I've been thinking about what to do for Lent for several weeks. I started early... even before Christmastide actually ended. Advent was amazing for me and I grew a lot as a person. Since then, I've also come to figure out what I truly feel called to do (vocation-wise) and a lot of changes need to be made in that department so I knew there was no better time to implement these changes than Lent. That's not to say that these are "what will make me look better?" changes. No, these are "what will help me live a holier life; one closer to God" changes. Most changes will be small and gradual but there are two that needed immediate attention: social media and what's been coming out of my mouth lately.
As you guys (who've been reading this blog for at least a year) know, I've struggled with my social media addiction for quite some time. I even gave it up in chunks last Lent (you can read about it here and here) and it went well... for a while. I had fallen off the limited-social-media horse when I got sick last summer and then I had to work on that again. I was doing well... and then I wasn't. Again. Are we noticing a pattern yet? I know I substituted Facebook and Twitter for Instagram in recent weeks so I decided to do a no social media fast every day, including Sundays and holy days. I spend too much time scrolling through Instagram, making sure I don't "miss" anything... and then I get sucked into seeing celebrity IG accounts. Who am I?! I never used to do this. Anyway, I've already let my friends know that they have options to contact me and I'm always willing to put something aside for a little while to catch up... unless I'm doing an exam then for that hour I'm not available. ;)
Now for the big one, which I know a lot of people are probably wondering about. I decided to give up talking because of two reasons. First, the things that have come out of my mouth in recent weeks have not been uncharitable or very ladylike. I'm not saying it's cussing (I don't like cursing); it's simply not nice. I lose my patience when I'm driving (which, apparently, is quite the epidemic here in L.A.) and I say things like "good job, stupid"... or worse. *cringe* (side note: this is a fairly new development and I'm pretty sure it has to do with my lack of Mass attendance). I usually say "good job, friend" but I haven't been as charitable lately.
Second, I've noticed that it's not only happening when I drive, it's happening overall. I feel like I'm wasting words; the conversations are becoming more shallow and empty, which I dislike. Instead of being positive, it's so easy to complain and feel sorry for myself during times of trials. It's so easy to vent to friends. Even if you think you're being careful, I know it can still come out as being uncharitable towards others. Instead of building up, the tongue can tear something or someone down and if we do it long enough, it becomes a bad habit that will land you in the confessional more often than not.
I'm not giving up talking altogether; I'm just going to be a lot more mindful about what I'm going to say before I say it. I'm going to warn those I usually talk to that I may reply a little slower than usual because I want to make sure that the words that come out of my mouth are used to glorify God, His creations, and/or build something or someone one up. I'm going to try to keep my mouth shut and literally walk away from situations that would tempt to do be uncharitable.
Those are the two big things I'm giving up for Lent. I'm also giving up TV, movies, and screentime (overall) during the remainder of the semester. I've been giving myself too much time to "rest" when I could be studying. My time management there has been really poor and that needs to be addressed but that might be easier to do. Study first, movies later... or movies during Sundays. I'm also limiting my books to Catholic books and books that will help me succeed in my social-media-fast / no frivolous chatter / better time management goals. No more YA fiction for a while.
Those are my plans for Lent. I didn't mention things I'm adding because those things (I feel) need to be done with only God as my witness. They are all good and positive so no worries there. :)
I will continue blogging throughout Lent. I might even blog more often if I don't get enough socializing... which I probably won't because all of my friends that lived nearby have moved away and everyone pretty much uses social media to stay in touch. lol. File this under "social introvert problems." I believe the blog posts will automatically post to both Twitter and Facebook via IFTTT. Awestruck and my Google+ profile won't be updated; I'm sorry about that if you keep up with the blog posts from those two places.
I hope you all have an enriching Lenten season. Congrats to the two (randomly chosen by Rafflecoppter) winners of the Magnificat Lenten Companion app: Lesley S. and Joe W.! :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D