This Lent

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.


Anonymous said...

You know what(and this is gonna so sound like I'm copying you but I swear I'm not!)this is a fantastic idea and I say that because I'm doing something similar this year.

I have not really done the Lent thing in a long time and decided that this year it was high time I did.

I too didn't really want to give up something, but wanted to do something a little more substantial than that. So I am going to be more healthy in general during Lent.

I like the exercise every day idea and may try to do that too. But I'm going to eat more healthy not give up anything completely, but eat crappy stuff way less and healthy stuff way more.

I figure taking care of my body was something special enough to qualify for this occasion.

Anonymous said...

Lol, well it could be worse.

The Paralegal is an Australian Adopted Lesbian, whose father is a Catholic Priest! Yep. Not making that up. She has issues.

Is the 30 day shred really that good? I've heard a couple people talking about it.

Barb said...

What a great idea for Lent! I should have tweeted about the giveaway- next time, for sure!

La Petite Chic said...

I'm also Catholic and maybe saying this makes me a bad Catholic, but I choose to believe and follow what I think is right and just overlook the other stuff (the same things you mentioned!).

Anonymous said...

I'm Catholic and I gave up Lent for this season. Do you think that is okay? LOL