What? That must have been the first time something was denied me because my grandparents made it their business to ensure that whatever I wanted I had. I did not make sense of the time span, "until Easter" but I went about my business with a frown and then forgot all about it until the next time I was denied. Still I did not dwell on these things and yet the lesson continued. "Someday you will be glad you did without...."
|Me about 4 years old|
Although I left the Catholic religion which today beckons me for the spiritual comfort, a Lenten tradition of deprivation became my annual ritual. I used to be a chocoholic, there was not a place I did not stash chocolate, it went where I did; my co-workers could always find a supply in my office. While I am unsure of the exact year, sometime in the early 1990's I decided to make the ultimate Lenten sacrifice and give up chocolate; Roberta, who was most devout and my closest friend questioned me about the severity of my choice, would I be able to do that.,really? It certainly was one of the most difficult deprivations I ever experienced but a miracle emerged just like Easter, I lost my extreme fondness for chocolate; not something I was looking for but something I have now recognized as a blessing. I have never again been consumed by chocolate. Today I enjoy some dark chocolate now and then but I can take it or leave it. It's not something that I crave or need and I am amazed thinking back to how I had to eat chocolate at least once a day then. Lent the four letter word rewarded me at the end of it all, just as promised by my grandma so long ago.
Today it is really difficult for me to think of giving up something I would miss eating; I am not a
|Me today leaner and healthier|
So what to give up for Lent in 2014? Something that will be a daily reminder in denial. I have determined it is another four letter word, one I've been saying out loud in response to annoyance, rubbish, or other non likable things that happen. No, it's not that "f" word although I admit to evoking it in absolute frustration, for especially bad news like death, cancers, etc. I was unaware that I used this other word so frequently until Jerry mentioned something one day and then I attempted to disguise it using the Polish for it. Bad habits start with such unawareness. This word is not pleasant and not nice and not something I recall saying much in the past, it starts with "s" may be preceded with another 4 letters, "bull." So for Lent, the cuss jar appears. When ever I say that word it's $1 to the jar; further, each time I think it it's 50 cents. If I am dutiful and persevere, this bad habit will be gone in 40 days when the joy of Easter returns. The money will go to the Salvation Army, one of my favorite charities and one that I support financially all the time.
What are you giving up for Lent or do you?