie that goes into my body, as it is.
I can't really give up FB, because part of my job is to maintain our stations' pages.
Then, I started thinking about the past month or so. I've been super overwhelmed.
Too busy, too stressed, too distracted, too frazzled.
I then attributed it to one thing.......... clutter.
We've talked about this before. I'm a messy organizer. I started my process of decluttering in the Fall (and did well), but have fallen off the wagon since the Holidays.
Really, I need to straighten up my physical space.
Too often, lately, I've been misplacing things (so unlike me), spending too much time searching through my piles (another anomaly), and basically just not focusing. It tends to make me short with the people around me, too.
So, I'm giving up clutter. I'm going to spend the next 40 days going through every area that is mine to clear it out. Each day, I will take the opportunity to declutter something.
I hope to gain some clarity, peace, time, and most of all pleasantness with other people.
What about you? What are you giving up and hoping to gain in the next 40 days?