Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Sacrifices are Coming!

Can you believe that we're only two weeks away from Lent? What?! The period between Christmas season and Advent always flies by the quickest for me. Even though I'm still a bit in Christmas mode (sorry, I'm in that mentality until February 2nd; Candlemas), I'm not ready to let it go. (side note: if you find yourself singing "Let it Go" I truly apologize. Have a donut and say it's from me as an apology gift.) While chatting with one of my best friends about what we were giving up for Lent, I had no clue. At least, I didn't at the time. It took me some time but I think I've figured out what I'm doing for Lent this year.

Last year I didn't really give up anything because, well, I tend to do that during the year. Doing it during Lent doesn't challenge me as much as it may others because of how used to it I am (from food to entertainment, etc). "What can I possibly give up that's hard?" I wondered. Then it hit me: Twitter. Soccer? Slightly hard to give up one year. Certain foods? Easier since I do that on a regular basis anyway (thanks dyspepsia and food intolerances!). Social media has been cut back during Lent in past years but never fully given up. Just an hour or less per day. I've been doing that lately (though I've slipped a bit since my bro's visit last week). Giving it up "cold turkey"? Sad to say it's going to be nearly impossible but I'm going to do it. Or try. I'll say "try" so I don't beat myself up too badly if I fail. I'm not even going to give myself an incentive to not cave: doing something for my well being is reward enough.

For those of you who rely on Twitter to find out when I have a new blog post, I'll have something set up so new links will be posted as soon as they go up. I may also share the odd link straight from the website (i.e. Blessed is She's reflections or news from Zenit, ChurchPop, or Catholic News Agency -- only Catholic stuff for Lent, what an idea!) but I won't log into Twitter for that. I also won't send anything out unless it's one of those "yes! this needs to be read by others!" articles. If you're also giving up Twitter, the blog's Facebook Page gets updates right away. If you're giving up all social media, you can sign up to have new blog posts delivered to your inbox. That nifty button is on the right side of the blog (not accessible on mobile; sorry).

Am I giving up anything else in terms of social media? Nope. Don't really use Pinterest much and can go weeks without even logging in. Tumblr can be neglected for days and I can get everything done there in under 5 minutes when I do log in. Facebook will be cut down to once a day for 5 minutes if only because I only have 34 people on my list -- most of whom rarely or don't (at all) use Twitter -- and it's what I use to get news on the Latin Masses in the L.A. area and other information that I don't get elsewhere. Twitter is my addiction but I hope giving it up for Lent will be good for me and will make it easier for me to use is less during the rest of the year.

Let's forget the fact that I'm wasting so much valuable time on it. It's not just a time waster for me; it's where I rant, where I get annoyed, where uncharitable thoughts pop up, where I get upset, where... well, I'm focusing too much on myself and my own feelings and not enough on God when I get on Twitter. Let's be honest: some of us may want to use it as an evangelization tool but not many of us actually use it for that. I'm not shaming you; I'm in that same boat.

Oh! I just remembered that I am giving up on more thing for Lent: uncharitable words and thoughts. Guess where most of them come from. You guessed it: Twitter. When I'm already cranky and/or upset about what my mom is going through at work (please keep praying for her), it's so much easier to see something on Twitter and allow it to feed my annoyance. Bleh. No. Bad Twitter! Bad Emmy, too! No one is forcing me to go on Twitter when I'm on the verge of being a "stroppy cow." (Gotta love British idioms.) Twitter is the main source (online) of my uncharitable thoughts and words so it makes sense to give one to be able to help the other. 

I'm also adding a couple of things: an extra hour of prayer per day, daily Mass when I'm able (no appointments, not sick), and an extra act of charity during the day. I've arranged it so my "reading for pleasure" books are all either Catholic or written by Catholic authors during Lent. Yes, that explains my current choice of books. I'm sure I'll add something else but that will be something between me and God. ;)

Since I cannot fast (I'm still underweight) and I need meat (though I can do meatless Fridays by eating other things for iron intake), I'm going to give up ALL social media and music (gulp) on the days that I cannot fast but others are required to. I forgot what I gave up last year but I don't remember it being particular hard so I must challenge myself this year.

My plans for Lent may seem silly to others ("ha! Twitter?") but if you've ever been addicted to anything, you know hard it is to make yourself stop. Oh, social media... Y U so hard to give up? Cue rick-rolling video from a certain someone with a mustache who hosts his own radio show. ;)

What are y'all giving up for Lent? Let me know, especially if you need an accountability partner. Seriously, I will gladly keep tabs on anyone if you need an accountability person.

Side thought: I return to grad school right during Easter time, on April 4th. The symbolism isn't lost on me. It's how my school's quarter is set up but, for my particular situation and everything I've been through, it seems especially appropriate that that will be my return date. Wind down my break during Lent, return in Easter. New beginnings. New hope. Well played, JP Catholic and the overall timing. Well played. ;)

Alright, I have about 6 weeks eBooks or so to read in a little under 3 weeks so I'm going to try to get those read before they're due back to the LAPL. :)

I hope y'all are having a great week thus far!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D 


AnneMarie said...

I'm so excited for Lent!!!!! And hey, I'm still in Christmas-mode partially, too! I always keep the tree and Nativity up until Candlemas :) Wow, it sounds like you have a really hardcore Lenten plan, which is awesome. I think it's really cool when people arrange their Lenten plan to help them grow, instead of just doing what "everyone else" does (which is one of the reasons why I don't give up food items anymore). For me, I like to pick one prayer, fast, and almsgiving, so this year the plan is: intentionally set aside 10 minutes of silent prayer/informal Bible reading a day (I had planned to do this for this entire liturgical year, but I keep forgetting to do it, so hopefully the discipline of Lent will help me out haha), no radio in the car (fasting), and write/work on my vocation memoir twice a week (almsgiving; this might seem weird, since it's not anything I'd try to get published, but I've literally been working on this for at least a few years-just as a nice keepsake for my husband and I to have and read when we're old and senile-so I've decided to finally bite the bullet and get it written). And then, I'm sure God will send other lovely things my way, because He likes to do that :)

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