Short answer: Because I don’t like giving things up.
My parents spoiled me rotten as a kid and not with material things, but with experiences. That is why, to this day, I can come up with the most creative ways of being able to “do it all”! (with the exception of bi-locating, but believe you me, I’m working on that one HARD!).
True story: Last year, for one month, Dave and I put a quarter in a dish every time we said something bad about someone or something. Every Time. It was kind of a version of Lent (e.g. giving up saying negative things) and it was a great mindfulness practice. When it was all said and done, we wondered what to do with the money. One of our ideas was to send it to the people about whom we said bad things. The letter would read, “Dear X, Here is $1.75 for the 7 bad things we said about you in March 2011. Sincerely, Karen & Dave” That really didn’t seem appropriate so we went out to dinner with the money instead.
This story turned out to be quite an example of precisely why I suck at Lent; probably even moreso than the fact that I’m not (nor ever was) Catholic.
And I digress...
I believe Lent has already started, but for those of you who are still struggling to decide whether you really want to give up soda pop or if you should just go easy on yourself and limit your beer intake to 6 days a week, here are my suggestions:
Participate in a Lent of Inclusion! Your daily mantra could be, “I will laugh from joy at least once each day during Lent,” or “I will compliment at least one person each day,” or “I will wash the dishes every day this Lent.” You could even say, "I will be the one to smile first for the entirety of Lent!"
The possibilities are endless and much more likely to affect you beyond the season of Lent. You might find yourself laughing, smiling, complimenting, or making beauty in the world each and every day in spite of yourself!