The party is over for us Catholics, literally. Mardi Gras is supposed to be our last chance to whoop it up before the 40 days of reflection and sacrifice that is Lent.
We kick off the Lenten season by going to church on on Ash Wednesday and getting our ash game on. The ashes symbolize penance, mourning and mortality (good times, I know!).
When I used to work in the city, it was also a surefire way to also identify who in the office was a nice Catholic boy. Yes, he’s the one with the BIG FAT BLACK CROSS ON HIS FOREHEAD. Thank you for the heads up, Jesus!
Lenten sacrifice is also traditionally part of the deal, as “Catholics are encouraged to raise up the needs of the world in prayer, to sacrifice by giving up food and material wants, and to offer time, talent and treasure as good stewards of their God-given gifts.”
Sooooo, the question heard today from Catholics around the world is “what are you giving up for Lent?”
(Truth be told, I did give up bread one year in a similar vein. It got sticky exactly where to draw the line. Wraps? Bagels?)
What are you insane?! That would be cruel and unusual punishment for the people around me, the local economy and my personal productivity.
Haaaa! Dude, I was pregnant three times. Not drinking for 27 months was torture enough. Well, not maybe 27 months exactly. Which may explain a lot about my youngest Ellie.
Plus, there’s this. Which is true.
In past years, I have given up cursing, which was a good one, and complaining, which was an even better one.
This year I am giving up all the clutter and crap (clearly, the cursing one didn’t take hold) in our house as part of the “40 Bags in 40 Days decluttering challenge” You can read more about it here, but this is the skinny:
40 bags in 40 days is a forty day period (coinciding with the 40 days of Lent) where you declutter one area a day. The goal is one bag a day, however you can have more or less. The 2017 Challenge starts March 1st and goes to April 15th.
Here’s the part that I love the most:
Because you know what?
- You don’t need all of this stuff.
- It won’t make you happier.
- Your home should not make you feel overwhelmed or stressed.
- You do not need to be embarrassed.
- You can do this. (repeat that)
- You are not alone.
What are you giving up? Care to join me?