Oh very hard indeed…Each year I’d try to come up with something to test myself with during Lent. Ten years ago I tried to keep up with seven things I “gave up” yeah four of those never made it. Eight years ago I guaranteed that I would have 40 days dedicated to Lent, even if I have to extend a day – Lent lasted 53 days that year. Five years ago I gave up swearing. With disastrous results. I lasted three days (you are thinking how lame) in truth by the third day my heart began to hurt when I’d get annoyed and didn’t let off some verbal steam, slowly I realized I wouldn’t make it to my 30th birthday at that rate. So swearing was back on and I haven’t made that mistake.
Now fast forward to this year. Lent did sneak up on me. I barely gave it much thought, but I decided to do the following: stop checking my social media when I am hanging out with Henry by myself. I try my best to put away the phone and focus on the mini. It’s hard and I am getting better, I hope this one sticks post Lent. The other was simply to stop buying myself material things for the next 40 days. I didn’t give up Starbucks, I didn’t give up sushi, I am not going to stop going out to dinner. But I am not going to buy myself any clothing, books, accessories, or tchotckies. Seems like a good thing to challenge myself, with some monetary benefits. I will still buy gifts for others (I couldn’t possibly skip four March birthdays, that wouldn’t benefit the celebrants in the slightest.)
Little did I know how much it would challenge me. And when I noticed it the most was this weekend. It started on Friday. I’ve had a horrible work week and was desperately clinging to something fun and weekend related.
So it began:
YAY! Old navy has my favorite jeans on sale. Boo, I cannot buy them.
The theme continued on my Mama’s night out which ended up at Barnes and Noble (happy place.) I spied a lovely crafty magazine that I know I’d absolutely love, I nearly drooled over it while sipping coffee in silence. Mollie Makes. Perfect projects, perfect quirk, perfect for me. I put it back.
Follow this up with the next day’s adventures at the mall play area (the breakfast food happy place I recently spoke about.) We cut through Barnes and Noble (where I visited my crafty magazine again – we shall meet again in 40 days.) Then we made the mistake of weaving through the discount section. Where I spotted the book, the one I have hunted for a year, considered buying put back on the shelf, considered for book club… and here it stood, The Dove Keepers mine for just $5.99. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I didn’t even touch the book. Cursing at my stupidity, I walked away. Hoping to reunite with it in 40 days.
One thing I am learning is that I am strong, I can withhold purchasing things for myself over these 40 days and I understand and appreciate the reasons why we keep on with tradition for sacrificing something for Lent.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the next 40 days will go at a snail’s pace.
p.s. I can accept gifts…. hint, hint, hint, hint, hint.