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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lent

 I had a hard time deciding what to give up for Lent this year. I'm not Catholic, but I think it doesn't hurt anything or anyone to try and give up something you enjoy for a certain amount of time once a year. It is a challenge and challenging ourselves is always a good thing. I tried to decide between red meat, fast food and chocolate. I woke up on on Ash Wednesday and forgot all about it. The first thing I did was eat a piece of chocolate. "Ah, crap," I thought to myself. "I guess I'll have to choose one of the others.

Thinking hard I decided against red meat. I do the cooking and Willie just wouldn't like going six weeks with out beef.  Fast food would be easier. Then I thought about it some more. Easy isn't what it is supposed be about. I thought again about red meat. Again, I decided against it. This is something I am doing for me and my faith. It isn't fair to make Willie do it, too, just because I cook the most.

I went back to the impossible. I went back to the one thing I will have to actually think hard about. The one thing that would be a big deal to me. Chocolate. Chocolate is my friend. Chocolate makes me happy. Giving up chocolate, now there's a challenge. Challenge? It will be a an out and out battle of my will. Will I win or will the chocolate win?

Well, since I'd already screwed up first thing that morning, I knew it wasn't enough to just give up chocolate. I needed to give up something else, too. Something to make up for that last piece of chocolate that I ate after Lent had started. What to do? What to do?

"Fast food it is!" I said to myself. That one is not as hard as chocolate, but it is something I will have to remind myself about. Something that won't be automatic. After all, stopping at Micky D's or Taco Bell on the way home after getting off late at work is easy and quick. It won't be as hard as chocolate but it will be a challenge, especially if I end up on a road trip for any reason.

To this point I have not had either chocolate or fast food. Yeah, I know, it has only been a week, but that's a long time for no chocolate milk.  A VERY long time. Where some people smoke, or have a beer after work, or drink coffee all morning, chocolate milk is my drug of choice.  Chocolate milk has the effect on me that coffee has on others. It wakes me up, it makes me feel better and it helps me start my day. Silly, you say, strange, you think? You give up your coffee in the morning and then laugh at me. Caffeine is a lot easier for me to give up. In fact, now that I think of it, I haven't had any caffeine since I gave up chocolate.

The fast food hasn't really bothered me.... yet. Though, on the way home Friday I almost did, out of habit, run to a fast food place. Then I remembered and drove the other way home, no big deal. When I got home and couldn't make myself a chocolate milk, though, now THAT hurt. Oh, how I miss my chocolate milk!

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