Lent. Something I have yet to practice in my 28 years on this earth. Yes, I was baptized Catholic and while that’s typically where your journey in faith begins, mine pretty much about ends there too. I grew up in a happy home, a hopeful home and a humble home. No, we didn’t attend church, except for the occasional wedding, funeral, baptism etc. but that didn’t result in a lack of faith. Faith in what? I don’t really know. I still question that rather often, but I knew that things happened for a reason. I knew it wasn’t all just me. At least that’s what I was told. . . at this point in my life I can attest that it’s more than likely still the case.
But Lent? Lets be honest, I had never even heard the term “Lent” until my senior year of high school. I don’t know if it was the lack of catholic upbringing or the outright obliviousness that were my youthful years, but I had not a damn clue that Lent even existed. When I did finally come to understand, I figured that unless I was an out-and-out Catholic, participating in the act of Lent would be somewhat hypocritical. To this day I still feel that same doubt. . . amongst other things.
Over the years I disregarded Lent. I couldn’t shake that feeling that I didn’t belong and it seemed to me that it was an easy out for people who failed on their New Year resolutions. 40 days and 40 nights. . . .totally same thing! [Right.] Not to mention all the ass hats who couldn’t make a faithful gesture if their lives depended on it are now “giving up” for Lent. Yes, I’m sure Baby Jesus adores you for those 40 days of sacrificing a Dr. Pepper. #Idiots.
Then in college came the jokers of lent. “I’m giving up sex”, “I’m giving up drinking”, “I’m giving up _________ (<—Insert incredibly immature and already uncondoned Catholic behavior here.)”. I mean seriously, if you were a true Catholic you would know that half the things you’re “giving up” weren’t supposed to be happening in the first place. #Sinners. You just read all sorts of stupid. As time passed and life went on, Lent would always be just another amusing month of nonreligious humans attempting to proclaim their Christianity by avoiding all things chocolate. . . OH and the never-ending “fish platters” during my Friday night bar shift.
After college, my husband and his sisters were the first people I was in direct contact with that took part in Lent. Our first Lent together, I was pregnant. PJ gave up Alcohol, or at least beer, I can’t really remember. While it was a sweet gesture to keep my fat, pregnant and sober ass in good and decent company. . . it’s still the same stupid concept that I mentioned above. No, he doesn’t go to church (anymore), he eats meat on Fridays and the only real reason he’s partaking is because it’s something to Tweet about. That same year I gave up caffeine, smoking, deli meat, medium-rare steak, alcohol, belly flops, mountain biking, crab legs, any future in professional sky-diving, my dream job at Titleist, a relocation to Boston, perfect abs, my genuinely decent physique and gravity (see ya later perky tatas). I will go on record saying that my first attempt at “Lent” was a blowout. #Winning. But seriously, I didn’t partake in Lent.
(Kathy This One’s For You! #HappyWednesday! ♥)
You see, life is all about sacrifices. I don’t need a calendar to tell me when it is I should consider “giving something up”. Just like I don’t need to attend a Sunday service to believe in “God”. Looking back on my life as it relates to religion, I know that one quote and one moment alone made a larger impact on me than any Sunday sermon or list of vows. It was a single line from the movie Simon Birch. . . . “Faith is not in a Floor Plan”. While this may seem incredibly stupid to many of you now, back in 1998 I was 12 years old. I was just beginning to understand the difference between how my friends were raised as it related to religion as opposed to myself. This statement helped me grasp on to what it is I wanted to trust in, that no mater where I was I could always believe. My family supported this in it’s entirety and from that moment forward it’s how I’ve viewed religion.
So I confess (since it IS Wednesday) that I once again, can’t commit to Lent. It’s not the sacrifice or the 40 day loss- it’s the fact that in no faithful context would I feel obligated to equate my ability to stop snacking on Milky Way Darks to an act of spiritual selflessness. Granted, giving up particular habits (such as: Starbucks on Saturdays) can prove to be rather difficult, it doesn’t mean that in turn, the world is becoming a better place.
So with that being said, I’ll be giving up nothing- per usual. As I will continue to eat my morning Cheetos and digest yesterdays Biggby, I will also remind myself that I make sacrifices every single day. . .for family, for friends, for the future, for me. . . . and I don’t stop at #40.
Get in on the action and meet new people, I know I can’t wait!