I call myself a 'guilty Catholic' and a 'recovering Catholic'. I was raised Catholic, and I have this overwhelming sense of guilt about the most asinine things. I know some of it is just my personality, but I would have to say that some of it has been ingrained in me. I mean, what 9 year old kid really has to repent her sins to the priest?? What sins?? Here's what I remember coming up with:
"I coveted my friend's phone in her room."
"I did not honor my mother when she told me to shut my piehole."
"I rolled my eyes at my father."
I mean, really?
Okay, that's not all that serious, but I have more valuable things that me and the Ole Pope disagree on. For one, the cardinal sins. Also? The use of birth control. Also? Abortion.
I am not knocking those of you who are faithfully Catholic; not by a long-shot. I respect you, and totally understand where you are coming from. I am also not knocking those of you who feel strongly about the things I mentioned above. I am simply saying that I no longer identify myself as a 'practicing Catholic'. Sure, I believe in the saints; I even pray to them for specific things. Sure, I adore Mother Teresa. Sure, I respect the Pope in all of his Popeness. But I just cannot say that I relate to all things Catholic anymore.
That being said, I still participate in Lent. Each year, I give up something until Easter. I don't eat meat on Fridays (I don't eat meat all that often anyway, so this isn't hard for me). When I was a kid, I followed my father's footsteps (the Catholic in my family), and gave up cake, candy, cookies, ice cream, etc. Basically, I gave up the bane of my very existence, and went into a cranky, non-sugar coma until Easter. But I did it.
As I got older, I started to give up less, simply because I felt I couldn't handle going without for so long. (rolling my eyes at the stupidness of that statement) I also started doing something positive during Lent: saving all my change to donate somewhere, saving my magazines to give to the local nursing home, spending more time with my little sister. You get my point. But, I do all this stuff on a regular basis; it wasn't really adding to my life, in my opinion.
Here I am, at age 31, trying to figure out what to give up. I could say cake, or pastries, or frozen yogurt, and I would be miserable. I could say raspberries and blueberries and I would be really miserable, but that would be counter-productive in my mind.
So, this year, I have decided to give up being lazy. Starting today, on Ash Wednesday, I am going to work out every blessed day until Easter. 30 Day Shred, walking 30 minutes, bike riding, running, something.
In doing this, I figure by the time Easter arrives, this working out thing will be a habit, and I can just continue it. Sure, I'll neglect my shows (OMG, Medium rocks my socks, and so does Friday Night Lights!), and further neglect my Google Reader (motherf-er, how do you guys write so damn much!?!), but I will be enhancing my life, and losing my muffin top. That way, when I get in a swimsuit this summer, none of you will puke up your lunch.